Monday, February 2, 2009

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Note to local readers: sometimes they just don't have the space in the paper. Guess this week was one of those weeks, but I don't want the world to not hear the sunglasses story!

Up until a while ago, I used to think that I have only done three crazy things in my life. And when I say “crazy” I mean “spontaneous” and “zany.” Not necessarily running, screaming, end-up-the-news wild.
For example, one time at a local restaurant I couldn’t decide what to order and so I folded my menu and just told the waitress to surprise me. She was absolutely shocked and the other guests at the table looked at me as if I were, you guessed it, crazy. But it all worked out and I don’t know that I’ve ever had better eggplant parmesan.
Perhaps it was the tasty meal that spurred me into my second crazy moment of life, the day that I sat in the hairdresser’s chair and closed my eyes for the entire haircut. I told her I wanted to pretend I was on Extreme Makeover, Karrie Edition. She looked for assurance that I wasn’t joking, laughed, and then she cut the dickens out of my hair. Cuh-ray-zee.
But my most craziest and spontaneous moment of all time must have been the day I sent my mother’s ugly sunglasses sailing out the car window. She had purchased these sunglasses a few days before, and being in high school at the time I didn’t need anything else to further embarrass me. So when she showed up after school to take me home wearing these hideous things, I had about enough. Sure, I told her that she shouldn’t wear them, that they made her look like Great Aunt Mildred [name changed to protect the unfashionable, of course]. But she wore them anyway.
We were driving through the Valley Parkway near Cleveland and it was a rather sunny day, hence the need for the sunglasses. Not wanting to deal with them anymore, I nonchalantly asked my mom if I could try them on to see how they looked on me, and when she handed them over, I quickly tossed them directly out the window into the nearby field.
I am aware that littering in a park is an offense. But I’m also pretty sure that wearing those Great Aunt Mildred sunglasses was the bigger crime. It was a crime so intense that it practically required a little craziness.
In retrospect, I now really wonder why my memory has highlighted these three particular events as if they are acts that I am proud of. Because, well, I am proud of them. It is really hard to live spontaneously, and no one wants a disgusting meal or a bad haircut. But doing these things were truly fun and remembering them makes me want to rush out and throw out my mom’s latest unsightly accessory and my husband’s leather jacket that I’m not particularly fond of.
Not only that, but I am also tempted to look for more craziness in my life. But amazingly enough, it’s everywhere. Literally. Looking around my own house I see evidence in every corner of things I never planned for or expected. Fifteen years ago, I would have laughed out loud if someone told me that I would end up living in a small town in Wayne County, Ohio. I could have never guessed that my science career would come to a halt and change direction multiple times. And while we knew we wanted children, we never knew exactly when they were coming into our life, and we certainly didn’t know what we would be up against.
So maybe, in a weird sort of way, all of life is spontaneous and crazy. It’s almost as if we sit down at the table, look at the menu, close it up, and put it into someone else’s hands. The best we can do is to have a little faith and hope for the eggplant parmesan.
And, of course, toss out the occasional repulsive sunglasses.


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