With all of the sad, horrific news of the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hesitant to take pen to paper, or better said, fingers to keyboard, to create a post. As with past times of crisis and devastation, I grapple with the appropriateness of topics. Clearly no one needs to hear my views on the topics du jour. No one needs me to recount yet AGAIN everything the news has repeatedly bombarded into our ears, eyes and hearts. And yet it seems somehow irreverent or callus to talk about my usual typical real woman topics like the struggles we face with grocery shopping, maintaining our homes, running errands, wearing unwrinkled clean clothes and the relationships in our lives. Suddenly our daily challenges seem so inconsequential and superfluous. I, along with so many right now, feel the need to be so careful about what we say and how we act to remain respectful of the pain of others.
Until we realize we are human. And sometimes we slip up. Even in the worst of times, we may do something seemingly inappropriate and find out that those errors, those interruptions in communications, are just what we all need.
There is a story circulating about an editor at NPR who posted three cute and amusing sentences about a baby named Ramona and her cats to his Facebook Account. Except he didn’t post it to his personal account as intended. He posted it to NPR’s Account, where it was viewable by….well, pretty much the world. We’ve all had those moments, especially in this day of social media and technology at our finger tips, when we have mistakenly hit “Reply All”, or broadcasted something that was intended for only a select few, and that gut-wrenching terror we feel when we’ve realized our mistake is brutal. We break out in sweats, we try to find a way to do a retraction, we worry about losing our jobs, or ruining relationships, and we construct heartfelt apologies. Which is exactly what Mr. Hopkins did. He issued an apology. The outpouring of responses was immediate – people loved having something cute break through the clutter of back to back tragedies and give them a smile. Soon Ramona hashtags popped up, as have requests for ongoing Ramona stories and updates. People have been suggesting Mr. Hopkins receive a raise for being so brilliant as to shed some cheer in a time when we all needed it. http://n.pr/2xdSGoY
This makes me think of the BBC interview from earlier this year when a gentleman’s children interrupted his live on-air discussion. It was not only adorable, but hysterical when viewers saw another adult chasing after them and falling through the door in Kramer-like fashion to retrieve them. http://cnn.it/2mDBkjw
As many of us say about our day to day lives, “you just can’t make this stuff up.” Life happens. And lucky for us, life is not all bad all the time. We need to be reminded that it is ok to smile, to laugh, to celebrate each other, and sometimes laugh at ourselves. I believe that not a day goes by when there is not something goofy or silly happening somewhere, and that is a very good thing.
Yesterday at work, while I was on the phone with a co-worker, I was attempting to multi-task and reach for something in a box under my desk without either putting down the phone or putting on my cordless headset, which would have made more sense. In this process, I scooted forward, yet my chair did not – what happened next was a very slow, very clumsy non-ballet-esque fall of sorts. I ended up on my butt, still carrying on the conversation, hoping that none of my on-site co-workers had heard my slow descent nor seen it. Later that night, I remembered my odd tumble and told my husband about it, which of course he found amusing. This morning he offered to give me a pillow to take with me in case I fall out of my chair again and needed something to land on. Funny man.
Since I luckily avoided an audience, my clumsiness was not quite as dramatic and embarrassing as years ago when I crashed through a security gate on my bicycle. But that’s a story for another day. The point is, we make mistakes. We fumble when we speak, we create typos – some small, some big, like this one recently seen at Disney World. We have blonde moments (yes, even you brunettes, I know it happens to you too!). We post pictures of our children or dogs in professional presentations. We fall out of chairs. Yes, some errors are serious and create problems. But many, many others – the minor faux pas we do every day – are just good opportunities to smile.
Our oop’ses remind us that it is ok to celebrate our human-ness, and embrace the little things that give us a reason to laugh.
Or give us sore bottoms. Either way.