A few weeks ago I had one of the worst days of my young life. I know that’s uselessly relative and cryptic, but that’s not what this is really about. In the middle of the worst part of the awfulness, these words were said: “Life is ugly.” Even sitting there in the midst of pain and tears and lowest lows, I didn’t want to believe that. I’ve always tried to cling to the comforting notion that Life is beautiful — at the core, there is beauty and happy and roses and cuddly puppies. Since that day, a wacky, appearing-out-of-your-blind-spot chain of events have seriously kicked the optimist out of my mental guest room. Sent that guy packing…for good. And maybe I believe now that Life is just ugly. A big mean red-headed fifth grade bully that kicks you in the shins while giving you an atomic wedgie. What I’ve also noticed, though, is that we can’t make it through the messy sticky yuck that is Life without moments that make us forget about the yuck. And sometimes we have to look really hard to find them…like, steal-a-NASA-satellite hard. But, lucky for me, I’ve got some top notch friends and family and a husband who will lie next to you and rub your back while you fall apart for as long as you might need him to.
Now that that’s out of the way…let me tell you about tassles. If you’ve seen The Graduate, my simply mentioning its name in connection with tassles should tell you where I’m going with this. Well, not exactly where I’m going. Wait, stop picturing me in tassles, that is NOT where this is going. In college, Clayton and I watched The Graduate with then-dating-now-married Josh and Nicole. There is a scene in a strip club with a somewhat awkwardly placed, very committed stripper with a pair of tassles attached to her boobaloobs. While that movie is a classic and deals with some interesting psychological conflict, what stuck with the four of us was not the come-hither crossing of Mrs. Robinson’s legs; it was the tassles. And for the rest of our college career, when the situation called for it, Clayton would tense up his torso, stick his dime-sized nipples up in the air, and stiffly move his upper body in tight, repetitive circles, swishing and swooshing his imaginary tassles all over the place. And somehow we all knew exactly what he was doing. I tell everyone that it was his long hair and blue eyes that solidified our relationship, but if you’ve seen him swing those fake tassles, you know what actually reeled me in.
So the last few weeks have been a bit of a crapfest, as I said. I get home yesterday and check the mail and this is waiting for me…
A little “Happy Everyday” from my now Seattle-based pal Nicole. And even though every day will not be a happy day, it’s things like this that can put a little more tassle into those non-happy times.
P.S. Bryson liked them, too. Just like dad.