Die Laughing Anyone?
By Kathi Macias –
Seriously. This is no laughing matter! Well, okay, maybe it is—but only because I chose to make it so. I could just as easily have chosen to cry and whine and…wait, come to think of it, that’s exactly what I was doing before I decided to laugh. Let me explain.
It started when my husband went out of town for ten days. (Figures!) The TV in our room went out, but I figured, so what? There’s one in the family room, and who needs a TV anyway? Apparently my mom does because hers went out the next day, and she was not a happy camper. It was one thing to ignore my non-working set, but quite another to ignore hers—particularly when I was about to leave for Philadelphia to teach at a writers’ conference for several days.
I did some scrambling and found a wonderful old gentleman in the senior park where we live (“old” as in older than the rest of us who live in the park!) who graciously offered to replace Mom’s TV with an extra set from the clubhouse until we could get her a new one. I must admit I was a bit concerned when he was wrestling one set off her TV stand and lifting the other one up onto it, but he made it. What a relief! At least the main fire was put out, and the rest could smolder until I returned from the conference.
Or so I thought. The very next day Mom and I were waiting in our car in the drive-through lane at a fast-food restaurant when my foot slipped off the brake (don’t even ask why I didn’t have the car in park!) and I rolled (very slowly, I might add!) into the car in front of me. The bump was scarcely noticeable, and I was certain there was no damage. The driver of the other car didn’t agree. Admittedly, if I’d had a magnifying glass, I might have been able to see the quarter-inch dent he claimed was in his back bumper, but I didn’t have one so I had to take his word for it. He said his people would contact my people about the damage. Wonderful.
One more day until I flew off to Philly. What else could go wrong? I was about to find out.
I had to call a radio station to do an interview that final morning before leaving, and as I always do before calling in, I turned off call-waiting—nothing more annoying that beeping noises when you’re on the radio! The interview went off without a hitch. Then I noticed something odd. Each time my phone rang, it cut off midway through the first ring and didn’t ring again. After it happened several times, I called the phone company and told them something was wrong and they needed to send out a technician right away. Of course, they couldn’t do that until the next day. Great. Now no one could call in, though I was able to call out.
Midway through the afternoon my cell phone rang, and it was a friend of mine from Nashville. “I’ve been trying to call you all day,” he said, “but I keep getting some radio station in Texas.”
Uh oh. I was beginning to suspect a connection between the phone problem and my morning radio interview. I called the station and discovered they’d been getting calls for me all day. They suggested the possibility that instead of punching *70 to turn off call-waiting before my interview I might have pushed *72, which then forwards all my incoming calls to the station.
Sure enough, that was it! I turned off call-forwarding and called the phone company to cancel the technician and to apologize for my error. The customer service rep laughed and said, “I understand completely. I have days like that all the time. We might as well laugh about it, right?”
Right. I mean, seriously, she was right. But I had to grab myself by the nape of the neck and shake the whining and complaining right out of me before I could get that smile to work. It wasn’t long, though, before I found myself right in the middle of the truth of Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
We can choose a merry heart—or dry bones. It took me awhile to get there, but I opted for the merry heart, and the rest of the day went much better. (You don’t even want to know about my trip to Philly and how my five-hour flight turned into an 18-hour nightmare! But I was still laughing when I finally landed at two in the morning…!)
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com) is an occasional radio host (www.blogspotradio.com/communicatethevision) and an award-winning author of more than 30 books. She and her husband, Al, live in Homeland, CA, where they spend their spare time riding Al’s Harley—hence, Kathi’s road name of “Easy Writer.”