Monday, November 17, 2008

No Laughing Matters

The reason I am so attracted to Laughter Yoga is that you laugh at everyone and everything, no matter how terrible the situation. The exercises we do are, for example, to open up a Visa bill or a phone bill, look at it and laugh hysterically. I also learned how to laugh hysterically as we pretended we were running through an airport and were about to miss our flight.

So I get into occasional trouble when I now laugh at just about anything. I didn't know what kind of lawyer my girlfriend's husband was. She told me. It wasn't funny or anything. He was an immigration lawyer. But I broke into a wide grin as she told me and her response was,

"Well, don't laugh, it pays the bills!"

Of course it does, honey, and this wasn't a smarmy smile, but a smile that is pasted on my face, no matter who tells me what.

I came back from my enchanted weekend in Jerusalem, to find Hubby sitting on the couch watching t.v. He wanted to express how different we were, that maybe we were growing too much apart. But the only way he could do it was to tell me one thing, very solemnly, a few minutes after I walked in.

"The only trip I'm going on is to the grave."

I howled with laughter. That is pretty fucking funny. Yet another person besides the ex-mayorial candidate Porush who doesn't know the meaning of the word "fun."

He was astounded by my laughter, which lasted a good 5 minutes.

But last night I went to my debtor's anonymous meeting and sat with my sponsor afterwards for serious, deep Step One work. It was difficult for me to come up with things I feel as I relate to money, but I wrote them down, one by one. I found myself serious, unsmiling, close to tears as I recalled all my hardships around money. In front of her I tore up one of my credit cards, so I won't ever buy a shitload of makeup on 12 payments. I showed her all the stuff I thought had to be paid this week. Visa was hassling me by calling me every few days and I promised to pay them the balance on Thursday, even thinking of postponing my daughter's dentist appointment because I couldn't do both financially.

My sponsor wasn't laughing. She was horrified.

"You mean to tell me that you will put creditors over your own daughter's health?"

"But these creditors are so frightening over the phone."

"Can you screen the calls?"

"You mean not take the calls from creditors? Won't these people write me lawyers' letters?"

She told me if I even pay them a small amount each month, they won't bother to have lawyers running after me.

And I went away from that meeting, sad that I would even put all those damn creditors ahead of my kids' needs and needs such as food, but was beginning to feel a bit empowered that I didn't have to take harassing phone calls from creditors, and that if I did take their calls, I could tell them to call me next week, or that I can't talk now. All those things I thought I couldn't do, because I wanted to placate them so badly. And leave my kids by the wayside. And that realization was no laughing matter.


Anonymous said...

Loved the video. How about combining your Beatles' passion with money: Money can't buy you love.....(I know, easy for me to say - really, I wish you great strength)


rabbi lars said...

keep writing the songs, and have all the money