So am I really an optimist?
Anyone who knows me know I have my fair share of less-than-bouncy days, but for the most part even days like that can’t affect me for long, and I don’t remember ever making it through a day without laughter, and I hope it never happens.
What made me realize that my ability to laugh at anything was recognized (if not always appropriate!) was the story my dear friend Lindsey told at her wedding. I was honoured to be a part of her wedding party, and as she introduced us to her guests she introduced me something like this:
“Then we have my friend Anna, who has been by side through everything, and who is always there for me (and I quote)… “when I’m laughing, she’s laughing; when I’m crying, she’s laughing.”
Oh Lindsey, I love you and always will.
And it was true. Is true.
Whether it’s boys, hair or serious injury and embarrassment, I am not a good sympathetic friend.
This culminated in a memorable incident when we took a trip together to Mexico too many moons ago (before digital cameras, you will notice), and Lindsey managed to split her head open, perfectly sober, on the soap dish in the shower. It was our first full day there.
For the record, I remained cool and collected while I stopped the spurting blood with an oh-so-white towel and made sure I was using clean bottled water to wash off some of the damage so we didn’t scare any small children on our way to the infirmary.
As the chasm in Lindsey’s head showed no sign of closing itself, we high-tailed it to the clinic on the resort where a quick release of the towel made the need for stitches obvious. (In retelling this story, I am feeling a little bad for you, Linz. Better late than never.)
There followed much confusion as we did not speak Spanish and the stitcher (I daren’t assume he was a doctor) did not speak English. A guard came to help. He did not help. Lindsey does not take freezing well and wanted them to just go ahead and stitch it up. They were determined to numb her no matter how many needles it took. Lindsey was ready to turn that needle around and do some numbing of her own.
At long last the stitches were in. The guard then translated the rules Lindsey was to follow: Stay out of the sun, try not to get it wet, and don’t drink any alcohol with the medication we are giving you, which is a questionable white powder you have to mix with water and drink regularly.
We were in MEXICO. These rules were HILARIOUS. I was doubled over. Lindsey was not.
Then they gave her the band-aid. This was the final straw. The nurse put a bright yellow circle in the center of Lindsey’s forehead to cover and protect the stitches, and with translation from the guard, managed to suggest she should draw a smiley face on it to make Lindsey feel better.
Needless to say, this did not make Lindsey feel better. But hoooooooo boy, was I having a hard time. You know that feeling when you want so badly to laugh but know equally strongly that now is NOT the time? (Ever seen someone take a good tumble down (or up) some stairs?) Every fiber of my being was fighting it, but then Lindsey, who had no mirror, looked at me to ask “Is it noticeable?”
It was over.
Between howls and giggles I managed to gasp, “You’ll totally think this is funny when you look back on it!”
She wasn’t ready for that yet.
I tried “It’ll give you something to talk about, everyone will know you!”
She wasn’t ready for that either.
Lindsey, I’m sorry.
But as I write this I am still laughing uncontrollably.
And I couldn’t be more thankful to have a friend like you who is willing to accept me despite this quirk, and who even loves me for it. And if you ever need me, you know I’m here for you, even if I am laughing a little. And I won’t leave you alone till you’re laughing too, I promise.