Life’s Stupid Paradox
Friday night we went out for our bimonthly treat – kiddie-size low-fat frozen yogurt (We are SO good). We were sitting in the car with our minuscule snack listening to the Grand Ole Opry. (Don’t even ask – let’s just say my husband has a serious Sirius issue.)
Little Jimmy Dickens told the same joke he’s been telling for about 50 years (he’s 91). Of course, just because he’s been telling it for fifty years doesn’t even mean it’s original. This joke could go back to the middle ages for all I know.
Anyway, Little Jimmy’s joke:
My wife said, ‘Do you want to run upstairs and make love?’
And I said, “I cannot do both.”
And even though the Grand Ole Opry is not exactly on my regular playlist, I have heard Little Jimmy tell this joke a dozen times.
But I laugh every time.
Because there is an elemental truth to this joke. Life is full of exasperating ironies.
As a little girl, it didn’t take me long to recognize the unfair, maddening paradoxes of Life.
Mom and Dad certainly helped.
“You can do ANYTHING you want,” they said encouragingly. “Absolutely anything.”
But I found out pretty quick that it isn’t quite absolutely anything.
For instance, I couldn’t:
Stay up past my bedtime.
Have a Hershey bar for breakfast.
Wear makeup to third grade.
Ride my bike in the street.
Cut my own hair.
Tell my little brother that there was no Santa Claus.
And about a zillion other things. But besides that zillion… oh yeah, absolutely anything.
Then there was high school. Leaving the house with my date, my Mom would call out, “Have Fun! Be Good!”
I wish my teenage self knew Little Jimmy’s joke: “I cannot do both.”
My career taught me the greatest irony of all: The “Work/Life Balance.”
Ha! (and I know you are all laughing your asses off too). The Work/Life Balance means that you can succeed at Work as long as you have no Life.
And the hits just keep on coming.
In my new passion to get healthy, I added a couple of Zumba classes to my Yoga practice. I attend Yoga classes in a beautiful old studio… up three LONG steep flights of stairs. Some days just getting to the top of the steps is challenge enough.
And then there’s Zumba. The gym I joined has the slantiest parking lot in town. I don’t need to do any biceps curls. Opening the car door is an uphill workout.
Do I really have to exercise before I exercise?
And now I see that Life’s Stupid Paradox has even more in store for me.
My mother is eighty-eight. It’s a good thing she has all day to get her errands done. Because the wonderfully amazing huge supermarkets allow you to buy ANYTHING you want, any time you want. How convenient.
But there’s a hitch. (of course). My mother can’t buy bread and milk on the same day. Because the bread is at one end of the store. The milk is at the other.
And she can’t walk that far.