Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rules for Everyday Senseless Joy

*1. *After all clumsy, embarrassing moments, you must curtsy.

*2. *Call up your best friend once a month—and play her favorite song,
anonymously without one word—making sure that you hear her rustle,
sit-dancing in her office chair.

*3. *Close your eyes when you drink orange juice. It makes it taste better.

*4.* Make up a lovable name for your least favorite body part. Like Irene.
Nobody hates a thigh named Irene.

*5.* While you're driving behind a school bus with kids at the windows
waving to everyone in cars, you must wave back—and honk three times.

*6.* When in doubt, add extra garlic, extra butter or extra bubble bath.

*7. *Always scan your dimes for the date. Dimes, unlike pennies and
quarters, do not tarnish. One that's three times your age gives you a whole
new perspective on how to get older—without losing your shine.

*8. *To-do lists and angry letters to the phone or electric company must be
written in silver glitter ink.

*9.* You may not leave the house without smelling the top of the head of
your child, partner or pet. Inhale their scent (even if it's unwashed) for
at least two breaths.

*10. *Once a year, take yourself out for a mandatory lunch at a restaurant
with fancy waiters. Sit at a table for four. Order three courses, including
wine and a dish that must be set on fire.

*11.* If you're watching a comedy, laugh. If you're watching a tearjerker,
cry. If you're watching a ballroom dance show, dance—preferably in some kind
of spangled, neon, rhinestone-bedazzled, midriff-baring outfit.

*12. *Keep your cat, childhood teddy bear or even one of those microfiber
cleaning cloths (which, by the way, do work better than plain old rags) in
reach at all times. Studies have proven that soft, fuzzy objects defeat the

*13. *Prior to visiting your parents, you are required to watch Bruce and
Esther Huffman from McMinnville, Oregon, test out their new

*14. *All stickers offered to you by someone under the age of 13 must be
accepted, slapped on and worn for at least one hour. Preferably on your

*15. *Never delete accidentally dialed voice messages from family. Listening
to your nieces and nephews sing "Jingle Bells" as they walk to school, for
example—complete with thumps and breathing and indecipherable muttering
about haircuts—turns a boring afternoon at work into a visit home.

*16.* Saying no to cotton candy 'fairy flosss' is strictly forbidden.

*17. *If you hear a person crying in the bathroom, pass them a wad of tissue
under the stall—without a word.

*18.* Each time you pass a street musician playing the instrument that you
quit as a child, place one crisp, full dollar in the cup and wait until the
absolute end of the song to applaud.

*19. *Always note how the foam on a cappuccino magically parts when you add
sugar, then closes right back up.

*20. *At least once in your life, pour a bottle of dish soap into a bubbling
outdoor public fountain.

*21.* Never go to bed without looking up at the ceiling and thanking it for
keeping out the rain.

-- Leigh Newman