I wish I could bottle that joy

It took months of nagging, but the youngest finally got her dental appointment last weekend. I’ve never seen a child so intent on having their teeth checked and slathered with flouride. Weirdo.

She gets obsessed with the funniest things  –  there’s also been an extended campaign for new pyjamas.

Not just any pyjamas, only a long john style onesie in natural fibres will do. Most onesies are made from polyester, which irritates her eczema. I managed to find a cotton one at Peter Alexander about three years ago that she’s still shoehorning herself into, but it’s getting rather snug.

She LOVES that onesie, especially the bum flap that means she doesn’t need to undress in the depths of winter to do a wee.

So I was finally talked into visiting Peter Alexander to replace it.

Tip: Peter Alexander is a VERY expensive shop. I went a bit pale when I saw the price tags. There also weren’t any onesies. All she could find was a pair of pants in the same fabric as her beloved onesie, priced at a jaw dropping $69. What the faaaaaaark?

We were about to trail out of the shop empty handed when we saw a pyjama set on sale in the favoured fabric that she was prepared to grudgingly accept despite it being a two-piece with no bum flap.

And then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted PJ nirvana – the only onesie in the shop! It was an XS women’s, so it was a few sizes too big for her, and it was covered in a Dr Seuss Thing 1/Thing 2 pattern and it was priced at $110 …

I’ll let you cogitate that. They sell adult-sized Thing 1/Thing 2 onesies for $110 …

What grown woman wears a Thing 1/Thing 2 onesie and pays $110 for the privilege?

Luckily for us, it had been reduced to the “bargain” price of $85. Woot!

Anyways, the youngest was blitzed. She ponied up the last of her birthday money and we went halves in it. I figured it was outrageously over-priced, but would last her three years, so what the hell.

The moment we got home, she put it on and started dancing around the kitchen in rapture, bubbling with joy, professing her love for it and thanking me over and over again.

It was quite delightful to watch and impossible to be glum in the face of such simple happiness.

I’m cherishing that childish enthusiasm while it lasts – those teenage hormones can be a bitch when they kick in.

Mind you, the middle-aged ones aren’t much fun either. I’m sensing peri-menopause will be challenging.

My way of dealing with the emotional rollercoaster is humour.

I had a dinner party in stitches last month – one woman even suggested I should become a comedian.

When I left, so did the “high”. I felt bleak and ashamed by my outrageous behaviour.

Ever since, I’ve been thinking about the many comedians who’ve battled mental health issues.

In 2014, academics from the University of Oxford published the results of research into comedians’ psychological traits.

Professor Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, studied personality questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US and Australia.

“We found that comedians had a rather unusual personality profile, which was rather contradictory,” Prof Claridge noted.

“On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic … Possibly the comedy – the extroverted side – is a way of dealing with the depressive side.”

That joking can be a double-edged mask – it means people don’t understand there’s a problem.

Judy Carter writes at Psychology Today: “After Robin Williams’ death to suicide, John Belushi’s overdoses or Richard Jeni’s suicide, there were people who couldn’t believe it and said, “But, they were SO funny!” Comics, however, understood. We know that the funniest people are surrounded by darkness. The deeper the black hole, the more humour you need to dig yourself out of it.”

I understand that feeling. Things got pretty rough for me about eight years ago, but few people realised because the jokes kept coming.

The clouds didn’t start to lift until my marriage break-up shocked me out of my haze. It’s weird that something so awful could result in something so positive.

Because I kept laughing through it all – and making others laugh – no one took me seriously when I’d hint that I was struggling.

I reckon the relationship counsellor we saw in those last awful months of our marriage is probably still baffled by what went wrong – we were quite the comedy duo in his office each week.

Where am I going with this? Gawd, there’s too much to try and explain in a blog post.

But, if there’s a “comedian” in your life, check the laughter is in their eyes, not just on their tongue.

And don’t ask “Are you OK?” if the only answer you want to hear is “yes”.

Song of the day: Smokey Robinson “Tears of a clown”

2 thoughts on “I wish I could bottle that joy

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