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Posts Tagged ‘Grandparent Humor’

We just spent several hours observing teenagers hanging out at our local mall.

We came to the conclusion that many teenagers in America today are living in poverty.  Most young men we observed didn’t even own a belt; there was not one among the whole group.

But that wasn’t the sad part.  Many were wearing their daddy’s jeans.  Some jeans were so big and baggy they hung low on their hips, exposing their underwear.  We know some must have been ashamed their daddy was short, because his jeans hardly went below their knees.  They weren’t even their daddies’ good jeans, for most had holes ripped in the knees and a dirty look to them.

It grieved us, in a modern, affluent society like America, that there are those who can’t afford a decent pair of jeans.  We were thinking about asking our church to start a jeans drive for “poor kids at the mall.”  Then, on Christmas Eve, we could go Christmas caroling at the mall and distribute jeans to these poor teenagers.

But here is the saddest part…it was the girls they were hanging out with that disturbed us most.  Never, in all of our lives, have we seen such poverty-stricken girls.  These girls had the opposite problem of the guys.  They all had to wear their little sister’s clothes.  Their jeans were about 5 sizes too small!

We don’t know how they could get them on, let alone button them up.  Their jeans barely went over their hip bones.  Most also had on their little sister’s top; it hardly covered their midsections.  Oh, they were trying to hold their heads up with pride, but it was a sad sight to see these almost grown women wearing children’s clothes.

However, it was their underwear that bothered us most.  They, like they boys, because of the improper fitting of their clothes, had their underwear exposed.  We had never seen anything like it.  It looked like their underwear was only held together by a single piece of string.

We know it saddens your heart to receive this report on the condition of our American teenagers.  While we go to bed every night with closets full of clothes nearby, there are millions of “mall girls” who barely have enough material to keep it together.  We think their “poorness” is why these 2 groups gather at the mall; boys with their short daddies’ ripped jeans, and girls wearing their younger sisters’ clothes.  The mall is one place where they can find acceptance.  So, next time you are at the mall, doing your shopping, and you pass by some of these poor teenagers, would you say a prayer for them?

One more thing:  Will you pray the guys’ pants won’t fall down, and the girls’ strings wont’ break?

We thank you all,

Two Concerned Grandmothers

[author unknown]

Happy Eating Lard

Happy Eating Lard

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I roared with laughter when I received this from a friend in Washington State.  It’s too much!

Mail Man Male Box

Mail Man Male Box

I love humor that pokes fun at our humanness, even if it takes it to the edge. If you can’t laugh at yourself and life around you, then life will take you down.  Comedy and laughter is our way of laughing in the face of life.  I can appreciate Hawkeye’s sense of humor in the old T.V. sitcom M.A.S.H. Faced with such incredible tragedy, suffering and futility, his humor helped to keep him sane and face each day.

Some people take their self too seriously. This gives to them an overly important view of their self and their life and the part they play in the world.  However, a proper perspective of our lives will reveal that at the end of the day “from dust we came and to dust we will return.”  Someone put it into perspective when they commented that “After people attend your funeral, they will go back to the church basement (or home) and eat potato salad.”  In other words, life will go on.  Babies will be born, children will go to school, birthdays will continue and memories of us will fade.  We will be the lucky ones if anything we have done warrants a mention in a newspaper article (besides the obit) or a chapter in a book.

Humor and laughter helps put us in our place.  We realize that we are frail.  Life is but smoke and mirrors.  Soon our imprint upon earth will fade away and the impressions we made upon people’s lives will slowly dissipate like a morning mist to the Sun.  Humor and laughter lets us laugh at life’s futility and enjoy the existential moment of our existence.  It helps us to be fully present and alive in every way.  To lose it is to lose our way and forget what we are and what we, in the end, will become.

Even in the face of tragedy, we can find humor and discover laughter. This is probably what Hawkeye discovered the most in the M.A.S.H. unit in Korea.  It is not so much irreverence for the seriousness of the moment but bravery; like spitting in the face of your meanest adversary, it looks horror in the eye and laughs in derision.  “You cannot hurt me!  You cannot touch me!”

I remember a friend telling me about the last time he saw his mother alive. She had been very ill with cancer.  The nurses were getting ready to wheel her into the surgery room.  As he watched his mother being wheeled away, neither one knowing that this would be their last moment together, she turned to him with a smile in her eye and…stuck her tongue out at him, then smiled as she disappeared through the double doors.  She would not make it through surgery.  However, he appreciated having that last moment between his mom and him.  She could always find the good, the humor, the laughter in life.

Humor and laughter awake in us the joy of living in the moment.  It enables us to continue life’s journey with strength and poise.  It says to the world, “I know I’m not here long.  But what time I do have I will live in strength and joy.  I will laugh at your attempts to pull me down.  I will laugh at my own frailties and foibles because I know who I am.  In the end, it is I who will have the last laugh.  There is One greater than you or me who will come for me.”

A few years ago, we buried my grandmother, Beulah Stalnaker. According to her family plans and her wishes, she had been cremated.  A small but beautiful memorial service was held in her honor.  A day or so later, at a family graveside service next to where grandpa Stalnaker was buried, we committed her ashes to the ground.  Grandma loved ice cream.  So, someone suggested we go to a local ice cream parlor for some ice cream treats.  As the family was departing the graveyard, the little old undertaker, who had waited patiently while during the final good-byes, was pushing the dirt in the hole that was made to receive grandmother’s ashes before we were even off the property.  As we headed out the gate the family members watched as he jumped up and down on my grandmother’s burial plot to set the sod back in place!  Instead of being horrified, everyone laughed.  They were still laughing over their ice cream a half hour later.  This was no chuckles.  These were side splitting guffaws!

Well, perhaps our family is a little unusual after all. However, laughter and joy suits us well.  It is probably one reason my life’s missions statement is “to finish strong and finish laughing”.  I’m hoping that after my funeral or graveside service, people go back to the church basement or homes and laugh so hard with memories we’ve had together that they blow potato salad out their noses.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2009)

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