Toilets, poop stall and unibrows

It has been awhile since I have shared from a book I have read. A book I finished last week called: “Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer” by Una LaMarche was one of the better, more humorous books I have read in a while. The cover is classic. An early childhood photo of LaMarche with a unibrow. Such a clever title for a memoir, for someone who started early on in life having an actual unibrow. It spurred a conversation at work, if your very young child had very dark hair and a unibrow, would you do something about it, or let them get teased? Such a tough decision. You do not want them to think about their body, vanity, and waxing at such a young age, but if they are endlessly teased, what would you do?

LaMarche is hilarious. She covers a plethora of topics, from Barbies, to the etiquette for selecting which stall/toilet to go to in a bathroom, and which one is the “poop stall,” to Girl Scout cookies, I love this quote — how many of us wish we could just get our Girl Scout cookie fix via Amazon Prime (anytime of year).

“Yes, that’s right. Anyone can log onto this website to locate young girls anywhere in the country, and yet I cannot get my Tagalong fix using Amazon Prime shipping.” Page 184

I can relate to some aspects of LaMarche’s childhood. School was sometimes awkward. Maybe we all had a time growing up when life sucked, or when we maybe just did not fit in. For me it happened often throughout the years prior to college. Whether it was because of being poor and having hand-me-downs, or in not relating to my peers. We all probably had some sort of awkward stage growing up. Maybe we got that funky haircut, or went through a strange phase in how we dressed or what we thought was fun. Which is why I related to LaMarche:

“Because being loud about it is the only way that I know how to find other members of my tribe: yet-to-peak former outcasts with the dreaded ‘good personality’ of the previously homely. I just don’t feel safe otherwise. I mean, I can’t trust anyone who never had an awkward phase in high school. Those people are the real freaks.” Page 13

If you want to laugh, pick up Unabrow. I can assure you a cackle will escape your mouth. I had many dog-eared pages that I read to Chris to share her fun rants. Bathroom humor, childhood awkwardness, Amazon Prime for Tagalongs. All in good fun.

Give Laughter

I had never heard of Michael Jr. He is a comedian. I found him through the website: I Like Giving. I have found myself over the last few weeks going back and watching a video, absorbing it and then coming back at a later time for a new one.

He shares his story of “giving laughter.” I love that idea. I remember a cassette tape I listened to when I was young. The narrator told a story and at the end said to “Go and give a good time.” I think about that often when I am in a situation I do not want to be in or where I, for whatever reason, cannot get out of it. I think what could I do to give in this situation? There are a few ideas he shares that hit home:

“My punchline is to make laughter common place in uncommon places.”

You will want to listen to the part (at 1:48) about the little boy who had been abused by his mom, and how Michael Jr. connects to him through laughter. I had tears. He ends his interview with:

“If we could just stop asking the question: what can I get for myself, and start asking what can I give from myself.”

Enjoy, and maybe take a moment to see other videos shared on I Like Giving.

X

People amaze me.

I am a people person. I am fascinated by other individuals. What makes them tick. What inspires them. What makes them do the things they do (whether good or bad). Really each of us have our own modus operandi — and that is what I care about understanding. I want to know what fuels people to live their lives. What creates a fire in a person, what calls forth their badass self.

Due to the fact that people amaze me, I have also been called out for staring. Yes, I stare. I want to learn everything I can about someone. From what they wear to their accent, to how they treat others, to how they get the job done, to how they relax. It all matters to me. Ever last bit. I learn a lot from others. Sometimes it is poise, other times leadership, sometimes it is patience, or passion, or humor, but I believe that everyone is on this earth to teach us something. Often we do not even know what it is they are here to teach us, but we know that they are meant to be in our life for a reason.

What if we tried to suck the learnings from every individual we encounter each and everyday? We could learn a lot. Not just what we want to be and do, but what we do not want to be and do. I learned a lot from my parents and how I did not want to live my life. Maybe that has made me more cautious and maybe that has meant that I have often taken the safe route, but what I experienced with them meant that I had a life with constant unknowns (food, electricity, etc). All I wanted was to know that I would have the basic essentials every day. If I have that now, then generally speaking I am good to go.

Can you tell that about people? Can you tell what they need? Is it words of affirmation? Patience for their life situation? Humor to get them through the day? Whatever it may be, we each need something different. We each are amazing, and need each other to be our best selves. How are you helping someone else be amazing today?

A giggle, a cackle, a gut-deep laugh

I love hearing laughter, especially the full body kind that you can feel in your bones, that can be contagious. I love hearing my niece laugh. I am adamantly addicted to her and cannot go for more than a month or so without seeing again. She is growing up so fast. I vicariously see her through the videos my sister sends to me. She sent me a video of Charlie a few days ago (at 13 months) trying to put on her socks and shoes. She was like her Aunt Tami — relentless. She just kept trying and trying. It was so precious to watch her try to fit the shoe on her foot, and then open the velcro, and then when that still did not go on her foot, she tried her socks.

I am head over heels in love with that little munchkin, and one of the things I love most is her deep and utterly free laugh. So when I saw this video of this baby and dog, I instant thought of past videos of Charlie. The squeals of joy that come out of that baby!

X

What is not to love? Especially how similar it is to a much younger version of Charlie (maybe at 6 months)? I also included it below.

X

Irresistible right? I just want to eat her up. While I do not get to see her every day, I wonder as she gets older if it will be harder and harder to get her to giggle like that from head to toe. If only we could all giggle and laugh like that throughout our day. We got a bit slap happy at a work meeting yesterday where a few of us had tears in our eyes from laughing, but that at times is the closest we get to that uncontrollable laughter of a baby when they find something funny. Let’s try to laugh more.

Strangest Online April Fool’s Day

What was up with all the email marketing messages on April Fool’s Day? It was as though all the past years of my life April 1 did not happen. I do not remember a recent year where I received a marketing message about April Fools. Here is a random list of what I received (or heard about):

_A message from Redbox featuring a new product: Petbox, all the movies were pet renditions such as “Fifty Shades of Greyhound” or “Paws”
_A Facebook friend stated they received an email from West Elm that said: “Thanks for the recent order” — which linked to a furniture sale. Wonderful West Elm, put fear in your customer’s mind that they had been hit with identity theft. I wonder how many folks made purchases after receiving that email?
_Orbitz email subject line: “No joke” — but then the body of the email had nothing to do with the subject line
_6pm.com email subject line: “These deals are not a joke”
_Gap email subject line: “haha”
_Ann Taylor Loft email subject line: “Today, nothing’s on sale” — body says “April Fool’s Everything is 40% off”
_Banana Republic email subject line: “It’s no joke, 41% off”
_Clymb email subject line: “This is the smallest sale ever” — email body says: “Yeah Right.”
_Amazon homepage went retro showing an early 2000’s version of what their site would have looked like. I honestly thought they had lost it.
_A local Apple dealer sent out an email advertising a new product called “The Awesome.” Check out the link and you will get the joke.
_At work, an announcement went out that construction on a parking lot was halted due to the discovery of an ancient settlement and the artifacts found. Once you read about the “artifacts” listed you knew it was a spoof.

Did some massive digital announcement go out to marketers to make 2015 the Year of April Fools? I have never in my life seen so much focus on it. I find it odd actually. None of the direct marketing emails I received were really even funny at all. Come on world, we can do better.