Freitag, 13. März 2015

Cloud-like pancakes (again) + why I am going to buy fifteen sofas.

Do you want me to tell you what I do when circumstances create a really bad situation? 
I say something funny – something that does not match the seriousness of the situation at all. 

No problem can be so big and no challenge so profound that I could not make fun of it in the face of the worries that usually accompany it (note: circumstances never come alone –  they always bring the matching fear along to make sure you’re not bored, and have something to occupy your brain with!). 

And I unknowingly found out that it facilitates instant betterment for all such cases – and I also know why this is so. 

Circumstances want DRAMA, all old-style Hollywood movie with “OMG, everything is so bad, we will die/go bankrupt/starve/be lonesome and alone/fail/won’t make it/etc….”. 
So, at any rate, everything is very, very, very awful, you know what I mean. 

Imagine if someone who really wants to scare you, plants himself in front of you – and all you say to him is: “on a different note: I think your pants are one size too small. Looks like they cut into your thighs.” 

Excuse me, but is this intimidating at all? 
Would you feel that you are taken seriously – as the scare monger and all? 
Doesn’t the whole affair lose its effect a little, when the vis-à-vis does not treat it with the appropriate respect? 

Well, I don’t know.
I would feel a little silly. 

And this is why I decided: 
When everything seems totally awful (note: “seems”. What on earth could be totally awful for me? = what couldn’t God handle perfectly?) – when everything calls for drama and big emotions…I simply crack a joke. 
It doesn’t even have to be particularly funny – main thing is to take away the seriousness and heaviness. 

Admittedly, if you are mad, sad, devastated or depressed at the moment, one of the last things you want to do is laugh about it.  
That’s when I do it ANYWAY. 
Absolutely on purpose.

I will show you with a harmless example from last week-end, so that you understand the principle. 
My husband and I are out and about, talking about a financial investment concerning the loft. 

This discussion turns a little heated all of a sudden – LOL, bone of contention #1 between couples: money. Classic! And by no means a good thing. 
I am mad (only, because I, of course, have every reason to be mad!), he is, too (although he, of course, has absolutely no reason to be mad!), and then he says in an angry tone of voice: 
"Once we have concluded this and that project, you can buy a sofa. Then…well, then you can buy TWO sofas, for all I care!” 
Me (still angry, too): "No, then I want to buy…THREE sofas. No, FOUR.” 
He: "Then you can buy FIFTEEN sofas.” 
He: "You can fill the WHOLE HOUSE with sofas.” 
Me: "I want to plaster the whole STREET with sofas.” 
Me: "My sofas shall reach beyond the country’s borders…” 

And so on.

I admit, it wasn’t a peak performance in terms of humor, but that unpleasant tension was suddenly completely gone. 
Nothing was bad anymore, with or without sofa, doesn’t matter anyway. 
No further discussion, no arguments, no “talking things out”. 
(and no, the argument wasn’t even about a sofa ;)).

If a frustrated Noelle writes to me from the States that “right now she forgets or loses everything that’s important”, of course I write back to her: 
"But that’s no problem, honey, the Americans have very potent Alzheimer medication. They are not even approved of here yet!”  

You get the principle?

I read in an advice column in a women’s magazine recently that one shouldn’t make fun of problems, as “the Universe” does not like humor or irony, and it would only aggravate things.  

I think this is the biggest nonsense of all times! 
If I have to mean everything just as I say it – I might as well die on the spot, because then all of this would not be no fun anymore. 
If I can’t make fun of the circumstances, everything will be infinitely difficult and complicated. 
(If, on the other hand, I make fun of it, circumstances might be just as difficult afterwards, but I won’t PERCEIVE them as such ;)).  
A day when you did not say something silly to make others smile is a bad day, in my eyes. 

Once you notice that there is a certain area in your life that you cannot (aren’t permitted/shouldn’t) make jokes about, it is most certainly the one area that creates the most tension and that needs it the most.  
Best to crack 5 jokes about it, and tell them to somebody, you’ll see! 

My motto in life is:
Rather say silly things five times too often than live with too little humor in your everyday life. 
Rather look at everything with a sense of humor than to attach too much importance to things and thus make everything difficult. 
Rather shock others briefly (many are not used to someone being silly and their initial reaction is one of distress or horror – even my readers ;)) than no fun at all in life, right? 

"But Joanna, I can’t do funny at all.” 

Oh, no big deal, you can actually practice it! 
Unfortunately I cannot pin it to concrete examples to teach you, because these are nearly without exception situations that are funny only in context, but the more often you do it, the easier it gets. 
I see this with my children, they have grown up in this atmosphere and at least the girls are well-versed in the art of retelling even obviously bad situations sometimes with such humor and irony that you can’t but cry laughing – and Ben isn’t far behind ;). 

(Important note here: small children do not understand irony, so please never make fun at their expense or make sarcastic comments. Big, huge exception!) 

Maybe all of this does not sound like the big revelation or revolutionary insight, but next time the theatre in your head plays a movie with the title: 
 “OMG, everything is so bad, we will die/go bankrupt/starve/be lonesome and alone/fail/won’t make it/etc….”, you will just say in a loud and serious voice to someone: 

"Yes, true. But at least I went to get my hair done last week and don’t have to die bankrupt AND ugly. Because THAT would be the worst.” 


Btw, my jacket is from Oakwood, my skirt from Zara (unfortunately already 2 years old), and my vest from the flea market.  

You will find the recipe for the fluffiest cloud-like pancakes HERE, at the very bottom. 

I had them yesterday with half a fresh mango, chopped, caramelized almonds and frozen raspberries – so good! 

This post was translated by Eva Ginnell.

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