By Barb Upchurch
I was rushing around to get my eight year old daughter out the door to Sunday school and yelled down the stairs “Vivian, are you ready?” I hear the tapping of computer keys which I assume is Angry Birds, and a faint “Yes.” Her idea of ready was obviously clouded by computer games, as she had no shoes or socks, and her hair looked like it was attacked by REALLY angry birds.
We were going to be late. As the daughter of a Navy officer, I HATE to be late, it has been ingrained in me since birth. As we screeched away from our home, I was racing towards St Paul’s lecturing Viv on the virtues of being ready if you say you are ready. She interrupts loudly to say, “Ummm, excuse me Mama, but I think I MAY have forgotten my panties.”
The squeal of my car breaks erupts! There are many things you can forget to bring to church, but panties is not one of them! I was anxiously trying to hold back the tears… of laughter! NO, I can’t burst out loud laughing, but it is SO FUNNY! Yes, I was mad that she was not ready and we were late, but it was worth it for this little nugget of a story which would one day be told at Viv’s rehearsal dinner.
I used to think that weird stuff like this happened just to me, but I have since learned that it’s about seeing the funny in life. Taking an improv comedy class and performing in a show every weekend for two years really helped me get it. Was I the best improviser? No, but I loved to laugh, particularly at myself. Comedy is all about using your perspective to see the funny, and once you start thinking this way, you can’t turn it off and everything becomes hilarious! This is why most good stand-up comedians talk about the mundane with a unique viewpoint. This is why Mary Foley (who forgot her pants, too!) and I have such a good time together; she can see the funny, too!
If you would like to start laughing at the adversity in your life, read The Comedy Bible. Carry a notepad to jot down those things in your life that could be a funny story. Free yourself to the laughter and check out a show at your local comedy theater. If you need help to get going, feel free to infuse this activity with a Barbtini (see below). It is guaranteed to make things much funnier (at least temporarily!)
Recently I was writing a toast for my sister’s wedding and was reminded about our trip to Singapore to visit our Dad when she was Viv’s age. Apparently my mother let her pack her own bag??? Boy, was my Dad thrilled when he learned that Eileen has the best dressed Barbie Dolls on the island, but forgot to bring any of her own clothes (choice words accompanied this moment). Every photo of Eileen was in my Dad’s company t-shirt that she wore as a dress. And yes, she forgot her panties too!
About Barb Upchurch
Barb Upchurch is a marketing maven and small-business guru. She has worked in marketing and small-business development for more than 20 years, and has 10 years of experience with artists, designers, food entrepreneurs, and start-up businesses. Her company, Blueberry Marketing, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Her secret is to give practical, everyday advice that she has learned from years of experience, with a bit of fun included! Barb finds a way to see the funny is every situation, no matter how challenging. She educates on all facets of marketing and business strategy for entrepreneurs, and is available for workshops, keynotes and as a business coach. For more, go to barbupchurch.com
2 oz Stoli Blueberry Vodka
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
10 Fresh Blueberries
Take 5 blueberries, Stoli blueberry vodka, sweet vermouth and lemon juice in cocktail shaker and muddle blueberries. Add ice cubes in cocktail shaker until 2/3 full. Shake thoroughly until icy chilled. Strain and pour your Barbtini into chilled martini glass. Garnish with additional blueberries and some great girlfriends!
Photo and article used with permission by Barb Upchurch.