Friday, November 17, 2006

Bell Ringing, Car Tunes, Silly Family

I was utterly selfish yesterday and took most of the day off. I was in bed by 10 am, and I didn't wake up again until 3 pm. It felt wonderful. I made up for my sinful ways by folding two loads of laundry and washing all of the dishes before the boys got home.

On Tuesday night after work, Chester, Ben and I went to ShopKo to look for snowpants and boots for the little guy. They, like Walmart, didn't have anything in his size, but Chester and I bought some new shoes for ourselves.

On the way in, I made Chester raid our coin bucket in the car so I'd have some money to give the Salvation Army bell ringer. My mom always gave, no matter how little money we had, even if all we had to spare was a nickle. Now as an adult, I can't go by a bell ringer without dropping something into his pail.

The bell ringer on Tuesday night was someone special. He was ringing his bell, but he was also dancing a bit and singing Christmas carols. I loved it.

Chester agreed with me that I'd make a great bell ringer too, since I have no qualms about singing Christmas songs and doing little jigs in front of strangers. I'm forever embarrassing him in stores by dancing and singing while I'm pushing the cart down the aisles. Lately, I can just say I'm entertaining The Boy, but I used to do it even without a baby in the audience. Why on earth to they play Muzak in the stores if they don't intend people to dance along?

I think it's a family thing. My brother does it too, his wife reports. And he's a curmudgeonly, gruff, bear of a man.

Along the same lines, but a little more private, my sister and I had a game we called "Car Tunes." We lived together for about a year in college, and when we'd drive up north to see our parents or when we'd just be going to the grocery store, we'd turn on the radio and sing along. But we wouldn't necessarily try to make it sound good. We'd sing at the top of our lungs or in goofy voices with odd inflections. It was a riot. We'd always end up giggling.

Chester and I have made sure that we have a silly family, too. We're always acting goofy, talking in silly voices, making silly faces at each other. I hope frivolity comes as easily to Ben and his (maybe) future siblings as it does with me and my siblings. It really adds a wonderful dimension to life, because it means we can almost always entertain ourselves in public. As long as there's a song playing on the speakers or in our head, we'll have something to keep us occupied.