Grappling with the mysteries of life and laughter

Categorized as 01/18/10 Goshen News column

Curiosity killed the cat. That’s what moms tell kids who ask questions they don’t want to answer.

Our boys have all been wired with inquiring minds and have posed lots of questions over the years. One of them in particular has been gifted with an especially curious brain. He consistently takes Twenty Questions to a whole new level.

I say this respectfully, realizing that this could be of great use if turned on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. But this isn’t the Bay and I’m not a detainee with important national secrets. I’m just a tired mom who’s trying to get dinner on the table, and that’s when it becomes a little too much.

Unfortunately, if I’m completely honest, I must admit that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. In fact, when I sat down to make a list of the things I’m curious about, in no time flat I had more than enough for one column. Here, then, is my list of “Important Things I’d Like to Know.” In it, I grapple with some of the deep mysteries of life.

For instance, why is it that when you drop your peanut butter and jelly bread, it always lands face down? However, if you drop your cat, he always lands on his feet? It happens every single time.

I actually heard a DJ address this one day. He even went so far as to wonder aloud what would happen if you strapped your sandwich to the cat’s back. That’s just ridiculous speculation in my opinion, and he should’ve cut to commercial about 30 seconds sooner.

How about this one? Have you ever noticed that some couples who’ve been married for a long time start to look like each other? Why is that? And if that’s to be our fate, I hope I end up with my husband’s clear blue eyes. However, I don’t think he’ll want my mop of curly hair, my double crown, or the built-in pom-poms I was born with, so I’m not thinking this will work for us.

Here’s another one for you. Why do men love action movies with gunfire and sweaty heroes silhouetted against a background of explosions while women just want love? Or movies about love, anyway.

I’ll admit to liking a good action adventure once in awhile. After all, I like seeing evil defeated, good winning out, and the girl being rescued just as much as the next guy. All I want is some balance here. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is, because every time I suggest some Hillary Duff, I get laughed clean out of town, over the state line, and into Buckeye country.

Oh, and speaking of bombs and gunfire, why does the volume have to be up in the red zone? To generalize, women seem to be more sensitive to noise while men are sensitive to light. This is more or less true for Mr. Schrock and me.

Now, light does bother me on occasion. After all, there was that whole “Whack-a-Bat” incident some years back when I awoke to a maniac flailing at a flying rodent with the broom under the glare of a megawatt floodlight.

Actually, it may have simply been our bedroom lamp, but seeing as how it was approximately 1:30 a.m. when the ruckus began, I do recall feeling a bit sensitive at the time. My gratitude at being saved from a rabid creature of death and a painful series of shots right in the stomach did, thankfully, help me recover and restored my husband to hero status.

Another question I have is this: why is it that when you’re not supposed to laugh, it makes it all the funnier? This has happened to me in church, in school, in chapel, after lights out in the dorm, and pretty much anywhere I shouldn’t be laughing.

There seems to be an unwritten law that the more solemn the occasion, the worse you get the giggles, especially if you’re sitting beside somebody else who thinks it’s funny. Passing notes in church and school was especially bad for stirring it up. It’s good that I’ve moved beyond that now and can usually sit through a service now without shaking the bench. Usually, I say. Usually.

Lastly, why on earth do men slap backs and punch arms by way of greeting? And why do they instinctively kick the tires and look under the hood (even if they have no idea what all those gears are) when shopping for vehicles? I’m stumped. After all, when we women meet, we give each other hugs, and when we shop for cars, we just go by color. It’s much easier that way.

I have no answers to these serious queries. I can tell you, though, that if you come up to say hi, I won’t slap your back, punch your arm, or kick your tires. Just don’t get me laughing in a solemn assembly, though, or all bets are off.

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