I first heard a long time ago that it’s good for us to laugh. Laughter does not always come easily to me; I think that’s why I love my sons so much. They are two people who can make me laugh when nothing seems funny. Perhaps because we’ve been so close for so long, we share a common sensibility.
My sense of humor is a little dark. I love my boyfriend, but sometimes the things that make me laugh the hardest weird him out. We went to a play once where the humor was based on the main character’s brother supposedly having acted out the gross misdeeds that the main character had written about as fiction. I’ll have to read the play again and talk about it some more, but it involved things like cutting off children’s toes and it was hysterically funny. My boyfriend (who was my boyfriend then and is my boyfriend now, though we had a long hiatus in between) kept casting these long sideways looks at me as tears of laughter were rolling down my face and I was doubled up. The toe cutting thing just wasn’t doing it for him.
So this past weekend, I was listening to one of my favorite NPR shows, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” Favorite because it manages to mix comedy and politics and usually makes me laugh out loud at least twice in an hour. I figure that that’s got to be good for mental health. This past Saturday, they got to the part where they introduced Swedish Death Cleaning. Now, apparently I live in a box, because I went to look this up, and articles about it are everywhere, but I had not heard of it, and the way Peter Sagal described it made it sound like the funniest thing ever. You’re supposed to get rid of everything that no one else will want after you die.
I will admit right here to being in strong contention for America’s Lousiest Housewife. My mother told me when I was a teenager that I would be a terrible wife (this when I refused to clean the ancient canning jars full of leftovers out of the fridge), and I’m afraid that she was right. I’m not much of a cook, except for one lentil soup recipe and brownies from a box (guess what you’ll be getting if you come to dinner!), and I have problems figuring out how to get rid of my stuff properly. I suspect this might be a little OCD. Is it recycling? Does my city recycle it? If not, could I get someone else to take it? Or is it compost? Or is it just trash? Meanwhile, it’s sitting there moldering. I’m the daughter of a hoarder, so I suppose this is not all that surprising, but it does distress me. The last time we moved, I found a small apartment, thinking we wouldn’t have room for so much stuff. So now we have a small space with all of our junk in it.
I read the Kon-Mari book with interest. It might work, given world enough and time…but Swedish Death Cleaning. I like the sound of that. Now if only they had Swedish Death Recycling. I told my boyfriend (I’m going to call him Jim) about it, and his immediate response was “Well, no one’s going to want my underwear after I’m gone.”
I think I could spend the rest of my life laughing to myself at the idea of Jim’s walking around without underwear, because no one would want it after he died.