Friday, May 06, 2005

I have a cat...

This post has absolutely nothing to do with a cat. If you are looking for feline whitdom, read no further. I repeat...this is not about a cat.

What the heck?

I am just sitting here laughing because that phrase is actually an inside joke among my girlfriends. It would take too long to go into, but suffice it to say that one of them is a flight attendant and that was a bizarre explanation she got on a flight when asking a first class passenger why she had taken EVERYTHING from the food tray. (I know, it makes absolutely no sense, and that's what makes it funny.)

I've got another one -- "Shut Up! I'm in control here." Aren't you just rolling on the floor laughing? No? Oh, I guess you weren't there for that story either.

Ok,'s one..."I think I need some punch!"

Alright, it is clear that I have completely lost you now. See, all those are part of some inside jokes among my friends and my co-workers. And a person needs only to utter one of those words, and we all crack up...without further explanation because we know what the joke is.

I wonder how many people around us think that we've gone stark raving mad when we launch into our antics. We have been known to get strange looks at restaurants when we all get together and start giggling and then revert back to all the inside jokes that are thrown out at well-placed intervals. We've shut down a restaurant or two only to go outside on the patio and continue until the wait staff is going home for the night. We were celebrating a birthday last weekend in an Italian restaurant and every group at tables around us commented as they left -- usually referring to one of random inside jokes that must have kept them bamboozled all during their linguini while they tried to figure out the origin. Our waiter came over before we left to hug the birthday girl and to comment on what a happy group we were -- that we were fun.
(You have to keep in mind -- we're old! The birthday girl was 50 -- and everyone knows that grown-ups have less and less fun with each year. **she removes tongue from cheek**)

I think the thing I like most about inside jokes (not the mean kind that are done at someone's expense) is that they remind us that we have a shared history with the people we are laughing with. They remind us of another time that we have been together and laughed...and that we are on a journey. It summons up the memory of the pleasure of being real with one another, and many times the jokes are just laughing at ourselves...of something silly we did.

I have also found that they can provide levity when brought out at the proper time...during a time of grief to recall a happy memory...during a time of frustration to remind us that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously...during a time of doubt to bolster our resolve.

So take a few minutes to think about the personal inside jokes that you share with friends or family and then enjoy how it makes you feel to trot them out when you are together.

Dog chair brush comb hat!
(that's a joke)


At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Barsha Lou said...

I did click on hoping for some hairball ha-ha's. Because "I have a cat(s)" . It was to my delight to find your comments about waitstaff and inside jokes. My mind lingered on the evening with fi-fi...pretty in pink as she was and my own very personal gift of "fur" ala-don't mess with my stuff. That too is an inside joke and as you say... makes the nine 'sisterhood of the gathering fur- girls' that were there that night ...all the more a wonderful part of my history.


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