Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Hindsight Columnist

To say the least, my husband was a bit surprised when I told him about my newspaper gig. “A humor column?” he asked. “You?”

“Yes,” I said, defensively. “I’m a hoot!”

“When it comes to funny,” he said. “You’re not even first runner-up in our family. It goes me, then Zack, and maybe you.” Zack, remember, isn’t even 3 yet, and apparently his humor-ranking exceeds mine. But this comes from a man who trained our daughter to say on cue, “Dad, you’re a comedic genius.” He’s just jealous.

But I have to admit that I am “humor delayed.” I’m that person who thinks of the perfect comeback 5 hours after the conversation in question has ended. I have great arguments with my husband while I’m driving. Of course he’s not in the car at the time. “Are you talking to yourself again?” Kaleb, my oldest child, will ask from the backseat. “Yes, son,” I answer. “Mommy’s talking to herself again.”

I’m a basket case, a stress monger, an anxiety queen. In fact, for about three years I referred to myself as Worst-Case Scenario Mamma. I think that’s self-explanatory. So I don’t believe many people describe me as laidback, careless, witty. But hindsight is hilarious. I can look back on most hectic experiences and belly-laugh.

Here are some examples. Somehow your 2-year old daughter makes it to church wearing a cute little sundress and no diaper. When she throws a tantrum, you haul her from the chapel with her dress hiked up to her waist. Unbeknownst to you, she’s commando, mooning the back half of the congregation on your way out the pew. In the moment? Not so funny. Hindsight? Hilarious.

Here’s another one. You take your son to the doctor because his pee is pink. Now this one’s really not funny in the moment. The doctor’s nervous. The nurses are nervous. When you bring the pink specimen to the hospital, even the technicians are nervous. But the tests return negative. On your way home your son says, “I ate a red crayon yesterday. Could that make my pee pink?” Hindsight? Hilarious.

Or how about this? Your basement floods just five months after you move into your new home in Idaho Falls. The plumber comes, augers both your basement and your toilet drains only to break the news: you need a new sewer main. In the moment? Not so funny. Hindsight? Okay, so that one’s never funny no matter how much time passes. But you get the point.

So don’t come to my home expecting the housewife comedian, because I’m never off-the-cuff funny. To my husband, however, all the world’s a stage and he is (if you ask my daughter, anyway) a comedic genius. Me? I’ll be talking to myself as I drive my son to kindergarten.

“Are you talking to yourself again, Mom?” Kaleb will ask.

“Nope,” I’ll say. “Mommy’s just writing her humor column.”

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