Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Belly Laughs

One of our former colleagues had a small gathering at her home to celebrate the Red Sox victory. It was an excuse really, for a group of women, with their husbands or boyfriends in tow, to enjoy an evening out with friends.

The entire evening resounded with good-natured joking and personal stories told about ourselves that we had never shared before. It was laugh therapy at its finest. Until the end of that evening, I didn’t realize how much I needed it.

My two most favorite stories were of Woodstock and Our Lady of Guadalupe. As you might tell from both of those subject titles, there was a no holds bared theme to the story telling evening. The deliveries were better than any stand up comic could deliver. Considering the current writers strike, Jay Leno would do well to contact a few of these folk for their great story telling abilities.

During the course of the evening, we discovered, to our delight, that we had a Woodstock attendee in our midst. He became an instant celebrity. Nostalgic memories were evoked as he described the length of his hair, his mode of travel, and descriptions of the masses. Melodies of old favorites played in our minds, or sprang from the lips of some in recounting the bands there that weekend. An animated storyteller, with thinning hair and Red Sox tee shirt, he transformed before us into a youthful boy from 1969.

Where does Our Lady of Guadalupe fit into all this? Easy, mix two pious women, and electrified portrait and you have a vivid recounting of miracles in our daily lives.

J tells us a story about her Texan sister-in-law, with strong Mexican Catholic, roots sending her a portrait. “I saw this and it spoke to me,” says the sister-in-law. “I just had to get it for you.” To which J pulls from the package a large portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The portrait has a cord hanging from the back. When plugged in, the portrait lights up and rays of light flash around the image of Our Lady.

Having spoken with AM who is now reaching discouragement with the job hunt, and remembering the help she received from AM in finding her own job, J tells AM she will pray for her success and plug in the portrait for good measure. Not only does AM land a job, but she does so on a feast day of the Virgin Mary. Its nothing short of miraculous they proclaim. Our Methodist friends remark that, of course, it has nothing to do with AM’s diligence. To help us understand, D tells of a new product on the market that keeps one from absorbing fat. You take the product and the fat passes out of the body undigested. The label warns that it can on occasion cause unexpected voiding. So as not to have this embarrassment happen to you, they suggest avoiding fat in the diet. So does the product work? Or does the attention to diet have more to do with it? AM and J suggest faith has more to do with AM’s success. In the end, I ask J to plug the portrait in for me. I will however, continue to be diligent, but I’m not underestimating the power of an electrified portrait.

Where is the sports theme that was the excuse for this gathering? Why, with Hood’s Red Sox Ice Cream, of course! I chose the Comeback Caramel. Yum!

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