I am not a silly person. Sometimes I can be funny—of the sarcastic variety. Once in a while I can be a bit goofy—after a couple of glasses of wine. In college I had an 18-month period of time in which I was REALLY fun—and really drunk. But silly? Never.
Silliness requires the ability to stop worrying about what others think and to just enjoy the hilarity of the moment. That’s why children are so good at it. Adults, at least this one, not so much.
In fact, I usually feel disdain for silly adults (and silly children for that matter). You know, the eye rolling, “give-me-a-break” attitude. But I think I’ve been wrong all these years.
A few days ago at my daughter’s Christmas show, I witnessed silly in action. My daughter’s teacher had all of her adult children home for the holidays (the preschool is in her home). In the spirit of the performance, the three 20-somethings happily donned elf hats and did a very silly dance with their 10-year-old sister in front of all the children and parents. They didn’t just do it; they enjoyed it.
It was awesome. It was silly. I loved it and I envied it. With that one silly performance I realized my bad attitude toward silliness has probably just been envy acting out. My 22-year-old self was far too self-conscious—and worried about being uncool—to elf dance in front of others. Hell, it would be a real stretch for my current self.
Yet I’ve started to realize that letting your hair down and being truly silly is maybe a good thing. And the next day, it happened. My daughter was concocting a game for the two of us that used our cat’s glitter ball toys (those squishy, little sparkly ones). Before I could think, I grabbed one, threw it at her and yelled, “glitterball fight!!” She looked shell-shocked and then fired at will.
It was awesome. It was silly. And I loved it.
I doubt that at nearly 40 you can completely change your personality. So you definitely won’t see me donning a clown suit and amusing people with silly antics any time soon (I still hate those scary circus freaks and people who know me would think I’d had a psychotic breakdown), but maybe I can tap into my inner silliness just a bit. Throwing cat toys at my daughter seems like a good start.