Thursday, February 12, 2009

you laugh until you cry, you cry until you laugh

You might not guess it from the ramblings here, but my biggest defense mechanism to stress is not baking: it’s humor. I can’t write with much humor, not the way one of my favorite bloggers did. But in person, I will do almost anything to make myself laugh when I get stressed out. And it doesn’t take much, because usually just the inherent absurdity of whatever stressful situation I find myself in is enough to crack me up. Today was not that sort of day, unfortunately. It took a lot longer to laugh, and it felt wrong when I giggled, but I made someone else laugh, a necessary release, a useful distraction. So I don’t mind.

It’s my brother that is the real comedian of my family. But there is also that natural phenomenon that occurs between siblings- you start speaking in some odd language that is peppered with inside jokes to do with movie quotes or obscure references or shared history. Some are things that only the two of you find funny.

My cousin SD, poor unfortunate soul (not really, in the end he wound up way more successful than either my brother or me), moved from India to the US when he was 12 years old. Could you pick a more unfortunate time, I wonder? As many people who read this blog know, in India, you learn the Queen’s English. But you must understand that my brother and I were 11 and 13 respectively when SD moved. And we had little to amuse ourselves. Certainly at school, we were likely the outcasts, the outliers. Being the little sh*ts that we were, we basically projected that onto SD. If we seemed foreign in EBF, SD seemed to fall from another planet. And we relished this, because it detracted from how weird we were.

SD would say all kinds of things upon which we would seize like hyenas. The most memorable of these, inexplicably, had to do with the simple act of spelling out one word. Once SD had spelled it once, my brother and I would needle him into spelling it again and again. Moreover, to this day, my brother and I spell the word the same way.

It started so innocently. We were introducing SD to one of the finest cuisines this great nation has to offer, and he had never had the good stuff. I can’t remember now why he spelled it out, but spell it out he did. And once we heard him say, “P-I-Zed-Zed-A,” that was it. We were done for.

To this day, my brother and I do not use the word ‘pizza’ with each other. When in each other’s presence, that word is always spelled out, and the “Zed”s are always overexaggerated and celebrated. So stupid really, but as I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t take much to get us laughing.

And today, when there was really no reason for laughing, I retold this story and by the end of the evening, a friend said, “I would like to go over to B’s for some P-I-Zed-Zed-A.” My work here is done.


Of course, I have also baked. And am baking for the rest of the night. I’ll try to charge my camera so that I have some photographic evidence for a change.

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