Friday, June 23, 2017

Accept the good/The Giggle Hour

I'm at the library on my lunch break.


The moment felt inspired.

It's Friday, no less. The day-off day.

Granted, I have no idea what I'm going to write to you about, but let's see if we can do this, if I can squeeze in 40 minutes of something meaningful before I chauffeur myself back to the office.

Last night I was driving to Alex's place, headed to Pizza Hut first. I was tired, but I've been getting blue almost every night at bedtime on the nights that I don't get to see him after work. So I told him I'd bring him pizza and we'd go from there. (As it turned out, we ate pizza and both started to fall asleep, so I decided to go home and fall asleep in bed with Max instead of waking up in a stupor on A's couch an hour later. But we had pizza together and I got to see my honey and share salty triangles with him and I'll take it.)

So I was driving, on my way to stop A, Pizza Hut, when I noticed a sign in someone's window, that said this:


I accepted this message, in this time and place of my life, where I'm feeling depressed but I think feeling it lift?

I pulled through the intersection and immediately, I kid you not, I saw a young man running full speed down the sidewalk with a gallon of milk in his hand.

I don't know exactly where your mind might be going with this image, but just in case it is going to theft, let me dispel that for you. This was not anywhere close to a merchant, so I have no reason to believe this fellow stole this milk.

He was just running.

And I just enjoyed it.

I accepted the good.

I accepted the ridiculous.

A man running down the street with a gallon (NOT! a HALF gallon, but a FULL! HEAVY! gallon!) of milk is exactly the fodder that fuels text messages between me and my brothers. This is exactly the kind of levity I have craved since the first dawning of the Giggle Hour.

What's the Giggle Hour, you ask?

The Giggle Hour, ahhh the Giggle Hour, was a magical time when Bailey Kathleen used to


Particularly this happened on long road trips, but it could really happen anytime, anywhere.

I've always been wired the way I am. OK fine, I've become more melancholic in my adult years, but haven't we all? But I've always been a mix of hyper, happy, and anxious.

When I was a kid, and still to this day, there would be a time where my brothers or my dad or, anyone, really, could just say anything, and I could not stop laughing.

This, to me, is still one of the best, most life-giving things there is.

My brother recently texted us this picture of my niece after nearly nine hours in the car, and said, "We've reached the Giggle Hour."

I've always felt connected to my niece on some level, in the sense that she has "EXTROVERT" stamped all over her, and she's silly and loves bright colors.

When my brother sent me this text, it touched me in a deep way, though. I looked at her face and saw my face. I loved that he still used the term in connection with his daughter.

I loved that she was losing her mind in the car on a long family trip, because that's where I particularly remember losing mine. In the good way. Not the adult way, where now I wonder sometimes if I really am losing it.

The Brewer family rocked a Toyota Previa for many years, and that egg-shaped silver bullet made it to 200,000 miles, lost an air conditioner and some other semi-crucial pieces, but man if she couldn't rev herself up a hill after all that time! I was very sad to come home from my summer job during college and realize that she had been traded in and I didn't get to say goodbye.

We had assigned seats in that minivan, me in the "middle left," AKA driver's side left seat in the middle row, baby Riley "middle right" for ease of carseat adjustments, Mom and Dad in the front, and the big brothers in the back seat.

I think I was Riley's entertainment, talking and probably reading to him, but the big boys were our entertainment. I know we drove them crazy, constantly turning around wanting them to "be funny," but let's be honest they probably loved the fame.

There would be a point where we all gave up, though. We couldn't read our books, play our Gameboys, play one more game of Uno, yet we were still in that minivan bound for Iowa or D.C. or South Dakota or wherever else and so it was either accept each other or drive off the road.

Accept the good.

So eventually I would just start laughing at everything, and Kelly and Patrick, Big Brothers Extraordinaire, would take full advantage of their vulnerable audience, and then the whole car would be laughing at my circus trick.

Everyone's favorite moment was when all it took was for my brothers to say, "Bailey," and I would bubble over into another fit of hysterical giggles.


Whenever the Giggle Hour came to an end, there was a renewal over the Previa. We passed the Pringles with more sibling politeness, making sure everyone got equal crisps, and didn't get stuck with broken crumbs at the bottom of the can. The older kids agreed to mingle with us youngin's. Mom and Dad grinned up front.

We were all willing to take on another hour of open, Midwestern road, grandparents waiting down the way.

I can feel all of this energy, this peace, like I'm in that van right now. I've always meant it when I've said that of childhood vacations, the car ride was my favorite part.


I don't succumb to as many Giggle Hours now as I did when I was my niece's age. Who can really say they can? But it happens. Alex insists on tickling me, because "You need it," he says. I hate it, but I do laugh like a maniac, and when he stops moving his fingers across my skin but still has a hold of me, I can't stop laughing. He's always amazed at this. "I'm not doing anything!" he'll always retort.

Doesn't matter, Babe. It's the Giggle Hour.

Accept the good.

It's unlikely I'll see another gentleman running down the road with a gallon of milk, but I hope to see some whimsy soon. I plan to do what I can to keep my eyes peeled, and to take notes when I see some good stuff. Text it to my brothers, write it in notes to people who could use some bubbles, and scribble it wherever else it might go -- a poem, a prayer, or right here.

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