22 January 2010

Girl Steps into a Carriage...

When I was little, my mother told me a not very good joke. It takes place in the 19th century.

There's a girl, and she very much likes a boy at her church. She keeps indicating her interest and indicating her interest, and he never takes her up on it. Finally, one night after choir practise, she lingers and lingers until he asks if she would like him to drive her home. So they get in the carriage, and he drives silently along, simply driving her home. Finally, after a good while, she gives a little fake sniffle. He says, "What's the matter?" and she says, "Nobody loves me, and my hands are cold!" He thinks for a second, and then he says, "God loves you, and your mother loves you, and you can sit on your hands."

As I said, this joke is not very funny. But I have thought of it frequently in my life. Really, I only ever think of the last line, and I think of that whenever I feel very sorry for myself because my life seems hard: I think something along the lines of, Yeah, yeah...you can sit on your hands. To me, it means, "You can fix your own problems; stop wallowing."

As you know, many bad things are all piled up at once in my life these days. The least bad of them is also the most mysterious, and the most immediately ongoing. This is one place where I can't sit on my hands, so there's no thing for me to do. And it's not even that big a deal. At worst, someone is being a little thoughtless, with fantastically good justification. But my hands are cold! From breezes blowing in all directions. Really really cold. And a tiny bit of warmth would be nice.

No comments: