Saturday, June 18, 2011

♫ Will It Go Round' In Circles ♫

I've always wondered if my family was the only one. If we were the only family whose pre-gatherings were spent anxiously anticipating what stories would be added to our volumes of other stories in our book of sometimes funny, sometimes not so funny, gatherings.  And the thing is, each family plots their own idea of what will happen each year. It's discussed in every 'full of people' vehicle traveling to the event. And I have no doubt, every family, in every vehicle, thinks the other family's are the crazy ones. The troublemakers. And for lack of  better words that suit me, the Shit Stirrers.

I have been watching these events for years now. Sometimes as a participant and others as an observer.  When you mix all the different people, from the same core family, with different personalities, you are bound to have some "commotion".  And in my particular immediate family, we are all comedians. Or shall I say, we think we are comedians. We even laugh at ourselves, slap the side of our legs and tell ourselves just how dang witty we are. I am sure other members of our 'extended' clan have other words for us and how we behave. And I'm pretty sure, funny isn't part of the description. Which only makes it more fun.

Now I've sort of made a silent promise to my people, to not discuss, tell on, or spill the beans on any of their psychotic selves. But I can talk about myself. Because I could care less what people think about me. Matter of fact, though my children deny it, I think I'm pretty much like most everybody else. The only difference is, I admit it.

So to get down to the nitty gritty of what makes this such a "show" when theses events happen at my be quite's me. I'm the show.  I know this will come as shock to some of you. But I have a rather "frantic" personality. Every small task becomes hugely gigantic. I never remember everything I am supposed to have in order to perform my tasks. I always forget something. And as the law of Murphy will have it, what I have forgotten is ALWAYS one of the main things I am going to need. That I will NOT realize I do not have, until I am SMACK in the middle of needing it. We, my children and I,  like to call 'smack in the middle of needing it', The Crux. It's the very moment it all begins to come together, everything is happening at once. And it takes more hands than any one person has alone. The Crux. It can be magnificently successful. It can also be stunningly horrific.

Years ago, during one of the events scheduled to happen in my home, we had a crisis. I had undoubtedly forgotten something. And so it began. The reference to ...The Crux. I am sending my oldest child, who had just began driving, uptown for what I had forgotten. So of course, when he returned, I have lost time. I am running late, and to describe myself as frantically anxious is being kind. I was CRAZY.  And as all ebb and flows shall go, I drag everyone in my immediate hand grasp, into my crazy. When this begins, I want everybody on stand by. I may not need you, but I want you standing in front of me in the case that I do. I want your FULL attention to the grave and serious situation at hand.

To be able to perform these duties for me with success you must also have magical abilities. You must be able to read my mind. You must know, before I holler, "hand me that pot holder", that my roast is flaming up 2 feet high in my stove. You must know before I grab the full pitcher of tea, that someone has loosened the lid.  And be standing in front of me, before I scream out, GET THE MOP, as I'm spilling the whole gallon of tea on the floor. And I want to you to know before I fall and bust my behind, that I have previously dropped ice cubes on the floor, and now they have melted, and have a towel handy to dry it up. Because if you don't know all of these things in advance, it is as sure to be your fault, as it was mine. I know that is hard to understand, but trust me, it's true. It will be your fault.

And you MUST be able to calm me with humor. By batting back the insanity onto me, by ridiculously imitating me and my crazy. Sometimes simultaneously. You must be able to imitate me while I am doing it live and in person. Somehow, once I see myself, in you, I can begin to find the funny. Somehow, to watch you imitate my maniacal behavior, it calms me. And I too, begin to laugh. Because you are already laughing at me.

I wish I had a video of one of those events. Hell, I wish I had a video of our lives. I know that it would be a successful sitcom. Because we have no shame in our family. We all know we are the way we are. I dare to say, some of us revel in it. And although I have already stated that I have a silent promise not to reveal the crazy in our family, I can tell you behavior is learned. And I can also tell you my mother is the calm one. I think you will agree, I've revealed nothing.

This last thing I am going to share, is a real exchange between my oldest son and myself  today. He was not able to attend our Father's Day gathering. And in an effort, for him to not feel left out, I sent him a message that went like this:

Ma to Joshua---Missing you today. When the Crux moment arrives..I will have no one to calm or contribute to frantic.

Later that same day:
Ma to Joshua----They've all gone home. 
P.S. Another successful holiday. No one died.

Joshua to Ma----I love how our definition of "successful holiday" gets less and less ambitious every year. 

This is us. This is our lives. And I love every single minute of it. As I said, family's are learned behavior. Good and bad. Rational and irrational. Funny and hysterically funny. My Daddy taught me all of those things. And I love him for contributing to all of my quirky, crazy attributes. I wouldn't be me, without him. And my children, wouldn't be themselves without me. The cycle of crazy is wonderful. I hope it just keeps going round' and round, and round'.

Happy Father's Day Daddy. For it is you, from which all of our creative juices flow. I would not have it any other way. Hell, any ole' body can make everything go right. It is the truly gifted, that can take a near catastrophe and make it a funny story to tell for years and years and years.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims


  1. Lord if my walls could talk ...this is what they'd reveal about me and my frantic mode

  2. See Debbie..I KNEW I wasn't the only one! LOL!!!

  3. I often lament the lack of close family. We are spread far and wide and don't get together unless there is a funeral...and a local one at that. And then I go to family reunions and events with my friends who have big family gatherings and I count my blessings! I don't need much to get frantic, though....the rush to leave the house on time for everyone to get to school is enough. Thanks for the chuckle!