I grew up in a goofy family, with silliness, play, fun and frolic being a staple of our South Jersey suburban, two parent, two kid, goldfish, turtles and dog, over the years, sometimes grandmothers, and extended family -visiting home. Laughter rang through the halls, made up words, silly pet names….if you promise not to tease me…my father would call me “Eeedle Deedle Dumpling”. Family home movies show us (my younger sister Jan and me) dancing un-selfconsciously at The Worlds Fair in NY at ages 5 and 3 or thereabouts. Another image was of my mother going down a sliding board at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA, hands in the air….wheeee! My father would sled, fly kites, bicycle with us. My mother would sing and dance in the living room with us, and as a romantic gesture, throughout their nearly 52 year marriage, they would dance in the kitchen. When my cousin Jody and I lived together, she and I would have impromptu nightgown dances and laugh at all kinds of bizaare things.
When I was married, my husband Michael and I became clowns, partly as a way of helping him alleviate pain from Hep C and partly for the pure fun of it. His character Bashful, was silent and communicated through gestures. One time we went to the supermarket and someone assumed we were either heading to or returning from a kid’s birthday party. She said: “Where are you going?” and Michael pointed in front of him. “Where did you come from?” and he gestured behind him. Another time, we had a craving for ice cream and were already in pj’s, but we jumped in the car anyway, Michael’s outfit was accessorized with fuzzy bear paw slippers. Other customers looked at these two seemingly mature adults and likely thought “I would never do that.” or perhaps secretly wished they could. When my son was in his teens, his mom who continued clowning, went to a local peace fair and ran into a fellow laugh monger who was wearing a button that boasted “I embarress my offspring.” to which I responed with delight “Ooooohhh, I would love one of those, where did you get it?” He took it off, handed it to me and told me that he had more at home. I wore it proudly. Adam still rolls his eyes at my behavior, but has come to accept it as part and parcel of being my son.
I sing in the car, with full hand motions, dance in supermarket aisles, still dress flamboyantly at times, wear sparkly glitter that a friend has said comes from my pores. I carry bubbles in the car to use while in traffic jams to lighten my mood, and surround myself with silly friends who aren’t embarressed by my antics and sometimes join me in them. Many of my friends are childrens’ ‘edutainers’ whose groupies are under 4 feet tall and under 4 years of age and I suspect this joyful work keeps them youthful. My own genetic goofiness helps this newly minted 54 year old remain ageless as well.
www.youtube.com/davidcperry. David Perry
www.petermoses.com Peter Moses
www.twoofakind.com Two of A Kind