Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Thoughts

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Before Triss was born, Mr. Honey and I lived in Nashville, Tennessee. He worked at an electronics store and I worked for an insurance company days and at a dinner theater nights. (Mr. Honey worked a lot of hours-- retail hours, you know.)

Working at the dinner theater was certainly an experience. We were in character from the moment we arrived until we left, and when we were actually on the stage, we were dinner theater characters playing play characters. I would be a character in the dinner theater, and then my character would go get ready to perform and be *another* character on the stage. Layers and layers. It sounds confusing, but I thought it was great.

Anyway, at the dinner theater we served the guests in character in between shows and I was the hostess. I was Polly Doodle, an eternally optimistic and sunny young lady who spread cheer wherever she went.

It was a lot of fun.

I wore a pretty green and white striped fluffy dress (with crinoline), a light straw hat trimmed with ribbon and cabbage roses, and little cream-colored boots. And I carried a thick paperback I had discovered at the bookstore a few days after being cast-- The Happy Book. It was a huge list of reasons to be happy-- things like:

*autumn leaves
*baby laughter

You get the idea.

Folks would come into the dinner theater (which was pretty avant garde for Nashville), and surprisingly enough there were a fair amount of people who came looking stressed or unhappy. When that happened, Polly Doodle pulled out the Happy Book and found happy thoughts. Real Pollyanna-type stuff.

And you know what is funny? It worked.

I would find someone who looked not-quite-festive and say, "How are you tonight? You look a little down. I think you need a happy thought!" I'd flip through my book, skimming until I found something that looked like it might fit the person, and then say, "Oh, I have the perfect thought for you. "Shiny chrome on cars." Do you like it? If you do, you can have it. It's your thought for the rest of the night." And people loved it. Rarely did I meet a resolutely grumpy person. Sometimes they would say they wanted a different thought-- people would occasionally keep me at the table for awhile until they found the perfect one, even asking to see the book, which, as I said, was simply a large list. I stayed and visited with much cheer, laughing and smiling.

When the directors originally told me what I would be doing in my improv character I was kind of nervous, thinking I would be overbearingly annoying. But people loved it.

People just need to be reminded sometimes.

So here is my list for you. Do you like these thoughts? If you do, you can have them. They can be your happy thoughts for as long as you want them.

1. the moon on water.
2. eating a pickle.
3. the first daffodils of spring.
4. the water cycle.
5. Sharpie markers.
6. a piece of cake after a long diet.
7. the sun rising every single day. (It never stops that, did you notice?)
8. the cycle of seasons. (this also never stops. so cool.)
9. finding a caring bureaucrat.
10. your head hitting the pillow after a long day.

Of course, the number one reason we can always be happy is that the Lord is on the throne, He is in charge and He does all things well. All these other things are little side benefits-- but they are great reasons nonetheless. Every good and perfect gift is from above.

1 comment:

Willa said...

That is a neat story. I can really visualize it somehow. Reminds me just a bit of CM's "changing your thoughts". Kind of neat that being a pretend character gave you a chance to try out that role and influence other people a bit for real, even though the role was pretend.