Toxic Jokes or Collaborative Humor?

My friend Mike, over at Ten Thousand Pots of Soup had a great post last week about humor.

As someone who has never been the fastest, or the strongest, the most talented or the best looking, I’ve always gotten by with a quick wit and the ability to stay ahead of people. I have always felt underestimated, and therefore I was trying to prove (at least to myself) that I was the smartest and the funniest.  And if I was able to make a joke that went over people’s heads, that just made me feel all the better.

This is familiar to me. I have always (and too often still do) used humor as a defense. Continue reading

Do You Have Family in the Area?

That’s what the lead pastor at my new job asked me at the staff pot luck. I was hired while he was on sabbatical, and now he was back and reconnecting – and in my case connecting – with the staff.

Do you have any family in the area?

It’s a simple question. Standard getting to know you stuff. But for me it touches on the death of my parents, the geographic distance between my daughter and me, the miles between my boyfriend and me. The painful and glorious journey from overburdened caretaker to free and easy single woman to learning at 50 how to be in an adult romantic relationship.

All those feelings – the losses, the gains, the hurt, the joy – well up in me when I am asked a question like that. To manage the seemingly unmanageable mess of emotions I am tempted to swing into sheer intellectual exercise. It depends. What do you mean by “family?” How do you define “the area?” Continue reading

On Cookies, Campfires and Politics

It’s that time of year again.

I have already consumed my first box of Thin Mints, the first of many, I am sure. Between Girl Scout Cookie Season (yes, it deserves that capitalization. I am pretty sure it is an official holiday.) and the news about the Boy Scouts of America deciding– then not deciding — what to do about gay Scouts and leaders I am guessing all of us think about Scouts at least once a day these days.

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times . . .

In every discussion about scouting, someone inevitably ask why we even care. Scouting is a throw back to another time, pointless in these times of urban living and the internet and progressive, multi-faith values. Even my pink-haired, Gold Award Lifetime Girl Scout told me yesterday a fellow adult volunteer “commutes in from the 1950s every day.”

Continue reading