Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All it Takes to Make Me Laugh is to Say, "Tepid!"

Today is my last day of work for the week. My family is flying into town tonight. Thursday I have errands and appointments, Friday is a funeral, Saturday is the wedding.

Yeah, another funeral for our family. We can't get enough of them. This one will make five funerals in three years.

My mom's best friend of 27 years died of terminal brain disease. She had Lupus, and apparently her brain disease was caused by a virus we all have in us normally, but when your immune system is compromised by a disease like Lupus, your body can't fight the virus.

Julie has two kids at home whom she and her husband adopted from an orphanage in Korea. She worked hard to get them, having to prove to the international adoption agency that she was worthy, even though she had an illness like Lupus. And actually, because of her tireless hard work, she got the agency to change their rules so that they looked at cases individually instead of with rigid rules, and so many other families could adopt children from other countries. I think that even though those kids just lost their mother, they have a father and a much better life filled with love and many opportunities that they likely would not have had had they stayed in the orphanage in Korea.

I have out of town guests coming, appointments to move around, babysitting to arrange, and rearrange, and still a billion details to contend with. But I'm going to the funeral to celebrate Julie's life. She was there when I was four and liked to run around in my Wonder Woman underoos. I remember her most at Christmastime, when we'd get together to make baklava.

She was my mom's friend for nearly three decades. My mom, who grew up not having friends because her family didn't allow it (a story for another day), who left her family and cult-like religion to go out into the world with her young daughter, not knowing a soul, and she found someone. A sweet soul who would be her friend, through all the weirdness of divorce and marriage and kids and life. A soul who brought two babies across an ocean and into a world filled with love. And now, so many people have to figure out what they'll do without her.

My heart overflows with emotion right now. I don't know what to do with it all. When I came to work, I saw that the funeral time had been changed. I had spent last night frantically moving appointments and changing plans, and now all that had to be rearranged. Of course it will get changed, and I'm glad to do it, but I just broke down. So much so that several coworkers stood up and asked what the hell was wrong with me, in a nice way, and watched helplessly as I cried and cried. Another public crying moment, oh boy.

But, something funny happened earlier. I got my coffee on the way in to work (decaf, for obvious reasons) and while I waited these rather slick, European looking men were there ordering weird things, like an Americano with soy. The barista was all, " you want a latte?" And he was all, "No, an Americano. With soy." Like that was the most obvious, normal thing in the world. Anyway, after requesting their weird coffees, one shouted out, "tepid!" Again, the barista gave a look like, "Are they fucking serious with this shit?" and said, "What?" Then Euroslick said, again, "Tepid!"

And, oh thank Jesus in heaven above, it made me laugh.

First of all, what the hell are these European dudes doing in this part of the city? In that tiny coffee shop? Frequented by nobody? Not even I go there on a normal day, and I am nobody. And secondly, who orders an Americano with soy? And, tepid no less.

I think I will make it, if I am still able to laugh, because with all this dying and freaking out and wedding, Eurotrash men will come here and order tepid Americanos with soy so that I can laugh at something. It's the circle of life, my friends, the circle of life.

From now on, if things get too serious, I'm going to think, "Tepid!" And I'm going to fucking laugh.

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