I walked into a laundromat and 1950s rock ‘n roll was playing over the radio. I saw a middle aged woman with short, choppy gray hair wearing a purple tie-dyed shirt. A new song started, and with the biggest beaming grin on her face she moved to the music, basking in every second of the song. She seemed to be in her very own whimsical, joyful world. I thought she must be crazy. My very next thought was, how sad is it that that’s the first thing that came to my mind?
I went for a walk, and when I came back she was in such a playful state that when she spun around, she spun right into me with her purse. She laughed and apologetically stumbled over her words with an unlit cigarette in her mouth.
When I walked out, she made a special effort to open the door for me. She gave me a huge smile, joyful to be able to help me.
Why did a playful, jubilant woman make such an impression on me? What does it say about our society that my immediate impression was that she was crazy? Where is the line for the acceptable amount of happiness that we can show in public without being a spectacle and being judged? Why is it abnormal to have tons of fun in our everyday lives?
Why aren’t we all walking around joyfully and playfully? Even when we’re doing the most mundane things like laundry or dishes or mowing the lawn, why not celebrate? Why not use all our senses to open up to every moment and cherish it? And why not show that joy to the world instead of politely and quietly keeping it inside?
The question becomes, what is the ultimate amount of fun that can be had? What if we all tried to find out?