Lighten Up, Francis, from the movie Stripes, is one of my favorite movie lines. I’ve honestly never even seen the entire movie; I just know the movie line. My family used to say that to each other when someone was spazzing out about something, which if you’ve been reading my blog you know that can be pretty often since we’re all crazy.
The exact movie quote goes like this:
Psycho: The name’s Francis Soyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I’ll kill you.
Psycho: You just made the list, buddy. And I don’t like nobody touching my stuff. So just keep your meat-hooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I’ll kill you. Also, I don’t like nobody touching me. Now, any of you homos touch me, and I’ll kill you. Sergeant Hulka: Lighten up, Francis.
Friday afternoon after a hellish week including a very sick and crabby Chiquita, I was acting a bit like Psycho. Our weekend plans had gotten ruined due to having a sick child, and it happens and I get that, but I was a little disappointed so therefore in a bit of a crabby mood despite telling myself all day to just make the best of it and enjoy myself at the wedding we were attending that night. I’ll have a drink, I’ll relax, it’ll be fine…keep repeating to myself.
I came home and found a package at my back door. Since the Chiquita’s birthday just passed I thought maybe one of our neighbors dropped off a gift for her as we live in a tight-knit neighborhood. Because we were racing to the wedding I picked the gift bag up and set it on the kitchen counter.
Hubs comes into the kitchen and says, “What’s that bag?”
“How should I know?” I respond, annoyed at the question. Just annoyed in general at the day.
Now so I don’t sound like a complete A-hole, I lied in the paragraph above. I lied out of pure laziness. My husband actually got home first. He found the gift bag at the back door. He picked it up, came inside the house, and I’m not even joking, he set the bag on the back stairs. So, how the story actually goes is that I was irritated that I walked in the back door and found the gift bag sitting on the stairs. Like you managed to pick up the package, open the door and walk inside. Why not follow through and bring the package upstairs?
I digress; men do things that I just don’t understand. So, that’s another reason I was so annoyed and being such an A-hole. I’m not a see-thru bags mind-reader, honey. How am I supposed to know what it is?
He looks at me and looks at the bag.
“I don’t know,” I say again, feeling a little guilty about my attitude. Enjoy the night, I repeat to myself. Stop trying to start fights with your husband! “I’m guessing it’s something for Eva.”
“That’s what I thought, but from who?” He grabs the bag and decides to dig in.
Here is what is inside the bag.
So here is when Psycho Francis explodes out of me.
“What the fuck is this?!?” I shout at the top of my lungs, my cat jumping off the kitchen bar stool and running to the living room to hide. I think my husband wanted to run and hide, too, but instead he stood there looking at me. I could almost read his thoughts which was something like: OMG, now she’s going to freak out. And I get to deal with it. Thanks a lot!
“What?” He innocently asked. “I don’t even get what it is.”
“What the fuck is this!?!” I scream again. I pull everything out of the gift bag. There is no card. There is only this note.
“Don’t you get it?” I say to Hubs. “Don’t you get that someone obviously thinks I’m a pretty big asshole in need of serious help?! Like who would take the time to do this for me? Don’t they know I can run my own life just fine? And I do go to therapy! God! I don’t need any special help from anyone else.”
I pull out the notes that are inside the “Lighten Up” jar, and I start to read them aloud.
I scream some more. “What is this shit?!? Someone got this stupid idea off Pinterest, I know it, that’s why I hate that stupid website. Stupid Pinterest!”
My husband doesn’t say much, but he encourages me to calm down and go get ready for the wedding. “We’ll talk about it later,” he keeps repeating. I guess he thinks if he keeps repeating it maybe I’ll eventually shut up and listen, but instead I just keep walking around the 1st floor of my house screaming expletives.
I’m not sure why I was so angry about this little “gift” that someone mysteriously dropped off….well, I do know why. Because they were secretive about it. Almost like they knew if they handed it to me in person I’d be like ‘What the fuck is this piece of crap’ which I never would say out loud to their face, I mean, I would think it, but I’m not rude! I would smile and accept the gift, but probably think the person was an asshole for giving it to me.
But, they didn’t even take the chance for me to think they are an asshole. They knew this would rattle my cage so they mysteriously dropped it off at my house anonymously. Someone mysteriously drop me off a million dollars would you, not some “Lighten Up” jar with a bunch of “great” ideas about how I’m suddenly supposed to become a happy-go-lucky person.
And you know what, what is so wrong with me anyways? The world can’t be full of cheerleaders. I remember my mom telling me: ‘the world needs ditch diggers, too.’ So, there, the world has to have some glass half-empties right? Well, that’s me. So deal with it! And frankly, I don’t view myself as pessimistic, I view myself as realistic. See, it’s all how you spin it….
Anyways, so fear not whoever made me this very creative and heartfelt “Lighten Up” box. I don’t hate you. Anymore. I’ve since calmed down enough to look at the positives in my little Pinterest project and to be thankful to whomever took the time to think of me and make me such a special gift.
So, my gift to you is such. I will pull pieces of paper from my “Lighten Up” box, and I will do what they say. I will then write-up my experiences so you can see for yourself that I’m not the asshole, that actually the rest of the world is the asshole.
I’d love it if you, my readers, would follow along and try some of these on your own, too. Let me know how your experiences and/or interactions go. Let’s all “Lighten Up” together.