Monday, February 6, 2012

Bring Back Silly!

Do you sometimes feel as though you’ve been an adult for WAY too long?

Are you tired of doing the laundry, cleaning the cat box, flossing your teeth, dragging through from day to day, always the good little worker bee, doing the nauseatingly right thing? Being responsible, paying the bills, clipping coupons, getting the tires rotated, and postponing gratification got you down? Does “fun” seem an abstract, amorphous term, a long-lost acquaintance vaguely recalled?

Perhaps you need to get silly. The silly that is definitively NOT: steady, serious, sober, staid.

Silly is sheer delight. It’s free, mood boosting, burns calories, and lowers your carbon footprint (study results pending).

Alas, silliness, almost by definition, is hard to plan. We can’t program into our schedules: “Friday, 1:30-1:45 p.m. Get silly.”

One must get silly when the occasion arises. Carpe sillidum. I can even get silly by myself, if need be. I can chase my cats around the house, throwing cat toys, as their furry feet slip sideways, skittering around corners. I can dance my 50+ version of the robot to Cee Lo Green on Pandora. I can Tweet nonsense to the universe.

However, getting silly with others is still best. When the chance to be silly comes up while teaching a class of college students, I may take it. Learning can resume in a minute or two.

During first day of semester icebreaker interviews, a student explains that the young woman she interviewed has a tattoo of buttered toast. We went for it. The tattooed girl wriggled out of her cardigan sweater down to her sleeveless shell, and there, in full glory on her bicep, was a life-sized piece of toast with two pats of butter. I asked her if she could make it wiggle, so it would look like the butter was melting. We had a very fine silly moment. Ice was indeed broken, loudly, so much so that curious passersby peeked in the classroom door to see what they were missing.

Silliness is an art form, but it can be learned. The steps to silly:

1.       Be prepared; be alert. Silliness can happen at any time, anywhere. Silliness may even occur online, in blog posts and comments.

2.       Once a potential silly situation arises, quickly assess the value to risk quotient. Silliness in front of supervisors, mental health professionals, law officers, or pastors must be carefully weighed for potential damage to career, loss of freedom, or possible excommunication.

3.       Once cleared through the value/risk quotient, engage in silliness.  

4.        Stretch silliness to maximum length, but the short silly is typically preferable to the long silly. Leave the silly observers and participants wanting more, rather than feeling silly-sick-over-sated. Less is more for the silly scenario.

5.       Cell phone photography is encouraged, but if any video clips go viral, sharing of any royalties earned is encouraged and expected.

6.       Caution: extended sillies can cause elevated heart rate, facial flushing, or increase in eye rolling. Before silliness, check with your doctor if you have heart disease, glaucoma, or wear contact lenses.

7.       Once the silliness has subsided, resume normal adult behavior while scouting for the next silly opportunity.

The world needs more genuine silliness. Should you agree, come on! We’ll chase the rainbow of silliness together, flying our silliness flag high. We’ll face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune all the better for having more silliness in our lives.

When was the last time you were silly?


  1. I have several witnesses who can attest to the my silly skills (skillies?). At a recent trip to Olive Garden with Daughter-Only and three of her friends, there was so much hilarity (even degenerating into snorting at times) at the table (about what, I can no longer exactly tell you) that we were lucky not to be ejected from the place. ;)

  2. Ha-ha. Glad you girls let loose!
    We need to take our silliness seriously, so I'm glad you do!

  3. I want to run out and get silly right now! thanks for the reminder that we all need to let loose sometimes!!

    1. We so do need to let loose. I can do serious, but without occasional silliness, I'm sunk!

  4. I'm silly daily...perpetually. Much to the dismay of my 13 year old daughter. Silly mothers are a teenagers worst nightmare. But, I have to go with what I know, whether it is learning how to Dougie (very badly) or singing the wrong lyrics to a wrap song, or making the ugliest faces (in public) that I can muster. Should you decide to take this idea worldwide, please keep me in mind for a position in your organization.

    1. Chief Silly Officer is open if you want it!

  5. You know, I can't do silly worth a plugged nickel; but I do a killer goofy. Can I be goofy, and still sling some of those arrow fortune cookie thingies?

    1. Ha-ha, why yes, join the party! My silliness, if put under examination, might indeed prove goofy, so sling arrows and fortune cookies at will!

  6. Thank you! I needed a silly reminder!

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Nicole!

  8. Melanie, you are too funny! I mean silly! :)