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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Silly me!

“Throw the pie in my face” I goaded Mr Smith, one of the nursing home residents.   

“I can’t” he replied. Mr. Smith looked at me with a caring look, through his big blue eyes which always cast an innocent sparkle. 

“It’s OK, Mr Smith. Today you’re supposed to throw a pie in my face; please!”, I commanded.  

Mr. Smith grinned, and mustering all the courage he could, he cocked his right arm and, without hesitation, threw the pie in my face. The gentle impact I expected turned out to be a powerful slap. 

I lost my sight for several seconds as my eyes were completely covered with whipped cream. I heard voices and laughter, all combined with the upbeat music playing:  “Heeeeey Macarena ...AAAhAA! Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena... When I dance they call me Macarena’”   

Mr. Smith was laughing. The residents were laughing.  

How hilarious to see the social worker with her face messed up, with her nostrils plugged with thick cream! 

And I laughed too.  

Pie throwing was part of the activities for that day. “Do you want to volunteer?” the activities coordinator had asked me early that morning.  I felt awkward at first. 

“Me? It will be messy and embarrassing,” I replied.  

But my thoughts switched quickly to my residents. They would be outdoors, enjoying not just the nice weather but the fun activities scheduled as well.  

Why shouldn’t I be part of it?  Why wouldn’t I put aside my personal appearance to humor the residents and just relax and have fun as well?  

Silly me! I chided myself. 

“Sure!” I answered.   

And I was glad.  

I had the opportunity of letting Mr. Smith have a blast. I made him laugh.  

I had met Mr. Smith a few years ago. Then, he was a very ill, bed-bound and quiet man. A person who didn’t  normally smile. He was a kind gentleman, but not a man with much to look forward to, at least in his mind.  

Now, a couple of years later, he is a different man. He actively participates in social gatherings and outings. He wears a smile on his face, and openly laughs at humorous moments. 

He is a man with the strength to slap a pie in my face.  

That night at home, I reflected on the event. I was pleased with the experience, yet it bothered me that I hesitated when initially invited to be “a pie target”

I asked myself:  am I limiting fun and joyful moments in my life lately because having fun wasn’t always practical? Am I avoiding putting myself in embarrassing circumstances to the extent that I am missing amusing time with loved ones and the people I care for? 
I hoped not

I looked back in time and recalled a few times when I decided to be brave and venture into daring events. One time I remember wearing a Halloween costume in the nursing home, and then later around the neighborhood with my children.  

On another day, I ended up dancing on a stage in one of the music shows in Branson, along with other volunteers from the audience.  

Embarrassing moments? No. Not at all. 
Fun memories? Certainly. 


Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Doris,

That is a great story and a brave move of yours! It made up more than for witnessing the thrill for those people who otherwise have not much going on in their daily lives.
Once after a busy week with lots of overtime hours my girls at work were wishing for some whipped cream pastries; individual ones as known in Europe. I told them boldly; that's good ~ I will pay for a treat but to the girl who'd asked for them I sais: "One for in the Face first and then one for in your Stomach..." We laughed our heads off and that was such a great ending of a stressful week. Great to relax! Will send you that photo by email so you can see.

Greetings from Georgia/USA


Diane said...

I think most of us are more wild and crazy then we allow ourselves to be. Thanks for the reminder to let loose once in a while. :O)

Aubrie said...

The residents are lucky to have you there to cheer them up!

I hesitate sometimes when fun is not practical, but we all need some craziness in our lives to lighten things up, especially in the face of so much sadness.

Bica said...

I'm sure Mr. Smith feels a stronger bond with you now. The two of you will always have that memory, and it will bring a smile to your faces. It's good to let loose and have fun when you're able to - I know that your job is stressful, so it was good for you too!! :) (It's good to experience all the "moments" we can).

Alice in Wonderland said...

It must be a very rewarding job for you, although there must be ups and downs all the time.
You look like you all had a really good time!
The Macarana! Gosh that takes me back a good few years!

CiCi said...

I like that you took the time to do a reality check regarding your hesitance to reply in the affirmative as soon as you were asked if you would volunteer to be the pie in the face recipient. You made the right decision, didn't you. Good for you.

Miley said...

Awww, stepping outside your comfort zone is absolutely the BEST thing to do - every time!
I'm glad you did it :)

Padraic Murray said...

Wonderful post and very moving. Something in it for all of us!

Terri Tiffany said...

You are an awesome social worker! I tend to be shy and have a hard time doing that but I know they love it!

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

You look great in pie, Doris!

BTW, my Blest Atheist blog is down. I replaced it with 100th Lamb (www.emahlou.blogspot.com) and am moving the posts there.

Ann said...

How brave of you. You most certianly stepped outside the box. It's great to laugh isn't it.

Fernando Pena said...

Hi Doris, I enjoyed your story, you're brave, I can imagine that moments

ma thet zin said...

Oh, how I loved this programme -Great

Karen said...

What a wonderful story...as an introvert, I wrestle constantly with moments such as this...definitely need to do better at this!

chocolatecovereddaydreams.blogspot.com said...

I know I would've hesitated but then, I would hope I came to the conclusion that you did. I'm glad that you are seeing lives changed into smiling faces and hearing laughter. That's what it's really all about! Sounds like fun!

Unknown said...

Pie -face, you're great!! So sporting and willing to bring cheer into the lives of others.