My Big Mama often repeated this phrase to my siblings and I when we were growing up. “ The same thing that can make you laugh can make you cry.” I didn’t really understand what this meant until I met a man that helped me understand what my grandmother said fully.
When I first met this man everything was sunshine and rainbows. I had been widowed for seven years at that point so I decided to open my mind and take a chance on love again. The endless giggles and smiles this man inspired were a gateway to me freely giving my heart to this charlatan. Then, I started to notice that when I was all in, my smiles showed up less frequently. Rainbows that used to appear were replaced by raindrops that were falling from my eyes on a daily basis.
I lamented that now that I had gained an understanding of my Big Mama’s words, she was not around for me to talk to her about my sorrows. I spent six years with this man and then one day I realized this was not the kind of life my Big Mama would want for me. When I separated myself from this man my heart was revived and my beautiful smile returned. So yes, the same thing that can make you laugh can make you cry, but why should you?
“It ain’t the beauty, it’s the booty.” When my sweet Big Mama shared this as a response to a question I posed to her, I was floored. I have never been petite. I think I wore medium diapers shortly after I was born. I told Big Mama that I didn’t understand it when I saw a very attractive man with a woman who was shapely, but she was an absolute prune goblin.
My grandmother was voluptuous so I felt comfortable asking her about this puzzling situation. I also knew that Big Mama had been married four times, so I felt like she could give me a little insight on how all of this worked. She explained to me that most men want a woman that other men would want. Physical shape is more important to these men than facial beauty or often internal beauty as well. “ How have you been married four times if that is true?”
She chuckled and reassured me that all men were not like that, just most of them. Then she said something that really made me appreciate her wisdom. “ Some men understand that physical attributes will fade but beauty, the inside kind, does not.” Every man she had married felt that she was beautiful inside and out. So in her case it was the beauty!
One of the most important pieces of advice Big Mama shared with me guides my life on a daily basis. “You can be right, or you can be happy.” So many people struggle with this concept everyday. You know something is right and you hear someone sharing a piece of information that is incorrect so you immediately want to correct them. Once you do, the tendency is for everything to go south from that point onward.
As a teacher, it was part of my job to correct misconceptions students might have, but adults are a whole different territory. My Big Mama’s words are tattooed on my brain because they keep me sane. It is not my job to be the source of corrections for any adult. I have found in the past that clarifying things for people can often bring animosity and resentment into a situation.
One of the things I taught my children and my students is to RESPECT YOUR TRUTH! If someone believes something that differs from your beliefs, that is their truth. It is not necessarily THE TRUTH or YOUR TRUTH, but it is theirs. Everyone is entitled to their own truth, even MAGAs! Will people frustrate you with some of the things they believe? Heck yeah! I can listen to the most ignorant person pontificate about senseless things and it is okay.
That is their truth and they are free to believe whatever FAUX News tells them. The happiness I experience because I respect my own truths keeps me out of major trouble!
Thank you for reading about this earth angel!