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Tag Archives: silliness

The wisdom of Amy Poehler: Being silly is super powerful

by SweetMidlife



This  is our contribution to the weekly blog hop/mash-up situation  they run over at Miss AOK called “That’s What She Said,” where they offer a quote  from a famous woman and writers like us expound on  them all writerly-like. This is Leslie’s version.

Last December, I was asked to participate in a sand-sculpting contest for charity, as part of my South Florida city’s sand Christmas tree display. I had absolutely no reason to believe that I would be any good at this. There would be done live, in a little plastic kiddie play thingee, in competition with people who were obviously more artistically inclined than me. I wasn’t going to win. I wasn’t even going to come in third. Or fifth. Or 12th – and there were only like 7 contestants. The final result wasn’t even a sculpture – it was more like a sandy swampy moat, with little plush turtles we’d saved from Toddler’s birthday party. We called it a turtle habitat. It looked really awful, and pretty silly.

And we were thrilled.

Part of my job as a local features columnist and fake local celebrity is to be professionally silly. Over the past 12 years, I have been photographed on Santa’s lap, competed in two separate ‘Dancing With The Stars”-type ballroom dancing competitions (I’m Number Three! I’m Number Three!), celebrity bartended, judged meatball cooking contests, modeled leather skirt/bustier combos and generally looked kinda dumb. But every time I am asked to do this stuff, I’m in, not only because it connects the newspaper to the community, but because I think there is power, as the brilliant Amy Poehler says, in throwing all caution and ego to the wind and just embracing your silliness and ability to be and make other people be happy. That is the real me, the one who doesn’t mind wearing stupid hats or singing songs or faking my way through the Paso Doble on the way to a mirror ball trophy (Third place y’all!)

I get my silly lessons from Toddler, who has not yet developed a sense of shame over being silly. He sometimes gets so happy that he runs from one side of the room to the other, cackling like a maniac, and delighting in the fact that he is making us happy. We shouldn’t lose that. Ever. I try not to.

In that case, it was not my dancing that got me the nod, although the moves were better than I thought. What put me over the top, I think, was my commitment to being committed, to just going with it no matter how flabby I looked or how much of the dance I drew a blank on, or whether I was actually wearing another competitor’s dance shoes because mine had olive oil on them (this is a long silly story.) The judges and the audience liked it because I took the dance seriously, but not myself. I was willing to look dumb and flabby and less than perfect for their amusement, and it made us all happy.

Let someone else be a super serious glamourpuss. I’ll be over here making an Easter hat out of paper plates.

Five Minute Fridays: Story

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!


Here’s the story of a girl named Leslie, who was doing some probably naughty thing

As a punishment she stood in the corner

To then reflect on things

Here’s the story of some old wallpaper

with forests, trees and paths that led away

Leslie stared at them and then made up stories

That wiled the time away

Until one day that small girl became a writer

and she knew that it was much more than a clue

That the seeds had started in that corner

Ain’t it funny what imagination do?

Don’t pay a bunch

but buys her lunch

Sometimes whole careers can come through in a crunch


Five Minute Friday: “View”

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!


“Meeting you with a view to a kill”…

Almost 30 years later, I know that those Duran Duran lyrics don’t really mean much beyond “We are the richest, most awesome and popular band of the day and we got asked to do the latest James Bond theme, and we’ve got to write the name of the movie into the song. It makes no sense, but then again ‘Union of The Snake’ and ‘The Reflex’ weren’t Shakespeare either, and that check cleared, so….Here’s your song!”

That song was sort of a wake-up for me, in that it was the first time I remember acknowledging that the things I was obsessed with were maybe really ridiculous, and still not caring. There is a 13-year-old girl trait that means that you take everything seriously and I took Duran Duran way seriously, arguing the brilliance of their hair, their global, racy videos and the words that sounded glamorous to me, mostly because they came out the mouths of really hot guys.

But the first time I saw the video of “A View To A Kill,” where the band members were gleefully, cheesily running around the Eiffel Tower fake-chasing Roger Moore and Grace Jones around like they were in the movie, my competing thoughts were “They’re so hot!” and “This is really kinda stupid.” And I thought “Wait, I think something Duran Duran did is stupid? Do I still like them?”

And then I thought “It’s OK to like stupid stuff. And I don’t have to justify it. I can just like it.”

That’s a view to learn from.



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