You know that guy from the Allstate commercials, Mayhem? Well I’m friends with him on Facebook. He’s with me in all my states of waking consciousness in life. I think one the best decisions I’ve made was finally accepting him as a friend and quit running away from him. He’ll chase you through the house, embarrass you in the carpool line and make your kids throw their chicken strips across The Olive Garden resulting in total mortification when the THUD hits the floor in front of the Cleavers at the next booth leaving you with the stabbing pains of guilt and humiliation. Just when I think I’m about to lose my ever-loving mind – which by the way I must say often enough that my boy has taken to repeating my tag line verbatim to Mario every time he crashes – Mayhem comes in and says something funny to break the tension.

Here’s the deal. Mayhem will let you embrace him. He just wants to be recognized. I pretended for a long time like he wasn’t there standing next to me pulling at my strings like a puppet master that caused me to look like some comedic poltergeist had taken over my body and those of my family for far too long. We hid him away like a crazy Aunt Edna that we kept in the closet so that we could all look perfect and proper. Well, guess what. Not anymore! Dude is coming along with me EVERYWHERE because he’s funny. He’s WAY funnier than his cousin Despair. I’ve made the mistake of actually INVITING that guy in and I’ll never do it again. It was my own fault really because I was the one the let that guy into our castle. The husband and the kids and even the dog had to pick up his mess. That’s the guy that you do NOT want around. He’s the one who makes you cry and sleep and cry again until you fall asleep. He’ll plop his tush on the couch and settle in with a bag of Cheetos and then have the nerve to ask you to bring him a beer and wipe his orange fingers on your lovely upholstery and there won’t be anything funny about it.

Look for me and Mayhem out and about. He’ll be with me when I start back on the treadmill next week at the gym. He’s the guy who convinced me to keep my ear buds in even when my iPod is dead and move my lips like I’m jamming to a song when you come up and try to interrupt my workout. I’m steering clear of the dumb Belles at the gym who have way too much time on their hands, bless their hearts. He’s my bud now, and he’s a clever bastard. He’s funny as hell. I’m CERTAIN he’ll be playing with my kids at the pool so I’ll just nod and wave when they splash you and you get annoyed because you are at a POOL and don’t want to get WET. It’s OK. Go ahead and laugh at him. That’s what he’s there for. I suggest you acknowledge him if he comes knocking on your door though. If you don’t, he’s likely to send over Despair, and THAT guy will sit on your porch for all the neighbors to see and wait for you to bring him coffee without so much as a smile.

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