Sunday, June 03, 2012

tears of a clown

I'm glad to have a sense of humor -- I don't know what I'd do without one -- but sometimes mine can cause me problems.  For instance, last week I was feeling very sorry for myself and just wanted to cry.  But then I spotted my face in the mirror, and I looked so dramatically sad that I couldn't help laughing.

Except for the bowler hat, this is pretty much exactly what I looked like.

I then said to myself, "Do you mind?  I'm trying to feel sorry for myself here, and you're not helping."   But this struck me as very silly, so I only laughed more.  A sense of humor is always an unwelcome guest at a pity party, and this party was soon ruined.

Of course, it's even worse to laugh at someone else's sad face.  People tend not to like this very much, as I've unfortunately had cause to discover.  But occasionally other people will laugh along with me.  When we visited the maharaja's palace in Mysore, my sisters were looking very sad because our last meal was but a distant memory and the driver made us go look at the lights at the palace instead of taking us somewhere where we could get some food.  I told my sisters to keep looking sad while I pulled out my camera, since I thought it would be fun to get a picture of their glum faces in front of the fairy-tale-like palace.  India is a place of contrasts, and I thought this would be a good illustration of that.

Instead, this is what I got.  A good photo op ruined by an ill-timed sense of humor.

[In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that my dad actually took this picture of my sisters trying to look sad.  The corresponding photo from my camera is probably adorning the walls of some Hyderabadi thief's home.  (Okay, so it's possible he just sold the camera without downloading any of the pictures of it, but I don't see why thieves should be any less obsessed with pictures of foreign tourists than most other people in India seem to be.)]