Friday, October 21, 2016

People are their most beautiful when they are laughing, crying, dancing, playing, telling the truth, and being chased in a fun way.

This weekend I laughed really, really hard, and it was so great. Not that this is unusual because I really do laugh a lot. I laugh often because I surround myself with joyful, funny people who make me laugh because I think laughter and joy and happiness are so important. Plus, I'm pretty funny myself, and I've been known to crack myself up. Ask anyone.

But this weekend my laughter came from a slightly different place than usual. This weekend my mom and I went to see The Book of Mormon at the newly reopened Hancher Auditorium here in Iowa City. First of all, Hancher is gorgeous. Walking up to it that night, it was all sparkly and lit up, and the moon was huge behind it.

We got inside and sat in our seats and enjoyed some prime people watching. And then, it began. It. was. hysterical. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

The Book of Mormon is a controversial musical. There are inappropriate words and gestures, politically incorrect comments and songs, and just a whole lot of uncomfortable things throughout the show. However offensive it got, though, I just laughed, as did everyone else in the auditorium. I did notice that some people didn't come back after intermission, but for the most part, everyone took everything the way it was meant: plain old funny. It's a form of entertainment, and we're meant to laugh, not to be offended. It's one long joke, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Mom and I went back to my apartment that night and just hung out and watched TV, occasionally quoting something hilarious we remembered from the show. And we continued quoting the show the next day as we walked around Iowa City and visited all the fun little shops and boutiques downtown. Late Saturday afternoon, Mom headed home, and I headed to a coffee shop to meet up with my best friends from home.

*NATALIE AND GINGER APPRECIATION MOMENT* Even though they deserve more than a moment {they probably deserve their own posts}, I just want to talk about how much I appreciate these two. We've been friends since middle school. We had dance together and bonded over plotting someone's death {not really...well, kinda...I kid, I kid}. Ever since that incident, we were an inseparable trio. Natalie and I convinced everyone to call Ginger by that nickname {wait, what's her real name, again?} because of the color of her hair, which lead to a high school teacher giving Natalie and me spice names to go along with it. We became The Spices.

Honestly, though, we did so much together in high school. We became Grace Within mentors and Girls 4 God leaders at our churches together, we went to dances together, we went out for dinner and drives together, we volunteered for RAK together, we experienced School-to-Work together, we did absolutely everything together.

What I realized this weekend while having coffee with these two {and Natalie's boyfriend: Hey, Xavier! I know you're reading this!} was just how well they know me, how well I know them, how easy it is to listen to and talk to them, how comfortable the three of us are together. And I also realized that they watched me grow up; and I, them. We grew up together, shaped who the others became. They knew me then, and they know me now, and there is something so special—magical, even—about that kind of relationship.

So for me, this weekend was all about remembering where I come from, some of the people who helped shape me, some of the people who watched me grow up through middle school and high school and now college, and the love that those people make me feel. This one is for you, Mom and Nat and Ginger.

Who were some of your best friends from home? How did they help shape you?

Lots of love,

Amy Poehler, "Yes Please"