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May 01

All sad hearts need a little madness in the spring – (From my archived columns, first published in The Examiner, May 22, 2008)

flowersinyourhairA little madness in the spring is wholesome even for the King,”
– Emily Dickinson.

The merry month of May with its proms, weddings, graduations, and reunions is the perfect time to wear our finery and spruce ourselves up a bit after a sunless and dreary winter.

It is also the perfect time to “dress up” if one’s life happens to be going very badly.

In a funk because the ATM ate your debit card, the cell phone is lost once again, or because the expected economic stimulus check has not arrived yet?

Perhaps you are simply sick of the weather or you want the school year to end and hurry up about it.

Of course, there is no point at all mentioning how high gas prices drive our good spirits and normally cheerful moods completely downhill.

In the face of such despair, what are we sadsacks to do?

My solution–dress up, and I mean really, really dress up, and go somewhere fancy.

My friend Gladice did, and believe me she has more reasons than most of us to “get her dobber down.”

But she did not do that, and therein lies her story.

In the early spring months, Gladice endured a string of sad and grievous life events, one after another. Her father died unexpectedly and in mere weeks her husband died. Both deaths were sudden and both men in her life were vitally important to her wellbeing.  Both were relatively young men thus adding to her disbelief.

Despite dealing with the onslaught of grief and despite trying to raise two sons without her husband’s income, Gladice hung in there. She never lost her smile, and that is the first thing friends and acquaintenances noticed about her—a glowing countenance and composure.

Soon help and donations flowed to her family.

Yet, she needed more to alleviate the sadness, something cash and gift cards could not fix.

She needed to put flowers in her hair, dress up, and go out on the town.

One day friend Janice announced to Gladice, “Let’s get dressed up and go out. It is time.” And so off they went to an exclusive restaurant and ordered filet mignon.

Gladice decided to wear make-up and dress up fancy, something she does not like to do as a rule.  However, this time was different.

It was spring after all.

Janice knew Gladice deserved a good time, an elegant dress, a new hairdo, an evening out. Surely it would make her feel better.

Whether or not we have as many reasons as Gladice for sadness, we can follow her lead as how to get out of it.

As Edwin Way Teale observed, “All things seem possible in May,” and I would add, especially if you dress up and put flowers in your hair.