I absolutely love my two sisters-in-law. They are in fact the sisters I never had. Although distance prevents us from visiting often, it seems as though we have never been separated at all when we find time to be together. Last night was a great example of this truth.
We met for a family dinner in honor Amanda's graduation. Amanda belongs to Lisa, my husband's baby sister. The whole evening was a hoot for me. Our conversations dip and dive and loop and tumble. We differ so greatly on politics that it would seem dangerous ground for us. Danger Shmanger. Politician's names and intentional jabs roll off our tongues with little censorship. We never worry about fighting simply because we all have the attention span of tiny little gnats when we are together. If you can wait a nano-second the conversation will buzz off into a different direction altogether.
As usual, the story of the evening came from Diane. Her latest escapade involved a trip to the beach for the reunion of Zach's seventies band The Galaxy Goldrush. I am not making this up. Even though they only played VFDs and VFWs, this group has groupies. Well, only two groupies. But that counts! After all these years and no hit songs, the Galaxy Goldrush has groupies!
But the phrase that will live forever was the one liner Diane delivered while telling about the trip to the emergency room oh my goodness what are we going to do with the dog story. On the way back home, Zack had a medical emergency and they had to stop at the ER. The dog (which they soon realized was sitting in the back seat) got picked up by a friend (and oh yes, one of the groupies came to visit Zack in the hospital). When Diane went to pick up the dog it was covered in fleas. Turns out that the place they were staying had succumbed to an infestation of fleas. Only that's not how Diane described it. Her exact words were the fleas were loose. I can't remember anything else about the story once that line was dropped. It created for me an image of nervously high strung fleas being kept in a corral when suddenly, someone left the gate unlocked and they got loose!
This story probably isn't funny to you at all. That's okay. I'm still laughing just thinking about all the fleas running loose in the world.
My point is this: We all need a Diane in our lives. Someone who will declare to the world "the fleas are loose". The Dianes of the world are the ones who keep us sane by bursting into our insane worlds with rightly timed humor. In doing so, they save us from ourselves. And perhaps they save us from taking anything in this life too seriously.
After all, the fleas are loose. And who knows where they will strike next.