I am a clown. I don’t mean I have a playful disposition – I do – I mean literally, I’m a clown. Today I marched in my first parade as my clown character. It was an awesome experience! This is a new creative endeavor for me, so it’s still a little strange and wonderful to see reactions from people. For instance, when I’m driving down the road people have one of three responses: 1) They aren’t observant and therefore miss the beautiful eccentricities of life – they don’t see me 2) They see me, smile and wave 3) They see me, and then they quickly turn and do the face. You know the face! The “Don’t look, Don’t look, OMG, Don’t look, is it looking at me, that’s so weird, don’t make eye contact Sally!”
Now in the parade people are a little more forgiving. Children stare in wonder, fear, excitement, wave proudly, three-year-olds boldly tell you their name, parents laugh, teenagers are caught by their I’m-to-cool-for-you hormones, and old dudes give you the stoic face until you ask to hug them. I asked a police officer for a hug and instead he kissed my hand and gave me a couple twirls on his finger. A mom tracked me down outside of a restaurant and told me her daughter met all the other clowns but me and that she really wanted to talk to me because of my purple hair. HAHA! Girl has good taste.
But the most interesting thing that happened to me today was after the parade. I met back up with my family to come home, but we decided to stop and eat. Everyone was starved, so I opted not to change my clothes or wash my face. Instead of going home first, I went full costume into one of our favorite sit-down restaurants. Of course people stared, I heard them whispering, I saw their faces and could almost read their thoughts. I just kept on like nothing was different than when I usually go. So the waiter comes up and says, “Okay, I have to ask, what’s the clown thing for?” So I explained I had just come from a parade and we were starved. My husband chimes in with, “It’s just Saturday.” LOL! Another couple sitting at the table across from us, asked later what my get-up was for, and I explained to them too – Parade.
I noticed a little girl in the booth behind me stared at us when we came in, and stared at me when I took my kid to the restroom. I just smiled and continued on. So I wasn’t surprised when they left and she came back in to talk to me. She said, “Excuse me, this is for you.” I thanked her and smiled again as she left. She handed me a tri-folded, torn piece of paper with the words “Clown Lady” and a smiley face scrawled across the front. I opened the note and what I found did surprise me. It wasn’t a note from her, but rather her grandmother.
I was floored and cried. You just never know when you walk into a room how your actions affect others. How you carry yourself and interact with people even in very small ways can make an impact on those around you without you even noticing. I think this is one of the reasons I make a conscious effort to always smile. I always try to make people I talk to feel special, not because I desire anything in return, it is simply who I am. It is because at my core, I am a clown who cares about people. And I recognize that everyone, even in small moments, needs a little sunshine.
That wasn’t the end though – inside this note was also a twenty dollar bill. And when we got the check for our meal – mine had been comped. Why? Because the manager told our server that I was brave and I deserved to eat a free meal.
I want to challenge you humanity! Smile. Be Brave. Find your inspiration and share it with others. Be the sunshine. Please feel free to share with me ways that someone has positively influenced you without them knowing. Or ways that you’ve tried to inspire others simply by being who you are.
© 2013 C. S. Jameson