The Thankful Flower

By Puja

One of the things I love and hate about myself (mostly love) is that I can randomly be inspired by anything. I never know what thought, observation, character, plot line, etc. is going to come from that. I didn’t realize that letting your mind create fantastical and/or alternate worlds or that even thinking about those things weren’t things everyone did until last week.* That is the part I love.

The part I hate is that either there is rhyme, reason, or structure to the inspiration or there isn’t. 

Sometimes it is regimented inspiration, I have noticed that lately every morning, despite needing to be at work, my morning shower inspires me** so much that I spend anywhere between 30-45 minutes adding entries into a file I named “Book Chapters/Titles Ideas.” Before 7AM, I can be found sitting on my bed furiously typing out some idea before I forget it (like I am now). I decided that I would obey this muse, even if it means being late to my 9-5 (I’m OK with that sacrifice). Turns out this routine may be a spiritual philosophy called The Artist’s Waybest I can gather it’s a bunch of rules to regiment your creativity enough to produce something.

And other times there is no reason why my mind wanders, it just does.*** I follow the threads, mostly because I have nothing better to do. I live alone and sometimes I talk to myself in public…so when an opportunity arises that allows me to escape being the weirdo in the canned goods aisle, I jump on it. And it doesn’t always lead to good places, here is an actual entry from my “Book Chapters/Titles Ideas” file:

Japanese Hunger Ghost

(1) Am I supposed to know what the hell I was talking about? (2) Clearly this file is filled with works that will never see the light of day.

Like the last piece I wrote, all of this was just a long lead-up to my actual point: what about that new years resolution to write more stand-up? Why isn’t the muse giving me jokes? I’m left to incorporate incidents from my [hilarious] life and make them funny. But how do I avoid alienating my friends when I’m putting our business on the streets? Is it through observational humor (like have you ever noticed Paul Ryan looks like Pinocchio after an industrial accident)? Or is it just outright lying (like it happened one way and you massage and mine the funny moment until it is a joke)? I think it’s a mix, like this entry:

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, my soul left my body, never to return. I was sitting across from The Crush and listened with rapt attention to the declaration coming from those lips:  “I’m finally fine with being single.” I died. I died in a booth of a hipster brunch restaurant. Omg what were my last words? 

It has been 5.5 months since the dawn of 2017, maybe I should use this opportunity to be accountable for at least one of my resolutions? How else will I prove to you at the end of the year I wrote stand-up? Because I’m sure as hell not trying to tell these jokes to people in person. So without further ado here is the one “joke” I wrote when I was randomly inspired by Facebook emojis.

Social Graces

Facebook recently added a feature where you can react to comments. No longer are we fettered with just three choices. Liking, commenting, or ignoring. They were part of the social media norm. But then Instagram (owned by Facebook) allowed you to like comments under your photo. Gone were the myriads of “thanks” you felt obligated to respond. Now you can just acknowledge someone with a heart emoji! Then Facebook went ahead and added the emojis of: heart (love), laughing face (funny), surprised face (wow), crying face (sad), and angry face emoji (mad) to the already sufficient thumbs up (like). Now there are 6 choices.

Did I just slip into “back in my day?” I’m old enough to say back in my day. Huh. Well, the rest of this sounds like an old person yelling at you anyway

On the one hand, how lazy are we as a society that we can’t be bothered to take the effort to type “lol?”

I’m not even talking capital letters. Just lower case, you can even use one finger to type it out. God I guess if we can’t even manage the lazy solution of “lol” can we expect people to type out “thanks?” That’s three extra letters.

I mean…I’m not knocking it, I realize that you’d rather just use the thankful flower,**** more on that later, than to reply to Aunty Rukmini’s “best wishes” on your changed life event of a new job.

Spoiler alert: Aunty Rukmini is passive aggressive and SHE knows that YOU know that she only commented on your new job because she wants you to see that she recognized that the life event wasn’t ‘got engaged’ AGAIN. You aren’t invited to the make-believe wedding anyway you old bat.

On the other hand, like how low to the ground is our need for validation that we just made it easier for people to react to you but not engage with you? It’s a false reality, one in where a heart emoji = recognition.

Note to self: find a way to throw this in the face of the people who are against participation ribbons.

I get it. I’m a misanthrope and I find it exhausting to interact with people some days…most days/hours. But I also know what angle I need to tilt my head and what my perfect filters on most social media platforms are.

We’re all needy.

I’m a needy hypocrite, you’re just needy. Be thankful.

Why can’t we admit that? We’re all so needy that we’re pretending we are not and hiding it. Oh you don’t want a potential pair bond candidate to find out you are needy? So you’d rather get into a relationship with this person and eventually let the truth out? That sounds like the strategy you use to hold a fart in when you’re out in public, not a life choice. But I guess.

Now back to this fucking ‘thankful flower.’ This is a problem. Who decided the flower was the symbol of gratitude? Isn’t it the thumbs up? Isn’t that the “like” button????

I don’t even care if you didn’t think that was funny. That is one resolution out of the way.


*A friend and I had this long back and forth about alternate timelines vs. realities and creation mythology. Longer than most non-astrophysicists and science fiction authors would have at least. When he said “you prefer fiction and I like non-fiction” it clicked, on these points he and I would never agree because we think about the world differently.

**Turns out dopamine is the answer to why the best ideas come to us in the shower. The comments in “Science Explains Why Our Best Ideas Come In The Shower” are worth a gander too.

***If it ever looked like I zoned out while you were talking to me, it was because you said something that made me think of something else (sorry).

****The thankful flower:Thankful Flower  was a temporary feature for Mother’s Day

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