even so, or: “shoes”

This time last year, my husband introduced me to the 2006 music video “Shoes.”

When the video began playing, I couldn’t imagine why Anthony shared it. WTF was it, even?

By the end of the video, though, I was laughing. Hard. I couldn’t remember laughing that hard, or feeling so very-not-serious about anything, for years.

My kids and I ended up watching dozens of videos by the video’s maker, Kelly Liam Kyle Sullivan. Our favorites were “Muffins” and “Kelly’s Hollywood Meeting.”

When my late October birthday came around, my husband bought me two gifts: a Kelly shirt emblazoned with BETCH (Being En Total Control of Herself, natch), and another with the proprietor of Cunningham Muffins at her very wildest, muffin-loving best.

Those shirts, ridiculous as they might have seemed from the outside, made. me. so. very. happy. For once, I’d come across a joy so simple, I didn’t care about finding the words for “why.”

I was just happy. The shirts brought back the silliness, the spontaneousness, and my kids’ laughter as they wondered, “How is Mom letting me watch this?!”

A week or so ago, Anthony said he had something to show me. The moment I heard the video’s first musical notes, I went, “This reminds me of something happy, but–I can’t quite place what?”

After the new “Masks” riff on the earlier “Shoes” video concluded, Anthony and I searched Sullivan’s store. There were, indeed, “BETCH” masks, and shoes ones, too.

(Were there “MUFFINS” ones? No, but there was still enough joy to go around!)

Yesterday, my family and I went on a physically distanced adventure with friends; it was our first such adventure in this COVID-19-marked world. For the adventure, my almost-eleven-year-old and I wore matching black BETCH face masks.

As I snapped a picture of my older son in his mask at the end of our adventure, my heart was so full. Together, a year ago, we’d laughed at these ridiculous videos, with no idea how much the world would soon change.

But, yesterday, standing in a parking lot at the end of our adventure, with BETCH-marked faces and full hearts?

We knew the world was changed, but knew also

that there is still plenty at which to laugh,

and rejoice, even so.

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