Whatever Happened to Hoopla?
Yesterday I won the lottery. You will not see me standing in some cliché photo holding an over-sized check. You will see me with my face painted blue and white, Toronto Maple Leafs gear on in a sea of people on New Year’s Day celebrating the Winter Classic Hockey game.
That is called getting the tickets the hard way. I am not a season ticket holder, corporate sponsor or know anyone who could hook me up with tickets. So, three years ago I started my quest to tick off an item on my bucket list. I wanted to see an NHL Winter Classic hockey game. My name has been thrown into every contest, lottery, and giveaway. Last year, nothing. I prayed the lock-out would continue (I am sorry everyone that those powerful prayers delayed the start of the season but remember, God works all things together for good) and it did. The game scheduled January 1, 2013 was cancelled.
This week, I got an e-mail saying I had won. I could order tickets. Yesterday was the day to make my dream come true.
The pre-call excitement was enough to bring my daughters out of their bedrooms. Safely shielded by the couch, they peaked over truly mortified at my behavior. In the half hour I was on the phone securing tickets I stomped my feet to a staccato rhythm, squirmed seizure-like in my chair, and when on hold, squealed like piglets looking for their mama. I did have to restrain myself. Tickets had not been confirmed and there was a stranger on the other end of the phone. The girls were whispering to each other and I am not sure if they were conspiring to call an ambulance or not.
Tickets were confirmed, phone hung up, one bounce out of the chair and joy erupted. From the Chicken Dance to the Rain Dance, opera singing to hysterical laughter, my audience didn’t get to see it all as they cowered behind the back of the sofa. I felt great!
Hours later, when the blood settled back to where it should and my brain began functioning again, I reflected on that moment. When they were little, they would have joined me in celebration. The three of us would have danced and sang and laughed.
Whatever happened to Hoopla?
When did we become so complacent about wonder, awe, and excitement?
I am beginning to think that as a culture we have lost the ability to celebrate. Cultures around the world have dances and songs to celebrate everything and they do. In North America, celebration is reserved for official holidays. How sad that hoopla isn’t weaved into every day.
Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show became popular because it is a happy place to stop by, filled with hoopla. She dances for all of us who are too shy, too awkward, too self-conscious. She includes skits and clips of people doing hilarious things, being free, being who they are, celebrating the moment and making us want to be like them. We are wishing, not being.
I was at a meeting last night and at the end of the evening they give out door prizes. Most of the winners accepted their gift almost apologetically. I wanted someone to scream and run up the the front like they do on “Let’s Make a Deal” and be excited they won. Why not? Hoopla is really only acceptable in so few spaces in our lives. Lets fill it up to the rim so our hoopla spills over to others.
Today I challenge you and I to go out and create some hoopla. When you go to the bank and your balance is higher than expected, throw that fist up in the air and sing “yes.” When the UPS guy brings you an expected, mundane package act like it is the gift you always wanted. Make him smile, or roll his eyes, or shrink away in fear, but , in the very least, make him remember you. You hit a home run if he tells the other guys about you at the end of his shift. Laugh at everything, sing for no reason, dance in front of a stranger. Just today, create some hoopla. I promise you, if you own it, truly letting it come from your deep down storage of joy, you will not regret it.