Have you ever had one of those experiences where you came up with a completely crazy idea and it turned into one of the best things you have ever done?
Happily, I can say that I have.
Since I deal with so many facts and black or white issues every day as a newspaper writer and editor, I often use my free time to pursue activities that are, well, more colorful. Some people might say I’m nuts, courageous or daring. And I would have to agree.
For example, many people wouldn’t have the nerve to get up on stage and perform in front of an audience. Though it’s true that as a writer I have a certain specter of anonymity — except for the fact that my picture runs with this column — I also have put on costumes and appeared in plays.
My first experiences on stage were simple skits performed with the Girl Scouts when I was growing up.
Later, under the guise of work, I donned a period costume to perform in California’s official outdoor play, the Ramona Pageant.
My first appearance in the play was quick, as a guest during the fiesta scene. But I had so much fun that I decided to join the cast permanently, learning authentic dances and having a costume custom made for me.
I also auditioned for a few parts in comedies at the local community theater, portraying kinda ditzy and shy characters who could barely think for themselves. For those plays, I actually had lines that had to be memorized and hours of rehearsals to attend before the performances.
But my random acts of craziness are not limited to performing.
Consider the gypsy trips my husband and I like to take. On a given day we will get into the car and head out with no particular destination in mind. Whatever we find and wherever we go is an adventure.
Is that crazy? Maybe. Yet is also has brought us to some interesting spots we never would have considered visiting.
Once, while living in Southern California, we ended up in the town of Julian. We explored the quaint shops, found a dealer of authentic Russian wares in an old barn that had been converted into a store, and enjoyed a slice of the apple pie the city is so famous for.
What really clinched this crazy concept for me was a surprise 80th birthday party for my dad last week — at Taco Bell.
The fast food restaurant is one of his favorite places to go for lunch and dinner. He developed an affinity for the Mexican restaurant years ago when my sister used to work for the company. Now, whenever he can’t decide where to go to eat or he needs to grab a quick meal, he and my mom often head to Taco Bell.
Although I can’t take full credit for the idea (it was my mom’s), I helped in the execution and made it come to fruition.
At first, we didn’t think his friends would come or like the idea of attending a party at a fast food restaurant. Turns out we were wrong. They all thought it was different, unique and fit my dad perfectly.
Honestly, getting my dad there that day was trickier.
In the end, it was a grand celebration. The restaurant’s staff was super and even reserved tables for us. Everyone laughed, shared a taco or two, had a piece of birthday cake and left with a smile.
I guess calling something crazy shouldn’t have a negative connotation. I may be dating myself, but I can’t help but remember those two wild and crazy guys from Saturday Night Live. They went through life with a smile and had fun with everything they did.
So, call me crazy, and I’ll be glad that you did.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.