“The world as a whole needs a good laugh.” – Candace Payne
Unmitigated joy. Sheer, pure, absolute, unadulterated, total, utter and complete joy. I have found a living breathing example of this type of joy and it is in the person of Candace Payne, or Chewbacca Candace as I have dubbed her. She has become an internet sensation with over 1.34 million hits. And I understand totally. I could watch her again and again and again. And I have. If you haven’t, run don’t walk to some computer somewhere (or any number of other hosting venues) and check her out. I think she has already “broken the internet” as they say.
Candace was on a shopping trip to find a pair of yoga pants to work out in. For some reason she could not find a pair so in order to allay her disappointment she went looking for some toys for her kids. A box with the Chewbacca (Star Wars character) mask literally tapped her on the shoulder (okay she kind of bumped into it) and when it did, it let out its signature roar. Well, that was enough for Candace, who did not know the mask had sound effects.
She bought the mask, but not for her kids. For herself. And she decided to share her find with her internet-web friends from her car in a parking lot. Waiting to pick up one of her kids, she made good use of her time posting her video.
Her preface to donning the mask explained that it was a birthday present to herself that she was going to enjoy before her kids confiscated it, and though she does make some noise about it being hers, she knows in her heart of hearts that it will not be hers for long. She fumbles with the box for a few minutes trying to get the mask out of the confines of its cardboard and plastic jail (which I am sure had some of those annoying plastic straps holding it in place) asking her “audience” to be patient and that the wait would be worth it.
Well, the wait was worth it. Taking her glasses off so she could get the mask on her face, she started to laugh. And when she got the mask on, she laughed. Then she illustrated how the mask of Chewbacca would make its signature growl when she moved her mouth; and she laughed. For a while all we hear is her infectious laugh studded by Chewbacca’s occasional growl. And that is it.
But it is her laugh—joyous and infectious that makes the video so watchable. I am convinced that whoever coined the term “cute as a button” had someone like Candace in mind. She is pleasant looking and happy. We need to bottle her happiness. We need to run her joyful video beside the morning, afternoon and evening news that spreads the horrors of our world nonstop. She has become the darling of Good Morning America—featured Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with personal interviews on two of those days. Candace has become a sensation and I could not be happier about it.
The young mom of two says that the best part of the whole phenomenon is being able to “share joy with people.” She told Robin Roberts on GMA that the stories shared from “one mama to another” made the whole thing worthwhile. She said that she heard from a mom that her autistic child who had not laughed in months loved the video and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Sometimes this “vale of tears” needs “tears of laughter.” There is no question that sometimes we are given challenges we cannot meet; things that cannot be immediately overcome; and unfair hands are dealt. We need weapons or implements in our tool boxes to cope. One of those ways of coping is through laughter. It has been said many times over that “laughter is the best medicine.”
There are times when laughter feels like a foreign concept. Joy eludes us. It is during those times that we need someone like Candace to remind us that there are good things in life; silly things in life; happy things in life. And if a Chewbacca mask worn by a young mom with a great laugh makes us forget our woes for a while, I am a willing participant.
I will not tire of Candace and her delight in the frivolous which turns out to be not frivolous at all—but a beacon for the world-weary. We all need to find the thing that delights us—we all need to find our Chewbacca mask.