The definition of merry according to merriam-webster.com is:
1 archaic : giving pleasure : delightful
2 : full of gaiety or high spirits : mirthful
3 : marked by festivity or gaiety
Merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity."
Which leads me to my question, "Is there such a thing as 'forced merriment'?"
In the case of my beloved (husband)...yes, I believe merriment can be forced.
The memory that comes to mind particularly, is the time that I convinced my husband to delay returning to work... to ride along on a 2,000 mile round trip (part business) with me and our then-2-year-old in a single cab pickup (with the dog). I said," Oh come on, it will be a ball; you might as well come too!."
And he did. The reward for the best behaved: our toddler son. Reward for worst behaved: tie between the dog (who was bitter about having to ride on the floor of the pickup instead of "shotgun") and my husband.
Now..in fairness, this being the one of the first trips he'd gone on with me in my style of traveling (fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and don't overplan b/c it never goes the way you think it ought to anyway), Hubby was a little shocked as we fell out of the truck clown-car-style at our destination and surveyed where my colleagues had decided to "set us up"...right in the middle of a freshly vacated feedlot area where many horses had just been stalled. The ground was still wet from freshly scraped manure..nowhere for our little pumpkin to play (essentially we had to set up some remnant of "camp" in the middle of poo). No facilities whatsoever (there were tall weeds fortunately), and the water supply had tiny white feather blobs floating in it...not acceptable for drinking and we opted out of washing with it, as well.
Meanwhile, I frolicked in the balmy weather with our child and horse, enjoying some eccentricities of our location; for example, we woke up every morning to the roaring of the big cats, as we were staying in a big cat sanctuary. And my husband glowered. Ha ha.
We left a day or so early, as I, too was disappointed that we did not have the opportunity to do some of the work I had planned on with my contacts in the area. We arrived home, marriage intact..with a better understanding of our different expectations...no worse for the wear.
And one of the favorite sayings that flies around our household is (generally affectionately said, with a grin in place): "Well I think you deserve a medal; or, at the very least, some kind of a wall hanging..."
So in honor of my longsuffering and goodwilled husband, who when he signed up to marry me, signed up for a whole basket of imposed merriment..I have, in fact, taken it upon myself to creat a wall hanging. Just for him. (Maybe in due time, he'll get a medal, but for now, the wall hanging almost pushed me over the edge.).
The wall hanging is constructed with fabric in the quilt mosiac style for picture quilts and is a replica of a special family photo of my husband with his old dog, Buddy, the dog of his teenage years and 20's. Buddy was/is my husband's dog-of-a-lifetime.
The photo was taken shortly before Buddy had to be put to sleep...the hardest decision of all concerning our old friends. The first time I saw this particular picture, it made my throat tighten and I was immediately moved to try to replicate it in fabric.
This is my first (and probably last) picture quilt. I briefly researched different methods for making a picture quilt and chose the mosaic method with the book "Mosaic Picture Quilts" by Pat Durbin, which uses 5 million (not quite that many, but it feels like it) tiny squares of fabric.
So at any rate, Hubby deserves more than a wall hanging, but at least now he has one memorializing his good ole Bud-face (Buddy). I'll keep you posted on any upcoming medals...