February 4, 2013

Doing the Twinkle Wave.


My grandfather’s cousin married a woman called Twinkle.

She must be pushing 90 by now, although she never seems to age.

This essay—especially the part about being silly—got me thinking about Twinkle. My uncle, the family historian, says this feisty Jewish girl from Jersey really shook up our staid Southern Baptist clan. I can imagine.

Twinkle’s nickname sums it up. She’s always laughing, usually at herself. She tells hilarious stories about senior water aerobics.

She pulls the “I’m just a little old lady” card when she stumbles into a handsome young man and can’t help but clutch a beefy bicep. She leaves the guy looking as dazed and charmed as if he’d just bumped into a beauty queen.

And when she says goodbye, she does the Twinkle Wave.

Here’s how it goes. Stand on one leg, lean back, bring your hands into “Twinkle mudra” (thumb to second and third fingers, pointer and pinkie up) and shake them, jazz-hands style. Be sure to smile and raise your eyebrows, giving the impression that the party will be continuing until you can come back to join it again.

As a child, I used to spend summers on my grandparents’ farm. When it was time to say goodbye to a guest, we rang a rusted bell, perched on a tree stump in the backyard, and then ran alongside the car as it made its way down the gravel lane.

Our message?

Your visit made our day. We wish you didn’t have to go. Please come back soon.

In my family, it was all about making the other person feel appreciated. But, sometimes, I wanted someone to show me how to be special, not just tell me how special I was.

Twinkle is all about twinkling. She shines her light as brightly as possible, and the effect radiates through a crowd like an electric charge.

I want to free my inner Twinkle. I want to be silly. I want to flirt. I want to find the funny in my daily foibles. I want to say goodbye without cloying or clinging, with only sheer glee that we had a few moments together to laugh at the inanity of it all.

So, until we meet again!

(insert Twinkle Wave here)



Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person. on Facebook.


Assistant Ed.: Jayleigh Lewis

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