Okay, remember the Whoopee Cushion? Well they are, apparently, back and now come in the guise of the most adorable fluffy stuffed animals like piggy’s and skunks. Why is this important?

Because last summer, my 15 year old daughter and her friends taught me some valuable lessons with their new whoopee cushions.

You see my daughter and 4 of her close friends all came for a sleepover with us on Cape Cod. (Yes that’s 5 girls total… I AM BRAVE!)

(And, oh that is lesson #1 – Sleepovers with your gal-pals is REALLY fun).

One night, we took them out to walk around the quaint town of Falmouth, MA where they got ice cream and then headed to the toy store.

(lesson number 2: you are never too old to browse the toy store and find something you MUST have).

That is where they found adorable and unassuming stuffed animals that hid within them a loud and fully functional whoopee cushion. It took them no time at all to figure out what it did.

Screams of glee and hysterical laughter were heard all over the store as they each in turn tried the re-invented whoopee cushions over and over….and over and over.

(lesson #3 It’s okay to laugh out loud like a crazy person and encourage your friends to do the same even when it draws attention…I have been doing this a lot more lately and my friends have adjusted!)

The adults in the store tried to keep straight faces or avert their eyes, especially the serious and intellectual ones (shopping for very intellectual toys). But in the end all were overtaken by the hilarity and joyous energy of the group of 5 teens.

(Lesson #4 just because you may usually prefer high-brow humor and witty banter doesn’t mean the “low-brow” whoopee cushion is ANY less universally hysterical in a crowd).

(Lesson #5 when everyone is kind of embarrassed about something in public, walls break down, everything gets less embarrassing and more funny!)

Now at this point I had already observed a LOT and found myself thinking about my upcoming girl’s weekend with MY 5 friends…and seeing how silly WE could get.

These girls were really inspiring me! But they were not finished! Fueled with nothing but ice cream cones and a $20 purchase of a fluffy piggy shaped cushion, they hit the streets.

(Lesson #6 oh YA! It does not take a whole lot of money or stuff (or alcohol) to have a whole LOT of fun when you are in silly mode with your girlfriends!)

Here’s where it got interesting and really shocked me. See, when I was 15, I remember being very self-conscious, afraid of bothering adults and pretty much mortified by anything that seemed the slightest embarrassing.

But these 5 girls found a bench they could all squeeze onto and as groups of people walked by they would “let them rip” as they say. People reacted in all sorts of ways, mostly shock and horror, but the girls never let on they were actually using a Whoopee cushion…they let them pass by thinking they had passed at an “unfortunate moment” shall we say.

That is how I found them…I kept passing scores of people laughing and talking about “those girls” and “what one of them must have eaten” etc. Some were meeting up and sending their friends to walk by “those girls” again…I remember thinking “oh lord, who are they talking about!?”

My guess was right! And…I was in awe! There they were having the time of their little lives in the most harmless, silly and fun way while being completely UNFAZED by the idea that all these people thought they were…well you know. They would surely be laughing about it all night and have a funny story to tell and remember for years to come.

(Lesson #7 Who cares what people think? REALLY!)

(Lesson #8 A bit of outrageousness and bold silly fun makes for GREAT and bonding memories!)

(Lesson #9 Great groups (or tribes) encourage laughter and boldness)

Dang, I thought! I should be having WAY more silly goofy harmless fun with my pals and caring WAY less about what anyone thinks!

That night I decided to do just that and I made an inner commitment to push my friends over the brink with silliness on our weekend!

We all have families, but there is nothing like fun times with just your gal pals! I need more of that! We can start now and create our own “remember that time” memories and maybe even bring whoopee cushion.

So my challenge to you today is…think like you did when you were in your teens or twenties! Pick a weekend and call up some of your pals and plan a girl’s night. Not a book club or meditation group…a fun, silly, irreverent night of teenage humor and silliness.

I promise YOU will feel 15 again. And if anyone is being boring…just slip them the whoopee cushion!