I have a confession. I have a problem with being appropriate at times when I should. This covers several areas of my life but in this instance, I’m talking about my habit of laughing at the worst possible time. Now, it may sound like it’s not a big deal. I would agree with you that it’s just a slight problem I have. But I have been crossed off a few Christmas card lists for this habit of mine.
It’s not one of those diseases where you laugh hysterically because you have to — oh no, mine is that I laugh because my brain can’t make my face work properly.
That time that a coworker passed gas in front of the company as she did a presentation, while everyone else sat in respectfully stunned silence and then tried to act like nothing happened? I snorted and had to leave the room because I was gasping for air. It took a long time for her to ever speak to me again — it was worth it. Hysterical.
The time a lady at church tripped on her long dress as she approached the altar to join praise and worship and promptly caught herself with her face? I was literally trying to crawl up the back of my better half’s shirt to muffle my snorting and laughing. She looked so proper and stately as she scurried up there and when she went down, she popped back up like a jack-n-the-box. I’ve never seen someone jump up and get into position so fast, impressive and as usual, I was the only person laughing.
How about when watching someone try to throw something out the window and the window isn’t down? Or the fact that regardless of how long we live somewhere, I will miss the bottom step of every staircase and still be surprised when I fall? I die. Every time.
I have sat across from a grown man who was trying to talk his way out of being written up for tardiness on the job, spinning the most horrific story I have ever heard and laugh as he sat there trying to cry. He was a great employee but he would be late to his own funeral. He sat there and worked his way through this long and detailed story about his kitten running away. Including that his neighbor called to tell him in mid-search that he’d drove off with the cat under the hood of his car — it was a very long story. I took notes. At one point he looks up and is trying so hard to squeeze a tear out and I lost it. Gasping and laughing so hard and loud, he got up and left. For his birthday, I brought in a card with a cat on the front and everyone signed it and he at least looked sheepish.
Watching one of my sweet children taking ski lessons for the first time was a real parenting challenge for me. I sat there trying to eat my gloves to keep from laughing each and every time she wiped out in a spectacular motion. Who does that? Who laughs at their own children? Ummm, I do. It was like watching a stooge’s video. She kept taking the ski instructor down with her, eventually I gave up and just laughed. Then I had to go back and take the sound off the video I recorded of it for her. She didn’t need to hear all my snorting and gasping.
Total strangers and my children aren’t the only people. I can laugh at myself. Better than that, I think I’m hysterical and will laugh at my own jokes before I get to the punchline thusly ruining it for the other party. Sadly my better half has gotten good at picking up the point where I become hysterical and finishing my jokes, as I stand there with tears in my eyes and fanning myself. I tend to laugh as I’m texting something witty or funny to someone. So if you see me somewhere leaning on something random for support (like tire rack at the auto part store yesterday) laughing hysterically, it could be as simple as me enjoying my own humor.
So if you can’t laugh at yourself, don’t worry — I got you covered.
— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.