Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Fine Line Between Laughing and Crying

This writing prompt is from Mama's Losing It! Head over there if you want to sign up with Mr. Linky.

**Write about laughing at an inappropriate time**

Laughing is soooo closely related to crying for me.


Yeah, I've laughed during lots of inappropriate times. Mostly as a kid in church with my sister, and then again as an adult with my future husband (it was SO wrong). But now? That easy laughter is the BEST thing about our marriage!

You see, I have to the tendency to see the absurdity in things. And then I get started, and cannot stop.




But the WORST possible place I could have laughed was at my mother's funeral, about ten years ago. It was so insane, but I couldn't stop myself. I was so completely stressed out ( I was moving to NYC right after) and out of my mind! It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.


You see, my sister was right next to me balling her eyes out, and I had not reached that point just yet (my time would come later, all alone in NYC). Somehow, it just happened. I looked at her and LOST IT.


I laughed hysterically. I put my head down and pretended to be crying. I'm pretty sure everyone bought it, b/c my heavy laughter eventually turned into some tears.

But it wasn't until years later that I was able to admit it to my sister. For the record? She had no idea!


HOW ABOUT YOU?

27 comments:

Dawna said...

Hi! I headed over from Mama Kat's and can totally sympathize with your laughing out of place moment.

A few weeks ago, on April Fool's day my friend told me that her husband was having an affair with a young lady her daughter's age and that they were separating. I thought she was joking and started laughing...
Once the look on her face registered in my brain I realized how foolish I had been. Praise God she realized my stupid mistake and went on ahead to share her soul with me. so, you are not alone sister!
happy writing!

Jen said...

Yikes! This I can relate to all to well! I'm the queen of laughing at inappropriate times. I think it might be the nerves for me though, or the stress... it makes you do crazy things!!

JustineDell said...

I sort have that problem. I don't laugh out the moment, really - but when I do laugh...I mean REALLY laugh, it's long, loud, obnxious, and funny (to me anyways...which makes me keep laughing). ;-)

~JD

Kerri said...

Several years ago, a friend and I went to St. Louis. We were at a very posh restaurant...a very QUIET posh restaurant, and we both broke out in giggles. Nothing happened, we just looked at each other and started laughing hysterically. Tears were running down our cheeks but we just couldn't stop. People were staring. We didn't care. It was hilarious!

Jenners said...

Visiting from Mama Kats....

I do think the line between laughter and crying can be very very thin. Left alone, they can both spiral out of control. I have a tendency to do the same thing ... it is really just strong emotions that get jumbled and come out "wrong." But at least extreme laughter is easy to cover up as crying.

Maddy said...

Wow! I have never had the problem of laughing at innapporopriate times. Actually, I'm the total opposite! I have to learn when to reign in the tears! There's been a few frustrating incidents at work where I've literally had to run into the bathroom to pull myself together. I guess that makes me very "emo"!

LisaDay said...

Sorry about your mom. I am sure laughter did a lot of good.

LisaDay

Mary_not_Martha said...

Most definately, I laugh "inappropriately" at the dinner table when my sons break the rules of propriety (see Evil Mom post on my blog). I especially laugh when my husband is scolding my middle son and he's a "habitual smirker" and can't help it when he's being scolded so he holds his cheeks with his hands and agrees with everything my hubby is scolding him about. Never mind that he interited this behavior from his dad!

Matthew Rush said...

I can't think of my own example but that does sound mortifying. Thankfully it wasn't obvious!

Sharlene T. said...

Inappropriate laughter can cause some serious misundetstandings, as my older sister has found out. She's done it all her life and can't seem to stop. But, we still love her and consider her our little eccentric...

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

*blushes* I have a terrible time not laughing at the worst possible times. I think its a nervous habit, I have no idea. The only time laughing became crying that I remember was from hysterical laughing or being tickled which is the worst thing ever.
There is a fine line though I totally agree. I see people snap from crying to laughing a lot in the military, or generally covering it all with laughter.

Tahereh said...

wow!

first off, super cool prompt.

secondly, OMG i can only imagine how horrible that must've been -- i can't even comprehend the craziness of such a moment for such a person's funeral.

so happy you made it through okay!

thanks for sharing, bestie!

<333

Shannon said...

I can relate. I have the same affliction.

Sorry that happened to you at an inopportune time, but hey...we all have our quirks.

If you mom is anything like me, she probably got a kick out of it. <3

Hugs

Jennifer said...

I laughed at my Dad's funeral while they were singing "If You Could See Where I Am". For some reason that song just made me so happy for him and a light switched.

C. Michael Fontes said...

Bravo! And thanks for posting this! I totally signed up, too!

Writing Without Periods! said...

I laughed at my grandmother's funeral when my sister got her foot stuck in the flower holder thingy. The priest got really angry and the more angry he got, the more I cracked up...it was a good/bad day.
Mary

Sandy Shin said...

Oh, I do the same thing, too. Not at a funeral, but in class, full of students sitting in a circle. It was very embarrassing as everybody could see my face.

Just Breathe said...

Especially between sisters or siblings. Yes I have done that but I am usually able to stop myself.
Good thing you fooled them! However my 29 year old daughter has that problem big time!! Any suggestions for her? There is a fine line and sometimes laughing at a funeral is good medicine.

K. M. Walton said...

Laughing AND crying both make me feel good...relieved I guess.
p.s. have you heard anything from Sourcebooks about the contest? I haven't heard anything yet...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow - that is a powerful story. And what a perfect demonstration of how our emotions can overcome us!

Aging Mommy said...

I think laughter is a way to release those real emotional highs sometimes, just as you did at the funeral. I start laughing to cover my nerves sometimes which can be totally inappropriate to the situation too!

Lourie said...

First, I have to tell you I thought of Mary Tyler Moore the episode when Chuckles the Clown dies...and all the people at the radio station are making jokes and Mary is mortified by their behavior, and then at the funereal she loses it...she is laughing. Okay...so yeah I laugh and think of inappropriate crap all the time. And I also laugh at myself for all that I do wrong or ditzy. Laughter is better.

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Wow! at a funeral lol.

My sister and I have done the snicker in church, try to cover it up, can't hold it in, burst out laughing, get stern stares...the whole bit. Some of my favorite childhood memories!!!

Talei said...

Oh my. Yes Christina! My Dad's funeral, well actually the days leading up to it, there was a ton of laughter with my family. I think it was stress relief. One minute we were laughing - then crying - then laughing again. It was very healing!! xx

Mama Kat said...

Similar experience, I started giggling at my step dad's funeral while SPEAKING in front of the church! It was sad...and I felt so bad for not being able to control myself that I nearly started sobbing mid laugh. I can totally relate to this...and I'm SO glad you were able to cover it up!!

All Women Stalker said...

Aww I imagine you crying alone in your NYC apartment. *HUG* to your past self. :)

Laughing hysterically inappropriately...it seems I do this all the time with the boyfriend but can't remember a particular situation now. Haha.

Portia said...

My SIL invented a term, "craughing." It was the laughing/crying hysterically she used to do when she was in school studying to be an architect.