My daughter knows me well. She gifted me with a beautiful handmade ornament (by her own hands) for Christmas. The image of this lovely artifact to the left tells it all.
I know my sweet girl did not mean any disrespect by choosing this sentiment for me. Instead, I think she has learned at the ripe age of 27 that sometimes it is not only forgiven for laughing at the wrong moment, but maybe even completely necessary. How many times has laughter been the icebreaker or the heart mender or maybe even the glue that holds a fragile conversation together till a mutual meeting of the minds is achieved? She also knew in selecting this thought for me that I could totally relate to these words, well, because it is completely and unequivocally me. I am not only notorious for laughing at the wrong moment, but for many times speaking out of turn, rudely speaking over someone, or speaking words that might just come close to making the receiver-of- those-words' eyes pop out of their head. My husband has said more than once I never know what is gonna come out of your mouth. Oops.
I never set out intentionally to speak out of turn or say things that might be construed wrongly, but somehow I manage to do so more often than I wish. I've pondered over this many times and tried to come to a reasonable explanation as to why I do this. I got nothin.' I don't know why I do it, it's just me. That being said, I try not to use the "it's just me" excuse for reason to not do better. I am constantly tutoring myself on the right way to say things, the politically correct way to say things, the gentlest most kind way to say things, but still I manage to stick my no. 9's right squarely into my equally large mouth more times than I want to admit. But when I do say something out of turn...or hurtful...or just plain off the cuff in the wrong timing, I also try to be one who immediately begs for forgiveness and that has saved me many a heartache when the receiver is willing to forgive me for my sometimes harsh and unthoughtful sponteneity. What is that old saying that is not always true? It's better to act and ask forgiveness than to ask permission. No one should live their life by this motto, but thank God sometimes it works for those of us who find it difficult to always say the right word at the right moment -- or laugh at the right moment, for that matter. May I say something, please? Not in my vocabulary.
Just like the perfect word spoken in perfect timing, laughter almost always lightens the mood, especially if you are laughing at yourself. Laughter keeps us from taking ourselves or anyone else too seriously. No matter how hard or sad or difficult the circumstances, in my opinion the mood is always made better if you can interject some laughter into it. And many times the laughter is the least of the emotions that you expect to come up out of your inner being. Sometimes it just happens. Like the times we with solemn hearts talk about the passing of a loved one or an especially difficult time we've endured. My siblings and I can be in the most serious mood talking about my mother's recent illness and passing when, all of a sudden, we think of something my mom did or said, and the laughter just comes. Laughter was a huge part of my mother's personality and I'm sure she would find it totally appropriate to laugh when we are enjoying our memories of her. After all, my mom was a lot like me (or perhaps the other way around?). She sometimes laughed out of turn, but laughing a lot she did, and it was a huge part of her make-up. I can hardly think of a time when talking with my mother didn't end in laughter and on a high note because of that laughter.
With some folks, you simply have no choice but to laugh at the wrong time because, if not at the wrong time, you simply wouldn't laugh at all. And for me, that is a deal-breaker for a successful life. A life with no laughter is like a joke without a punch line, hard work with no reward, a chocolate sundae without a cherry. It is not only an essential ingredient in life, but maybe the most essential ingredient in this complicated mixing bowl we call life. Sometimes laughter might not come at exactly the right moment but, in fact, may come at the very most wrong moment. But laughter is what it is. It has the power to transform even the worst of situations into something entirely bearable.
In the words of the late Maya Angelou: "I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh." Thank you, Ms. Angelou. My thoughts exactly.
Posted by CC
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