I was talking with a student the other day about being in a situation that you find funny, but for whatever reason you know you shouldn’t laugh. She agreed with me that a situation like that makes it even more difficult not to laugh. I told her that I can’t control myself, and it can be a real problem. Here are a few examples.
I remember in high school our coach invited us to a team dinner at his house. He had been telling us for a week how amazing the dinner would be, but when we arrived we discovered the menu was chicken liver. We loved this coach, but chicken liver isn’t high on the list of favorites for a teenager. We didn’t want him to be hurt, so we began trying to find ways to hide or dispense of the liver while he was out of the room. The scene became very funny, and when he came back into the room our plates were empty, and we were laughing uncontrollably. He was glad we apparently loved the chicken liver; we were enjoying being with each other, and the dogs looked very happy.
There were so many moments in class when something was said or done that was very funny, but I knew if I laughed it would be embarrassing for the student. I once had to excuse myself, go down the hall, and let the laughter out in an empty classroom.
There is something about my daughter that ensures laughter will ensue. We have had more crazy adventures where we have laughed until our stomachs hurt. Once we were at an exhibition for abstract art because one of our friends loves that type of art. I turned to my daughter and told her I didn’t understand abstract art, and I was pretty sure the artist was making fun of us, trying to see how far they could go to see if we would still call it art. We turned the corner to see an entire room that was set up with a clothesline with metal pieces draped over the line like laundry. We both lost it, but we were trying so hard to be serious because we didn’t want to offend our friend, but we could not stop laughing.
I have always believed that laughter is the best medicine, and I often see the funny side of things, but I wish I could control myself in some of those funny situations.