Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I have a confession to make. I laugh at the most inappropriate things. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. I blame it on my family. In our house, you learned that laughter can get you through all of the rough spots in life. Nothing is exempt. Lost a job? Someone died? Have a terminal illness? Going through a bankruptcy? Believe me, we will find the humor in it and point it out to you, ready or not.

So imagine how I felt when I saw this headline today. I know I shouldn't laugh. I know. I know. I KNOW. I mean, I'm a parent. I can't even begin to think what this girl's parents are going through. And what a violent way to go. It's horrible, truly, and I recognize that. But I just looked at that headline and a giggle started bubbling up from my belly, and before long, it was a chuckle and then I couldn't contain myself and I was full-on laughing, thinking of the irony. (I know. I suck.)

Worse than that, I have a friend whose husband was seriously wounded in Iraq. He lost two of his limbs, and his struggle, not only to survive, but to now learn to do things that the rest of us take for granted has been nothing short of inspirational. I deeply, deeply admire both of them for what they have and are continuing to overcome. But not even that could prevent me from laughing at an e-mail I received from one of their friends who is helping to organize a special fundraiser for this soldier and his wife. The theme of the fundraiser is "Serving Soldier X," and the e-mail made many references to this fundraiser with no problems whatsoever. Well, there were no problems until roughly the middle of the e-mail when the friend accidentally typed in "Severing Soldier X." I read that and I guffawed. Loudly. And I feel really badly about this, because I KNOW how much this couple is struggling right now and my heart aches for them, but "severing?" I take a little bit of comfort in knowing that the soldier would be laughing his ass off too, if he could see it. But his wife? Not so much. So yeah....I am an ass. I know.

But it's not like my inappropriate laughter is reserved only for tragedies that befall other people. When my grandfather died, a man whom I adored, it was a huge blow, but don't think that we weren't laughing our asses off not too long afterward. If you can picture the scene, my grandmother, my mom, a couple aunts and I were all standing around my grandparents' kitchen once my grandfather's ashes had been retrieved. As his remains were to be interred in a couple different locations, we were trying to decide how best to divide up his ashes for transport. We started looking for containers. The smaller containers were quickly rejected. "Cool Whip?" someone suggested. "Pickles?" offered someone else. "Oh, no! I've got it!" I said, reaching for a container on a higher shelf. "I can't BELIEVE it's not Grandpa! Now with lower cholesterol!" Hysterics soon broke out. One of my aunts brought out a mint container. "At least he'll smell minty fresh on his way to the afterlife!" she said triumphantly. By this time, people were starting to worry about peeing their pants. It had been a tough day for all of us, but it would have been worse if we hadn't been able to come together and share a laugh at the end of it.

Still, sometimes I wish I didn't have to worry about this propensity of mine to laugh at wrong moment. I mean, I'm not always at home by myself when these fits of inappropriate laughter strike me. And while my friends and family understand this particular character flaw, I can't be assured that everyone else will. So, you know, if we ever end up at the same funeral together, and you see my body shake as I try to hold back the laughter, just do me a favor, would you? Form a human shield. No one else really needs to know what a horrible person I am. It can just be our little secret.


At March 15, 2006 9:26 AM, Blogger Bibydays said...

My confession is that when I am on the phone at work and bored with the conversation, I check blogs, etc.
The problem is that when I clicked on this link, I almost started to laugh out loud, so I suspect my family is as sick as yours.

At March 15, 2006 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, it's no worse than my friend and I laughing at this headline yesterday...

Miss Deaf Texas Struck & Killed By Train

It wouldn't have been funny except they went into detail about how the engineer kept blowing the horn to get her to move, but she didn't seem to hear it according to the engineer.

At March 16, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger Raven in NYC (aka Mark) said...

Oh I've totally laughed at inapporpriate things all the time. Sometimes it's a coping mechanism and sometimes it's just good for relieving teh stress of a rough situation.

I remember when my grandmother, who suffered with a terminal disease for years, died my mother and aunt were there when she died. Apparently at one point she stoppped breathing and so they thought she was gone. But then a minute later my grandmother started breathing heavy and they couldn't help but laugh. In fact when they told the story again we all had a huge belly laugh over it because it was just like my grandmother to do something like that. A final cute little joke on her way out. We were sad to see her go, but glad she wasnt' suffering and the laughs helps a lot.

So go on and keeping laughing at inappropriate things. I think it just makes us more well-adjusted people.


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