Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How do you curb your enthusiasm?

Have you ever been struck by an involuntary bout of raucous laughter during a time when said laughter was socially unacceptable?

Of course you have.

The more appropriate question is this: How did you manage to keep a straight face and maintain at least a modicum of maturity?

This was me recently. Well, I don’t know about the maturity part – I failed miserably at that. No, I’m referring solely to the laughing part.

A few nights ago, I accompanied Scott to one of his NFL alumni meetings. And this one was a bit more formal in nature: The evening began with a strolling dinner and drinks and ended with a series of semi-formal presentations by an array of football folk, including Detroit Lions team doctors who spoke about the latest innovations in the way of pain management, which certainly isn’t a laughing matter. What in the hell could possibly be funny about sitting among 300-pound former NFL players who live with an unfathomable level of pain every day and sometimes rely on painkillers just to make it down a flight of stairs?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

One doctor was describing how nerves can still serve as a pathway for pain long after a joint has been removed when, all of a sudden, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing began blaring from somewhere. More specifically, it was a ringtone, and it was coming from the cellphone that was tucked inside the pocket of the former player (Dan), who was sitting directly next to me.

I seemed to have heard it before Dan did. I looked at him as if to say Aren’t you going to silence your phone? Only then did it dawn on him that the sound was indeed coming from him, and he immediately began rooting through his pocket for his phone.

And that’s when it happened.

Dan produced his phone, which I was able to see was the exact same Samsung model I own, and tried repeatedly in vain to silence the phone to no avail. All he had to do was slide his finger in the direction of the red X on the phone’s screen, but apparently, he didn’t know how to do that. Instead, Dan had commenced to stabbing the phone with index finger in a desperate attempt to make Journey stop believing.

And it was hilarious. Here I was in the front row, listening to a doctor regale us on the plight of living with a torn Achilles tendon, and I was on the cusp of coming undone because the man next to me was having a conniption.

This. Went. On. For. Minutes.

Hotter than a Roman candle, Dan is stifling curse words at this point and is ready to chuck his phone clear across the room. I am pursing my lips, sitting on my hands, and holding my breath – all in a pitiful attempt to stave off laughter that I know is imminent. Scott nudges my thigh and shoots me a stern look as if to say, Cut it out. Meanwhile, the doctor is aware of all of this – as is everyone else who is sitting behind us, I’m sure.

How ironic: I spend a good portion of my days drilling into my son the importance of proper etiquette, yet here I am going off the rails.

It was purely by the grace of God that I got through this.

The gross irony, of course, is that this would not have been a laughing matter if it were happening to me, if I were the one who was holding a phone that I couldn’t stop from ringing. Hell, if this had happened to me, I wouldn’t show my face at another NFL event for the next 35 years. 

So how would you have fared in a situation like this? What would you have done?

UPDATE: This post was published months before the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams. I remember when I chose the photo above as a graphic for this post, it made me laugh so hard -- much like the way he made all of us laugh -- for decades...
RIP, Mr. Williams. You are missed.
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28 comments:

  1. Ok so if one of my family members falls and I see it and mentally know that they are OK..... Then the laughter comes forth. It is so bad that they will turn to me and say mum don't laugh I hurt myself. Seriously holding back a laugh thinking about this.....

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    1. Good Mornin', Ray! Yeah, it's not so much the falling that gets me...it's being in a situation when I absolutely cannot laugh. The problem that ensues is that EVERYTHING becomes funny because I know it is socially unacceptable to laugh about it. Sigh.

      I REALLY need to get a grip on this...

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  2. Courtney, you and I may never go to a formal setting and sit next to each other! I get the giggles when I'm supposed to be quite. A few years back a girlfriend of mine asked me to go to easter mass on a Saturday night. This is an extra long mass and we had planned to go to dinner afterwards so of course my stomach started growling during the service. We were both trying so hard not to laugh but were unsuccessful!

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    1. Oh, Susie, I totally agree. We must NEVER show our faces in a church together. EVER. Church is not a safe environment for me, as far as the giggles go.

      I'm sure there is, like, some sort of subconscious reason for my inability to keep things together. I wish someone with a psych degree would weigh in and call out my idiosyncrasy.

      What is wrong with us?

      Great. Now, even asking the question is making me laugh! lol

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    2. I look at it this way, we are normal, it's everyone else that's not! I find living in my own bubble and skipping down the crazy street life is simpler. Plus I see a lot of peeps I know along the way!! See you there!

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    3. It's a date, Susie! You bring the popcorn! lol

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  3. LOL I laugh at the worst moments quite frequently. I probably would have grabbed his phone and turned it off for him. A few months ago my sister and I were in church and her daughter got fussy so Liz (my sis) took her out for a walk, but left her bag. Lo and behold, her stupid phone started to RING. An alarm was going off. So I had to root through her bag and it took forever and it was awful and everyone thought it was mine! And... I was cracking up the whole time, even though my face was tomato-red.

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    1. "I probably would have grabbed his phone and turned it off for him."

      Well, thanks for making me feel like a loser, Sara, because that is precisely what I should have done when I saw we had the same phone. But, no, my childish immaturity just told me to keep stifling laughter.

      The more I relive this incident in my head, the more embarrassed I become...

      Thank you for weighing in!

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  4. Ha! This is so me. If something hilarious happens in public, I will snort and try not to explode with laughter. And I have the WORST habit of laughing at inappropriate times. I even did it on TV not too long ago. We're probably terrible people who should never sit next to each other at any sort of serious function.

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    1. Oh, you nailed it, Paige. I previously said that being in church is the riskiest environment for me, as far as getting the giggles go, but, now that I think about it, live television definitely presents a HUGE likelihood that I'll come undone.

      What I want to know is, what happened???? How did you handle it? I need to know.

      Seeing that I've spent several years of my life as an on-air television reporter, it is nothing short of a miracle that this hasn't happened to me...

      Thank you for commenting.

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  5. Hilarious!!! I would have turned to person next to me for help or gotten off my seat and walked out. I have though for a long time just gotten into habit of shutting ringer off at most events to avoid the "surprises" lol great share

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    1. Hi, Mari! Yes, I'm right there with you: I turn the ringer off. Pronto. I remember I turned my own ringer off before we even got inside the meeting -- Scott was still parking the car when I silenced my phone!

      Eeek! Me no likey those types of surprises...

      Thank you for commenting. :-)

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  6. So funny!! I love that your husband silent scolded you. I don't remember this recently, but when I was probably 10 years old I went to the annual Christmas Chorale concert with my mom, my best friend and her mom. It was a packed church with all the robed people singing glorious carols. My friend and I noticed a distinct B.O. oder coming from an older man next to her. It started to decend on us and we were giving each other looks. Suddenly I pulled my turtle neck up over my nose and kind of ducked down into it. That was it. We started silent laughing and it started to shake the entire pew...more and more. First our moms looked at us and threatened to separate us, but that combined with the pew shaking made it even worse. Tears were streaming down our faces and the entire pew was shaking. It is great memory!!

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    1. Oh, dear, Susan. Once again, you have proved that we are of the same ilk.

      The moment I read the words Christmas Chorale concert and church, well, I knew it was all downhill from there. And when I read that BO was also involved...well...that was just the death knell.

      That scenario has me laughing NOW, and I wasn't even there to experience it in the flesh!

      Thank you for sharing!

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  7. How embarrassing! That's the kind of semi silent laugh that you can feel in your stomach. This happened to me and my sister in yoga when someone passed gas. Apparently, it's normal and nobody else thought it was funny. We were "silently" laughing for about 10 minutes where all you could see was our bodies shaking.

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    1. Ah, yes. The all-too-popular Fart in Yoga Class. I have been in the presence of that while I was actually teaching a class! But, oddly, that didn't spark laughter in me. It's strange: Now, I've had the same response as you when I was taking a class and someone farted -- before I became an instructor...but when someone farts in a class that I am teaching, I'm so in the zone, that it flies below my radar. If anything, I'm happy for that person because, to some extent, you have to be relaxed in order to fart in class, so I'm just glad about that! lol

      Thank you for commenting!

      xo

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  8. I probably would had a little chuckle too. But would have quickly tried to silence myself to not embarrass myself and the other guy.

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    1. Oh, Louida, it is the eighth wonder of the world why Scott didn't catch the giggles! I am completely stumped by the fact that he kept his composure during the whole thing...

      Honestly? I am thanking my lucky stars that this didn't end worse...

      Thank you for weighing in. :-)

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  9. When I'm caught in an embarrassing situation alone I want to crawl under a chair. When I;m with my friend...it's a great moment. I give you credit for holding it together...I would have had to run out laughing.

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    1. See, that's just it, Karen...leaving wasn't an option because we were in the front row. There is absolutely no way in hell that I would have been able to get up, turn around and face everyone, and walk out -- all while keeping a straight face.

      No. Way.

      Like I said, I'm just thanking my lucky stars that the worst case scenario didn't occur here...

      Thank you so much for commenting.

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  10. Laughter is so difficult to maintain, especially when something just strike the funny bone. Thanks for a relatable post!

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    1. Difficult? You can say that again.

      You know what else will be difficult? If I have to come face to face with that doctor again. I mean, chances are, I won't. But I have some serious egg on my face if I do, and I can't help but think he'll remember me as the inconsiderate woman who nearly ruined his presentation with her childish ways...

      Thank you for visiting. :-)

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  11. Congrats on keeping it together. Can you imagine if it would have been something like "The Macarena"? No way would you have lasted then! lol

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    1. Oh, I'd just have to cash in my chips if, say, Macarena was playing. There is no way in hell I would have been able to keep a straight face. Hell, I *like* "Don't Stop Believing" and you see that I still had a hard time!

      We are in lockstep on this one, Lexa! lol

      Thanks for commenting.

      xo

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  12. I don't know what's funnier...this post or reading the comments, and your replys! Yoga farts would be an awesome post btw....

    As for this topic--kudos for stifling the giggles. I would have just laughed at the song on the ringtone. Not even a good Journey song either...

    I recently interviewed someone and completely lost it with their response. Luckily we weren't live.

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    1. See! There's just no hope for when laughter strikes! lol

      Yeah, I'm pretty amused by these comments, as well. It just goes to show that no place is safe: yoga class, NFL meetings, and, worst of all, church. So, basically, if we're in public...then we're at risk.

      Thank you for commenting, Kristen!

      xo

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  13. This is the story of my life. I find myself laughing at the most inappropriate times, and often at the most inappropriate things! Honestly, I think you got through it much better than I imagine I would have!

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    1. Thanks for the reassurance, Amanda, really. I tried...Lord knows I tried to keep it together!

      After how I acted at this meeting, I'm crossing my fingers that I don't embarrass myself in grand fashion tonight...

      Thank you for commenting, and Happy SITS Day, again!

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