I remember when I was younger and I would get the “giggles.” Something would strike me as so funny that I couldn’t stop laughing, particularly if I was with a friend. We’d try to stop, but then look at one another and begin laughing again. I think most people remember those moments.
The last time I can remember doing it, I was in a Psychology of Perception university course. After a 45 minute, extremely boring lecture on how human eyesight works, the professor said, “And to summarize, during the day we use our cones and at night we use our rods.” I immediately thought, “Well, hell, I could have told you all that 45 minutes ago,” and I started to giggle and then the harder I tried to stop the more the spit came out between my lips and snorting noises out of my nose. Nobody else found it that funny and that even made it worse for me.
Another time, I was in the midst of a very serious religious group of people while someone was asking for the group to pray for them due to their allergies. As she kept describing the dust mites and their affect on her health, I started laughing under my breath and the more I tried to suppress it, the worse it got. I almost wet my pants. Meanwhile I kept getting angry glares from the serious ones in the group which made it even harder to control. I never got the chance to pray for that poor soul’s allergies because I had to get out of the room for her to continue with the long description of her “illness.” I didn’t last much longer as a member of that group…nor did my giggling partner.
Things that I would get the uncontrollable giggles over weren’t necessarily hilarious in themselves, but it did feel good to laugh so hard I would lose my breath and my side would ache. Those days seem long ago for me and others my age…and even for somewhat younger people too. My favorite sound at work is when I hear some young adults out in the common area get laughing really hard about some silliness. I would like to bottle up that laughter and tell them to keep it with them for the rest of their lives…and mine too.
Things can get pretty serious for us as we lose our silliness, but once in awhile the silliness pops up unexpectedly. Once I was in an important meeting with very serious people. I have a very, very short attention span. I get bored very easy in very boring meetings which makes me fidget nervously. In this particular meeting, I took off my watch with the metal, elastic wrist band …like this one.
I started to twist it around and I absentmindedly brought it up to my face where it got stuck on some whiskers from my mustache. It was dangling over my upper lip while the serious people around the conference table kept talking without noticing my situation. I knew I had to think fast. If I tried to untangle the whiskers from the band, I was certain I would draw attention to myself. That would not be a good career move. My solution was going to cause some pain, but I pulled very quickly and very hard. Tears filled my eyes from the sensitivity of the area. Several newly removed whiskers were in the wrist band as I slipped it back on to a more acceptable location for a wrist watch…my wrist. Nobody seemed to notice as my eyes continued to tear for a minute or so. If I was able to watch that whole situation happen, instead of being so deeply involved, I would have laughed very hard.
I have decided – since this is my blog – I need to be silly from time to time. If I am lucky, maybe someday I will get the giggles again.
Introducing a new self help series called Wisdom from the ‘tache.