Being able to laugh at yourself

Posted on : 16-05-2006 | By : Lynn | In : Humor


So I’m one of these people that LOVES to laugh. I mean, I would do just about anything to be around, talk to, or watch someone that really tickles my funny bone. And I’ve been told that I can be very funny too. Sometimes I will go out of my way to make someone laugh, especially if they have a really good hearty laugh like my good friend MC and her brother. They are the type of laughers who have a burbling laughter that starts somewhere just below their guts and rumbles up and through their mouths, in most cases forcing their heads back and racking their bodies as they let out their sounds.

This is the ultimate gift for anyone who loves to make people laugh, this kind of hearty response.

And yet, there are the times when I swear to you I must be the most serious person that ever came out of someone’s womb. When I get into these absolutely BLEAK, BLEAK places, I feel like there is not one drop of humor living inside me that I could possibly wrangle together to evoke a smile, much less a gufaw.

However, there is hope. I think I may have stumbled on to a cure for me that may be helpful for you when/if you get into these places.

If I accept the black, dank humor of my heart in these times, I can find “hit your funny bone” type connecting-humor by looking at some obvious point of life that I completely missed or a mishap or oh-so-human behavior that I’ve found myself mesmerized by

For instance. as a Coach, I have sometimes this absolutely unrealistic expectation of myself that everything has to be PERFECT. Even being imperfect has to be perfect. Anyway, the “grandfather” of Coaching, the late Thomas Leonard used to have all kinds of ideas of how your physical space should be kept and decorated where you live, work and play. For instance, there is a list of questions about the condition of your car, if it is maintained properly, washed (even the underside) etc.

Herein is where Thomas’ expectations and my reality diverge greatly. My car is well maintained, thanks in large part to my husband and it does remain fairly clean, however I have a nasty habit of chewing gum and putting the abc (already been chewed) gum into a wrapper and tossing it into the console box. Mix in a couple of those abc wrapper’s not wrapped all the way and the good ole Texas heat, and well you can imagine.

First time I realized how I was setting myself up for failure with the gum was on the way to meet an important VP of Corporate Training for a big company. Had my nice outfit on, had my clean car, had my fancy sunglasses….. When I went to retrieve my sunglasses out of the console, there was melted gum all over one of the lenses and some of the frame. I spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to figure out how to remove melted gum off of the sunglasses, with this gum continuing to melt and gooily attaching itself to all my fingers and both sides of my hands. I said a brief prayer of thanks to God that I was in my own driveway. At least there would be no witnesses.

Finally I got most of the gum off and drove to my appointment. Thank God I had the sense to take my glasses off and put them in my purse before I met with my client because a small round circle of gum was still located somewhere upon the glasses and had managed to suck every bit of hair (dog, cat, human) along with little itty bitty pieces of paper that I had in my purse, onto the gum. I had art instead of glasses at this point.

After the meeting, when I had discovered this lastest transformation of my glasses, I was in my car, parked out front of the client’s office which had large glass windows tinted on one side so you couldn’t see if anyone could see you, or were bothering to look, but you couldn’t tell for sure if they were or weren’t watching you.

Oh and my car is a convertible too, did I tell you that? So you guessed it, I got into my car and held the glasses with their appendage of gradoo below my knee under the steering wheel while I frantically scraped off the hair and paper and all manner of things attached to the gum onto my glasses WITHOUT drawing attention to myself.

At this point I figured the sane thing to do was to cop an attitude and act as if I indeed had intended to wear glasses with accutrements all along and so I flipped my pony tail over my shoulder, put the glasses on and drove away. Luckily, I’d managed to scrape enough of the junk off of my glasses that I could see out of the lense!

So, if you are ever feeling especially BLACK about the world or yourself and you want to laugh again, look to your own human-ness and help people to laugh along with you!

Comments (3)


Great and HUMOROUS story! I’m reminded of when I was first out of school and went to a job interview and threw up during the middle of the interview because I was so nervous and wanted the job so badly.

I was interviewing to be the Community Relations Director for Loews Anatole, and even though the interviewer was nice enough to hold up my dripping resume and say they were going to keep it on file (a plastic ziplock bag would have been required), obviously I was not going to get the job.

So bawling and throw-up laden I proudly stood up and said, “I’m sorry and thank you for your time,” and went outside where four other of the top finalists patiently waiting for their interviews looked at me as though they were seeing something out of the movie, “Alien.”

I imagined their “interview fear” doubled in their mind by worrying about what must have happened during the interview to put me in such a state.

I felt badly for them, but the thought of it somehow made me laugh all the way home. Turns out I got a better job at the Dallas Zoo the next week and learned a very good lesson about how it is best to interview on an empty stomach.


This made me think of all the years I was too embarrassed to laugh out loud because someone had told me as a child that I had a stupid laugh. It was such a relief to get old and sassy enough that I decided to laugh anyway! Nothing better than a good laugh (although, as I get even older, I’m thinking about how good it feels to find a public restroom.)

Nice post. is great.

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