The First and Last Laugh

Mary - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on November 21, 2011

I believe in laughter; I especially believe in laughing at myself. Whether through nature or nurture, this is definitely a trait that came to me from my mom.

Now some people might be embarrassed by mishaps, but not my mom. She was a funny person who did some pretty goofy things. She loved to tell stories on herself – how she climbed in the back seat of her car one morning only to realize, as a widow whose children had long since flown the coop, she should be in the driver’s seat. “What did you do?” I asked with some concern; “Well, I just got out and changed seats” she replied, obviously delighted in the tale of her misdeed.

My two brothers had different reactions to our mom’s foibles. One, the youngest, became very concerned and worried about her health and safety. The other, the oldest, chuckled as long as our mother chuckled. I, being the middle child and the only daughter, laughed along with her and watched.

One of her best tales was the time when on a walk in the neighborhood she fell in a ditch. I never really got a clear picture of how this happened, and she wasn’t interested in mining those details. She liked the punch line. “There I was just lying in the ditch.” “What did you do?” I asked with true alarm. “I just laid there. I knew someone would eventually mosey along and pull me out.” My response? I bought her a bright red coat to wear on her walks so she’d be visible to anyone who just happened to mosey by.

All this to say, I come to laughing at myself naturally and joyfully, thanks to my mom. Today I channeled her and she would have truly loved the tale. While on the phone with a friend, I slapped the left pocket of my blue jeans where I always carry my cell phone. “Rats, I’ve lost my cell,” I cried out to my friend, to be known hereafter as my dear, kind, patient friend. After a pause she gently asked, “Aren’t you talking to me on your cell?”

Yes, I believe in the joy and the power and the freedom of having the first and the last laugh….especially on myself.