Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Laughing and Growing

Ethyl Barrymore wrote, "You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself."

When would that be? I laugh at myself more frequently now than I did, say, 30 years ago. Even 40 years ago. When did I start laughing at myself?

I recall my sister Barb and I laughing at ourselves in college, the morning after a tornado warning saw us dancing on each other's heads, not altogether figuratively. Panic mode makes one dance, for sure. We did a panic dance, then ran to our bathtub, did a panic dance in the tub, and then ascertained we would only be safe if we ran across the street to the neighbors' cellar. I cannot describe what footwork we did, but suffice to say, it was funny. Funny!

Out of college and a flight attendant in New York, one afternoon I was returning home from a European flight. I was tired. I was jet-lagged. I went through U.S. Customs with no problems. I walked to the street level and headed out to the street. There was a turn-stile/baffle gate made of glass which requires pedestrians to walk single-file to the exit of the airport building. As I entered the turn-stile, so did another person, someone who looked international, and who might not have understood the "one-person-at-a-time" configuration of this baffle gate. No sooner did he approach and force-push this gate, but the glass on all four sides shattered around me. The unsuspecting person fled. The flight attendant in uniform, the one who probably should have known the mechanics of said exit, stood stalk-still for fear of lacerations. I stood there, like a specimen in glass, waiting for someone to assist me. And all I could do was laugh. People stared. Oh, well.

Any more I find lots of opportunities to laugh at myself.

The time I accidentally threw my handbag over the castle wall in Heidleburg...
The time I drove over 20 miles west, past my turnoff to "go home"...
The time I wore one slingback and one pump to church...

I could certainly go one; the moments are gaining as I write.

But! According to Ethyl, I have grown up.

~ About time.

3 comments:

Gill said...

Oh, I remember the two separate shoes at church. That was too funny!

twebsterarmstrong said...

It WAS funny. Years later.

C said...

Oh I thought it was funny the day that it happened, didnt take me years later to see the humor...
It shouldt be my mom starting the uncontrollable laguther though...
I remember once getting in BIG trouble at church in Stillwater for laughing with Gill....

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