Love and Spit-takes

Veronica Writes

Have you noticed that the older we get, the less we laugh?

As a mother and someone who has worked in academic settings, I find myself envious of teenaged girls who can work themselves into hiccup-inducing hysterics over the slightest thing.

Admittedly, the tears come just as fast, and I have to say I’m glad I’m past THAT nonsense, but just witnessing a spontaneous giggle-fest sets my heart a-singing.

As a society, we unfortunately chalk uncontrollable laughter up to immaturity. How sad is that? I feel blessed anytime I’m with someone who can find humor in everyday situations or can relate a hysterical life story. Give me somebody who can help me plot undoable practical jokes or an elaborate heist scenario any day. I have a criminal mind with, luckily, no guts.

But — alas — it is exceptionally rare that any of these encounters evolve into the kind of laughter that physically hurts. David and I have our moments, but it’s when I’m with my girls, The Piglet and Decibel, that the demented stuff really gets underway.

Twice during a visit to Manhattan, real honest-to-goodness public spit-takes happened.

The first, involving me, red wine and a really nice Italian restaurant where Decibel was a hostess on the weekends. The wonderfully charming restaurateur had just settled us in our regular window table with mussels, bread and Chianti, allowing Decibel sit with us as long as her duties didn’t require her to be elsewhere.

Feeling the effects of all day on planes, buses, taxis and trains — I was properly goofy when I started relating a story of an erstwhile Google search (no need to repeat it here since I’ve yet to find a single person that thinks it’s even remotely funny outside the three of us).

Filling my mouth with the delicious Chianti, I stupidly looked up at Decibel — not my smartest move — and the look on her face took me to the next level of mirth.

Realizing that swallowing had jumped out of the realm of possibilities, I raised my white linen napkin to my quivering lips in a vain effort to keep the red wine contained in my mouth. Not willing to let this situation pass, The Piglet upped the ante by tossing out an inappropriate comment.

The ensuing explosion was spectacular. The Piglet likened it to a scene from a horror flick, as if I’d been impaled and coughing up blood.

You can’t take me anywhere.

The next morning at brunch Decibel repeated the action with her own spit-take, this time with a spiced tea latte. At a communal table.

We’re quite the class act.

Unbecoming spit-takes aside, laughter makes life worth living. I am proud of my dynamic daughters, so full of life and youth, willing to turn me into a doubled-over mess of flying spew.

It’s hard to believe there were times during their teenage years when we couldn’t connect, were unable to share and when I was paralyzed with the thought that they would grow up and not love me anymore.

Now they graciously allow me to see the world they have created for themselves, tell me their stories, share their problems and fears — adult women who are secure enough to call me Mommy.

I fervently hope that no matter how old I get, I’m never too “mature” to chance a spit-take or two with my daughters. Cheers!


YOUR turn: Do you have someone that you share laughter like this with?

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22 thoughts on “Love and Spit-takes”

  1. Lovely post! Hadn’t thought about when and why I laugh — but most of the time yes, it is with our kids, my husband and old friends. Clearly it is about having a history and all the images and memories that go with it. The challenge is to find the laughs also in other situations and with other people, looking for the fun side of things. Greetings from France, from another Gypsy.

  2. I’ve got a friend (of about 25 years friendship). He’s got a bit of a southern accent, and we talk on the phone quite a bit. Combine sometimes less than perfect phone reception with his accent and the stage is set. I can’t even remember the conversation now, I just know that somehow Austin and Boston were involved. He’s passionate about NOT liking anything in the NE part of US, but somehow I got Boston. When I figured out it was Austin, I started to laugh. Then, his reaction, indignation (feigned) and sillyness… just sent me into such laughter that I had tears running down my face and couldn’t breath. Then, he starts in on me (in a funny way) about ‘what’s so danged funny?…’ and it was almost 10 minutes before I could talk! To this day, all either of us has to do is mention either city, and I start giggling again!

  3. Funny you should ask. We have a “boat friend” we haven’t seen in years. He and his wife just showed up in the harbor down here in the Keys yesterday. We literally laughed til we cried last night, catching up on years of stories. It’s been too long.

  4. I have noticed no such thing! In fact I find I am far more prone to laughter now. Because I’m over 50 dammit, and can cut loose if I want.

  5. It just takes a little wackiness in all of us to make the world a bit funnier place. One of my favorite things to do is make funny noises and off the wall jokes to make people giggle.

  6. I still laugh like that when I get together with my sisters but I am afraid of something spewing from my bladder when I laugh…not from my mouth LMAO!

    1. Both my kids are in Prison–haven’t had much laughs for a while. Need to get past it and learn to laugh again…

    2. I am one of six sisters….we have made a point of getting together from all over the country once a year, and when we do we absolutely laugh until we cry, or pee our pants–or both!! And I’m also blessed with several great girlfriends that I can cut loose with as well…laughter is EXTREMELY important part of my life as I’ve gotten older! If I DON’T laugh I’ll CRY! lol

    3. My three sisters – we are frequently in danger of being thrown out of public places for laughing so loud. My best friend – ditto. My two grandsons – they have literally had me rolling on the floor.

      1. Linda, that reminds me of when MY sisters or MY friends and I get together–I know people think we must be drinking to be so loud–and we aren’t ALWAYS 🙂 We went on a Pink Jeep tour in Arizona during a sisters reunion, and paid extra just so we wouldn’t have to share–didn’t want to put poor unsuspecting people through that!

        1. Tara – some of the best times in life, aren’t they? Just wish I could get together with sisters more often. Don’t live close to them.

    4. my daughter! The biggest laughs we have are about getting mad at inanimate objects such as the GPS, the phone, and the TV.

      The funniest one was when we were in Walgreens where there was one of those “caution, wet floor signs” and I, being annoyed, said to it “excuse me you’re in my way” and pushed it to the side. My daughter was in hysterics…and the other customers looked at us really weird…

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