I am an embarrassment. Not an embarrassment of riches, which is what my name means, but just richly embarrassing.
According to Alistair, anyway. It was just a relatively normal morning, we’d both overslept, The Girl had been awake for hours, but had entertained herself reading on the landing, The Boy was still dead to the world. Alistair went to work, I took The Blondies to school… I have mixed feelings about the school run. I love taking them to school, no, not because I’m getting rid of them, but because we always talk a lot and giggle the whole way there. This morning was especially full of laughter and I pretty much hooted the whole way to school. So much so, that The Boy said ‘I love your laugh Mum! It starts off deep and throaty and then it goes all high and giggly, and it's REALLY loud!’ I was really rather touched by this – a compliment is always welcome, and especially so when it’s from something as intrinsic to your personality as your laugh.
Because I do laugh a lot. At anything. Everything. It doesn’t matter how bad things get, nowadays I can always find something to laugh at. Usually something hideously inappropriate. There’s a video on youtube that features a one second clip that makes me laugh so hard that people near me start to fear for the integrity of my internal organs. It’s just the expression on one persons face that KILLS me. I don’t even need to watch it now, the memory of it is enough to set me off… hang on, sorry, I’m gone, talk amongst yourselves for a bit, I just need a bit of time…
Ok, I’m back. But yes, I do laugh a lot. Especially when things get bad. It’s a personal failing I’m not proud of. But generally, when things are at their most despairing, I make godawful jokes about it and then crease up with laughter. It’s not an endearing habit, and I wish to Christ I didn’t. It has a tendency to piss people off.
Like Alistair. In the rush to work this morning, he forgot something vital. So he phoned me at nine to ask if I could take it into work for him. Because I am lovely, I did, and stopped to chat with him for a minute or two, filling him in about the walk to school. And of course I got the giggles telling him the ‘twenty foot long tentacles/testicles’ story. And my laugh, as described, was deep and throaty, then high and giggly. And LOUD.
‘You’re embarrassing me.’
Not for the first time. Not for the last. Words like a slap in the face.