My responses can be quite unfortunate. You’d think that all my writing, reading, and research of words would shape me into some rare form of fantastic conversationalist. It’s simply not true. I do prefer face to face contact over… say, a phone conversation, especially if it’s a job interview or I’m making a friend. But as much as I prefer it I’m not necessarily gifted in that area. A huge problem is that by the time the first few words are exchanged my mind has already skipped ahead about a million steps. For example, if someone shakes my hand and introduces themselves, likely my inner thoughts are a jumbled mess like this:
Hey! Excellent; their name is like -fictional character-! Oh, but what if this person doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Has he/she read that book? I shouldn’t say anything just in case it sounds snobbish that I’ve read that book. I hope I shook hands firmly enough. But not too firmly. I don’t want to seem like a manly aggressor. What a cool shirt! Should I point that out? How do I keep the conversation going!? Have I been awkwardly playing with this drink in my hand the entire time? That is a really cool shirt. Quick, ask them if… oh, too late. They walked away. Quel imbecile je suis ! — I’m an idiot.
It’s hard to form coherent sentences out of that mess, and when I do, they’re generally not at all impressive. In my needless fluster I use sarcasm. I tease. I laugh a lot.
Oh, there it is. I laugh. This wouldn’t be an unfortunate response if I had a “tinkling silvery laugh” that was heard in moderation when a clever witticism has been proffered in my hearing. But I don’t have one of those. My laugh is either a devious little chuckle, a childlike giggle, or an unbridled guffaw. Yes, I just said guffaw. Haha… such a funny word. :P
I can’t tell jokes because I laugh so hard thinking about the punchline that no one understands the words coming out of my mouth. More than likable movie scenes make me laugh gleefully–especially romantic ones. I shouldn’t witness horrible events like people falling out of chairs and hitting their heads because shock somehow translates to laugh in my addled brain pan. If people tell me, “This is serious, Beth” I’m going to laugh harder because “it sounds like the word ‘serious!‘” (0:22+) When I stub my foot, I laugh hysterically while writhing and clutching my toes in very real pain. When I drop my phone and the battery falls off, I swear, but… that… okay, moving on.
This is not to say I can’t be Sirius. Erm… Serious, I mean. Because I can be! And I am! (Serious, that is.) Those who know me well have certainly seen the somber, critical, angry side of me. But when it comes to subjects of a more serious nature, it’s like I can’t risk being wrong. I was never that pupil in class whose hand shot up first thing to answer a question. In devotions or Bible Study, I keep my thoughts to myself unless I’m more than 100% secure in my answer and about five minutes have passed to let me work up the courage to voice it. My conscience cries, “Faith, Bethany, faith!” and I think of that passage in Luke 12 that says, “…do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.” That is a difficulty for me. I guess that’s why they call a weakness. QUICK, LOOK AWAY!! I did NOT just admit that.
So, yes, laughing is my element. I deflect uncomfortable (meaning emotional) confrontations with verbal sparring and am much like Elizabeth Bennet when Mr. Darcy snubbed her. How I would laugh at that man! In fact, if I had a dime for each time I laughed when I probably shouldn’t, I’d be rich enough to buy the world. (And there would be much joy and Fanta.)
I was thinking of ending with a moral. You know, like all the children’s fairy tales do. Instead, I’ll leave you with this link:
Now you follow all those rules, I will laugh at everything you say or do, and we’ll be best friends for life.
HAHA! …Not! ;P