Thursday, September 9, 2010

Laugh or Cry?

Yesterday I woke up determined to have a better day. Because isn't that what optimists do? Brush bad days off and decide the next day will be good again? The morning was better -- I only had to clean cat puke off the rug rather than my bed, and I crossed the street in a different spot to avoid the cranky crossing guard. Then I took younger son to run a string of errands, which ended with me in a shoe store where I mistakenly asked some poor customer if he could help me find a size, thinking that he worked in the store. Hey, he was wearing a red shirt, and the guy who worked there was also wearing a red shirt. Just as I realized my mistake, younger son proceeded to have a tantrum.

As I walked out of the store, I thought about my grandfather, because I had just totally done something that he often did. I can't tell you how many times I was with him in a store when I was a teenager when he'd decide to just ask some random customer for help. Of course it was the most embarrassing thing ever, and equally annoying that it seemed he always knew that the person didn't actually work at the store, but that he just didn't care. That was my grandfather in a nutshell. He pretty much did what he wanted, when he wanted to, but in the nicest way possible so everyone loved him for.

My grandfather died a few years ago, but I find myself thinking of him in seemingly random moments, like that moment yesterday. Those moments used to be sad moments, where I missed him, but more recently, they've become more positive moments, where I think about how lucky I was to have known him.

Yesterday, there was that moment, where I paused outside of the store, trying to calm youngest child down, and I thought about my grandfather. Had he been with me, I was pretty sure he would've still been inside the store, trying to convince the poor customer to help him find a size. And then I couldn't help but laugh at myself. After all, laughter and optimism must be related, right?

How do you react when you do something embarrassing in public?


  1. Good grief. I have at least one embarrassing moment per day. I usually just try to laugh and remember it for future book material!

  2. Oh, I think I have more than one embarrassing moment/day, too -- just usually not quite this blatant!

  3. I usually hide my mortification and laugh about it. Then, when I'm by myself I wallow in the OMGs! :) Unless it's something mildly embarrassing, then I just let it roll off.