Patrick has been a staunch supporter of my writing efforts but has never recommended a topic for a blog post.
He hinted, “Molly, write about the time we went to that dinner at Jeff’s Catering.”
Our evening of shame
He didn’t need to supply any more details to remind me of our evening of shame.
It all started with an invitation to our financial planner’s annual client appreciation event. We rarely attend these sorts of things, but when we noticed there was a dinner involved that we didn’t have to cook, we sent in our RSVP ASAP.
I’d like to say we sat up front because we are financial planning superstars, but in reality, I forgot something forcing us to return home, and we bagged the last two seats, front and center.
Everything was going well during the salad course. Then servers plunked down the main dish, and a speaker approached the podium, obliging the jovial crowd to curb conversation.
We listened intently as though our financial future depended on grasping every concept when suddenly I noticed a strange sound coming from behind us. It was raspy, rhythmic, and creepy. I performed a subtle Linda Blair head turn to visualize the source of this stridor.
I found myself looking directly into the mouth of one of our fellow diners. Utilizing my nursing assessment skills, I speculated that his visible tonsils might be creating a partial obstruction responsible for the respiratory turbulence.
We shouldn’t have laughed, but we couldn’t stop
Patrick leaned over to me and whispered, “Who invited Darth Vader?”
His question took me by surprise, and I uttered an audible chuckle.
His shoulders shook.
My eyes watered.
We tried to gain control, but we could not suppress our laughter. We began an endless waltz of “stifle, shake, snort; stifle shake, snort,” punctuated by villainous wheezes.
I went to the bathroom, tilting my tear-streaked face to avoid eye contact with any of the other guests and frantically contracted my pelvic floor muscles to prevent an accident.
When I returned Patrick took his turn, hoping the separation might cure us of our mutual hysteria.
The bathroom incident
Once in the bathroom and standing at the urinal, Patrick decided to take advantage of his alone time to express some of his suppressed laughter. He started with a modest chuckle, which morphed into a giggle, and finally he flung his head back in a liberating guffaw.
He wasn’t sure what relieved him the most; emptying his bladder or laughing unfettered.
An odd sound silenced him, and he slowly turned and saw a shocking sight. Two legs with feet attached. Apparently sitting in a stall.
Rattled, he hustled back to our table before his bathroom mate could follow and identify him as the psychotic man at the urinal.
Meanwhile, we sat through another hour of financial advice accented by thunderous breathing and bursts of forbidden laughter.
We made amends
When the dinner ended, we felt guilty about going to the dark side with our inappropriate behavior and decided to make amends to our noisy neighbor. We scrawled this on a tear stained napkin and shoved it into his pocket, “Get a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist before it’s too late.”
Have you humiliated yourself by laughing in an awkward social setting? What was your experience? How did you get yourself under control?