I can’t even remember where or when I first heard the phrase but it has saved my sanity more times than I can think of. Here is the best definition I have of it.
Magic Chuckle: v. The moment you burst into laughter, at your own expense, because of what you are experiencing in a particular moment of your day. The situation may or may not appear funny at the time but it might strike you as hilarious some time later.
The reason to keep your eyes open for a Magic Chuckle is: A Magic Chuckle doesn’t always “seem” like a Magic Chuckle at the time (referred to as an MC after this point). This means that sometimes it happens because of what you do or who you are around or where you are and most times it horribly embarrassing or frustrating. You may even be quite angry at the moment it happens. It’s always good to look for these because they are the biggest stress-busters and tension-releaser’s I know.
So an example of a MC might be: you are standing in front of your team, at work, and your button is undone (this could be ANY button). No one says anything to you right away but during coffee break a member pulls you aside to tell you about it. You may be mortified at the moment but later on it may make a great, funny story. Okay maybe much later.
An example from my life might look like this. My child is developmentally delayed and at the time he was at least five years old. You might have already taught your child by this age, that commenting out loud; on someone’s appearance is something you just don’t do. This doesn’t always work with a child who is developmentally delayed. It’s like you tried glueing the thought in their head and it just doesn’t stick. Since he doesn’t look handicapped people thought my child should be more socially adept than he actually was. As you might expect this was an ongoing source of MC’s.
On this particular day I was grocery shopping and as we turned down an aisle a rather portly person was coming towards us. My child immediately turned his head in her direction and openly watched the person walking closer and closer to us. I kept my hand ready in case I needed to quietly and quickly cover his mouth in case something came out of it.
The closer we got the more attentive my son got and I just KNEW we were going to have an expose′ in the middle of the aisle. I wasn’t sure when but my son was just vibrating in anticipation. I know, I know. You are thinking why I didn’t just whisper something to my child. This however might result in him repeating very loudly what I had just said to him or him responding innocently and out loud anyway. My experience with him had been the less said the better and swift action was preferable.
I move quickly and circle back when this portly person had moved on. As I sped up it seemed like a race for me to get past them before my son spouted his opinion. But we managed to smoothly zip by, without appearing too much in a hurry or anxious.
I was starting to feel quite pleased with my choice of action. You might say, in hindsight, I was feeling a little cocky. “Phew!” I thought, “We got past with no incident and no embarrassment.” I slowed down a bit after several feet and started to take a deep breath when my son loudly pronounced, “Gee mom! She FAT!” with the emphasis on fat.
The woman abruptly turned around to glare at me. Presumably because she felt I was unable to control my child or had neglected to teach him manners. What can I say? At this stage there is no point trying to explain to anyone that my child is handicapped or so sorry but my son is just being honest, or just plain sorry. I’ve never had a happy result from anything I might try to say in a situation like this.
I was embarrassed and shushed my child but the damage had been done. I immediately went to the check-out and my shopping unfinished. I didn’t want to run into her at the check out.
Despite my anger, I gently put my child in his car seat. I sat behind the steering wheel gripping it while I hung my head. I was on the verge of crying but a switch inside me flipped the beginnings of a sob came out as a spurt of laughter. Just like that, I was giggling like mad. I mean when I saw the woman come around the corner it had been the first thing I thought, “She is overweight.” My son just happened to say “out loud” what I had been thinking. The events took a turn when I got a little too over confident by thinking I had “saved the day”.
Was I laughing at the woman? Not in the least. I was laughing at myself and my belief that I had out-smarted my child. I was laughing at my child’s ability to come right out and speak what was so obviously the truth.
Now that was a Magic Chuckle.
What are some Magic Chuckles you’ve experienced in your life?
How would you define a Magic Chuckle?