Margaritas, Metallica, and a Serious Case of the Giggles


After a couple (or was it three) very potent Margaritas and several hands of Rummy, someone said something that I found amusing at the time and I broke out in uncontrollable giggling.

When I say giggling, I mean I sounded like a Junior High girl. And when I say uncontrollable, I mean that I had to excuse myself from the table. I went to the bathroom to try to regain my composure, but I made the mistake of looking in the mirror and started giggling all over again.

That was about eleven years ago in our kitchen with the entire family, my son and daughter and their spouses gathered at the table. This family card game took place after my wife’s surprise birthday party that I had been planning for months. The house was full of people from all over the place when we returned from dinner, but I was very stressed that the whole thing would come together.  It turned out to be a wonderful and complete surprise for Patty. My giggling, I think, was part alcohol and part relief from all of the planning for the event.

On another occasion my son turned to me and said, “You sure have gotten relaxed.” I replied, “If I were any more relaxed, I’d be in a coma.” On still another kitchen table moment, there was someone sitting there wanting some pastoral advice from me. Nathan piped up and said, “Pops is pretty much the same, only he ditched the suit, listens to Metallica, and drinks beer.” I consider his remarks compliments.

I feel badly for my wife and children who suffered through my pastoral/OCD ways for all of those years. Now I say I am still OCD, but I am in recovery (inside joke). All of the unwanted and unpleasant things that have resulted in my looking back at the organized church as an outsider has bought some positive changes too.

I spend a lot more time with family. I don’t mind being interrupted, as much. I talk to my neighbors a whole lot more. I am far less concerned with what people think of me. Finally, I am getting where I can handle the adrenalin low of a quiet day.

Having just gotten back from living on a Florida beach for a week and touring around the South with my Honey for another week, I am feeling pretty relaxed! While on vacation, we were both ready for an adventure, ready to laugh, and ready to engage other people, and we did. That’s not a bad way to approach every day.


This post is part of the May Synchroblog, entitled, Lighten Up: The Art of Joy, Laughter, and Letting Go. Here are the other other participants’ contributions:

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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  8. There’s something about the kitchen table – or the family room – that’s more conducive to laughter and fun than other locations. That’s been missing so much in the church… But, it’s part of who I am. I’ve learned to bring that out even in environments (locations) that others think of as “serious.” Sure, I get strange looks, but oh well.


    • That’s a great “mission”, Alan! We all need that sense of normalcy, spontaneity, grace, and freedom. One of the best examples of this is Steve Brown on the radio program/podcast, Steve Brown, Etc. Strange looks are okay!

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  10. When I saw the title I couldn’t wait to read your post and see how it all tied together! I loved your message/story. I too am lightening up these days and enjoying the fruits of it.

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