Jan 072013
 

 

When Chase was in kindergarten, he wrote a really beautiful poem. He brought it home to me and I loved it and insisted he show his teacher. He resisted, but final agreed. He came home crying the next day and when I asked him what the fuss was about, he told me that he won a writing contest. I said wow, that’s awful. He said I know. Tragically, his prize was the opportunity to read his poem to the whole school at an evening assembly. Oh, I said. I see. He’s not the spotlight type, Chase. We used to have to exit birthday parties immediately upon sight of a piñata. Too much pressure. His first soccer game, I had to hold his hand throughout the entire game…on the field . . . while holding a nine month Tish in the other arm. Throughout the entire game, Chase dragged me back and forth across the field, screaming FASTER FASTER MOMMY! We’re never going to WIN!!!

You’re right, Chase. We are never going to win. That is true, I said. Craig, former professional soccer player and Chase’s coach that day was so proud.

So when Chase told me about the assembly,  I wondered why folks always decide that because people are decent at writing words, they must be decent at speaking them. Seems like two separate things. As a matter of fact, most writers start writing because they’re a little reclusive. A little piñata averse. A little hidey, maybe.

The night of the big assembly Chase cried all day. I told him that once we got to the school, he’d see his friends and relax. I lied. He did not relax. He wouldn’t walk up to the stage without me holding his hand and following him. Fine, I told myself. No biggie. Once he holds the mic, he’ll hit his stride. Wrong again, mama.

I situated Chase in front of the mic, smiled, and handed his poem to him. He immediately burst out crying again –  directly into the mic this time. Every time I tried to encourage him, he cried harder. The crowd did its best to look supportive, but you know, they were staring. It wasn’t their fault, that’s really the crowd’s job. So since I’m a good mom, I took the microphone and the poem and tried to read it for Chase. But here was the other problem:  In ridiculous, awful and important situations like these, I tend to involuntarily do what’s MOST inappropriate. Like I’m supposed to be helping my son, but all I can think about is….what if I grab this mic right now and scream VAGINA AND PENIS!! into it?

It’s like when you’re on a balcony and you think : What if I just jump? What if I do? Oh my God, I might! Why isn’t there anyone here to stop me??? TOO. MUCH. FREEDOM AND POWER!!  I am not wise or self- controlled enough for this precarious situation!! I’m NOT READY!

That’s what I’m thinking. On every balcony.

In church, too. It looks like I’m praying but I’m mostly wondering: what is the absolute most profane, awful thing I could scream into this sacred silence? Then I think of the thing. It’s always really, really bad. It’s always an awful thing. I immediately feel horribly guilty because I don’t know much about God, but I’m fairly certain he can see into folks brains, especially at church. So I try my very, very hardest to UNTHINK that awful thing. But then it becomes like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scene in Ghost Busters. I CAN’T unthink a thing. And this situation is so ridiculous that I always, always start laughing.  It’s that awful laugh…that  funeral laugh. That: Oh my god I canNOT be laughing right now laugh. My husband is glaring at me because I’m embarrassing the family again, and that is TOTALLY hysterical, of course. So now my shoulders are lurching up and down and tears are coming out of my eyes and I eventually have to excuse myself because there is no other way out.

This is what happened to me on stage.

Chase was hysterically crying and I was hysterically laughing. It was nerves. But it looked like I was laughing AT Chase. And the whole school audience was slack – jawed. Including Craig, whom I saw lower his video camera, dissociating with us officially. I finally pulled myself together enough to squeak out a couple lines from the poem. Then I grabbed Chase by the hand and pulled him off stage as quickly as I could without appearing to be both emotionally AND physically abusive. We both cried our way back to our seats. When we flopped back down, I noticed that Craig looked stunned. He stared straight ahead. He was speechless. He looked like he was trying to pretend to belong to the family on his other side.

Chase and I both wiped tears from our eyes. I looked down at Chase and he looked back up at me. He smiled through his tears and said, “Wow! We did GREAT, mom. That was awesome.”

“Um. Yes, yes we did, baby. Yes we did. We were the best.”

All of this is to say . . . I’m a little nervous about my book tour.

 

Happy Monday.

Love,

G

 



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  236 Responses to “I’m Scared of Pinatas, Too.”

  1. […] read this one in public.  I laughed out loud – you will too.  And read it twice.  It’s that […]

  2. […] Yet early signs are pointing in that very direction. My sweet Connor is – so far – a very cautious child. He has passed on countless activities – which I really think he would have enjoyed – simply because they make them too nervous. Perhaps because it means he would have to go without Mom or Dad, or Mom and Dad are there but on the sidelines, or maybe it just involves a wild mob of party people and a piñata. […]

  3. […] It happens to the best (worst??) of us. Laughing at a time when laughter isn’t appropriate. I’ve read about people who have laughed at funerals, at church during an important message or when their kid is freaking out at school. […]

  4. Last night we went to a super fancy restaurant. It was pretty expensive and wasn’t that great and the server was super pretentious and the conversations around us were making us crazy. I was generally sort of annoyed by the whole thing. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed they had a coat rack with at least 7 fancy coats on it. It was totally hidden from anyone else in the restaurant. It took all my willpower not to rifle through the pockets or just walk out with one, just to see if I could get away with it and stick it to the snobby people at the snobby restaurant. I got back to my seat and said, “Laura, I just had one of those moments that Glennon recently blogged about!” We had a good chuckle. For the record, I kept my sticky fingers to myself.

  5. I wrote a blog post that kind of speaks to what you are talking about – wanting to say the worst, most crazy thing at an inappropriate moment. I call it “social vertigo.” Here’s the post: http://outwentthelight.blogspot.com/2013/01/social-vertigo.html
    if you’re interested. I think you’ll be fine on your book tour…just write out everything! Also, if you grind your teeth at night when you’re nervous, go to the dentist and get a bite guard. I have one and it’s wonderful. I bet I’m the only one to give you that advice! BTW, Sister and my sister (also called Sister) are friends from law school.

  6. My grandfather was a baptist minister. My grandmother said she would read hymns and add “under the sheets ” to every title just to pass time. Keep writing glen non. You rock!
    An old “friend” from ates

  7. Found Nici (dig this chick) through Kelle. Love this comment she posted on an IG pic when Kelle was speaking somewhere….

    Nerves are an essential component of all good stuff.

    You’ll be you and that’s who people want to see. ;)

  8. I am still laughing at the idea of you screaming VAGINA and PENIS into the mic with that crowd. !!!

  9. I can TOTALLY relate to you!!! THANK YOU for helping me feel that I am okay, even though I’m not normal, because your “not normal” is just wonderful and very okay! You’re an awesome mom, despite what your son’s school may think! ;) (haha, jk! :D)

  10. Glennon, oh my Glennon. I love you, and I love this heart and soul of yours, so, so much. I’m not a mom or even married and I’m not sure how I ever ended up stumbling upon your website, but I fell in love with your truth from the get-go. I’m a young professional “career” gal in my early thirties, Asian. Maybe it’s our shared addict past but I really do relate to you and how you see the world. I love this community you’ve built and this shared vision of a better world. Your posts inspire me to do better, to do good, not well. To love, to give thanks, to forgive, to be honest. To share!! Thank you thank you!!!!!!! Your words have been balm on my troubled soul many times over. And your flaws has made me laugh and love you all the more. You help me be brave and honest with my own shortcomings. I bawled my eyes the night I read the little drummer boy post for the first time. It was like God was speaking to me through you. God bless you and your family Glennon, you bring such joy and healing to so many people.

  11. I love knowing so many monkee’s do this too! For many years I’ve thought I have inner Tourette’s syndrome. Like the things my brain says to itself are those completely inappropriate crazy-assed things that people would lock me up for! Just be yourself on tour G, that is why we are gonna show up.

  12. Consider: Hotei is revered as a Buddha, for his laughter. http://youtu.be/dhY1ODXKW2I

  13. Wow. I am newer to the blogging world and just found your blog via a link on someone else’s site. Holy hilarious. I’m not surprised that you’ve written a book! I am sitting here with a migraine, feeling like hell, and I actually just laughed out loud when you said it looked like you were laughing at him. Thank you for that and best of luck with your book :-)

  14. I’m not the only one! I’m not the only one! All my life, I thought I was the only one who had semi-obscene thoughts in public places and in church and on balconies and bridges. The most crazy ass stuff pops into my head in church. And I’m the pastor’s wife! I’m not afraid of speaking in public, but I am afraid of bursting out with the stuff that’s running around in my head. Vagina and penis, exactly. Exactly that.

    I am going to come to your book to your book tour and I am going to hold up a sign that says in big bold letters “vagina and penis”! I hope it helps. :D

    • And I’m going to hold up a sign that says:

      THE LADY WITH THE PENIS AND VAGINA SIGN IS A PASTORS WIFE

      Love, love, LOVE you!!!!

      • :D

        (Seriously I’ve literally had EXACTLY those kinds of things pop into my head as I’ve gone to stand in front of the ladies at our church. One of these days it’s actually going to come out, I just know it. And when it does, I now have proof that I’m not the only it happens to. I am in the awesomest of company!)

        I’m not the only one! I’m not the only one! All my life, I thought I was the only one who had semi-obscene thoughts in public places and in church and on balconies and bridges. The most crazy ass stuff pops into my head in church. And I’m the pastor’s wife! I’m not afraid of speaking in public, but I am afraid of bursting out with the stuff that’s running around in my head. Vagina and penis, exactly. Exactly that.

        I am going to come to your book to your book tour and I am going to hold up a sign that says in big bold letters “vagina and penis”! I hope it helps. :D

  15. I just had a fight with my husband where we threaten to divorce each other, our usual, and then I read this and almost cried with laughter, not in a malicious way of course. I am sorry for your son, but he clearly is ok with the outcome so should be fine. I jsut got the nervous laughter thing…so embarrassing when it happens, but anyway you have had a tough go of it so cut yourself some slack and know you will be fine on tour. I love your blog because you are crazy and I am so crazy it just makes me feel good to know someone else is a messy and great as I am ….sorry about the calling myself great it is just I get so wrapped up in all my flaws I forget the good stuff! :) good night

  16. You crack me up.
    When I was a kid I wondered every Sunday what kind of an emergency would justify a squeal in the middle of the service. A snake slithering under the pew? Once explained, would all the adults say, “Oh, okay. Then the scream was fine, then.” Was there ANYTHING more important than listening to a sermon right then? I’m still not sure.

  17. Glennon, if you’re that funny when you’re nervous, you’ll do great!

  18. You’re so AWEsOME!!!!! Thank YOU!!!

  19. I honestly thought I was the only person that ever thought those thoughts! I’m always thinking what about what I could do that would really shock people and then wonder why the hell I just thought it! Glennon, I love you!

  20. LOL … I always always always enjoy your humor! Glad to hear it again.

    I got hooked on Momastery after reading the story of you, sister, and the 5 ft. chicken. STILL to this day the funniest thing I’ve ever read! Had me crying tears of hysterical insanity!
    Perhaps you’ll have some of these kind of moments on that crazy book tour ??
    Finding the humor in this crazy world we all share is key to survival. It’s the only thing that keeps me afloat, out of the darkness, and off of the happy pills.

    Thanks for being one of my lifesavers.

  21. So unbelievably comforting to know that I am not the only one who’s brain works this way. I laugh in the most innappropriate situations and my brain is constantly telling me that I COULD do anything…even if it’s the absolute last thing I’d actually want to do. My doctor says its OCD. WHATever…..Apparently I’m in good company.
    Thanks for the laughs this morning and for sending me out on my day feeling just ever so slightly more normal. Or at least…less alone.

    • I would also like to point out that my avatar of Robert Pattinson is a throwback to my days when I would comment on Twilight boards. I have absolutely no idea how to change it back and it makes me laugh hysterically every time I see Robert Pattinson looking back at me from one of my comments on a serious news story or emotional blog entry.

  22. Glennon…you make me laugh out loud and cry at the same time. Your honesty is so disarming and enchanting. The truth that you’ve shared with so many has been such a blessing. Thank you for your work, for doing the hard things, because it is inspiring and so encouraging to those of us who are still sitting in the audience, thanking God we’re not on stage, but knowing our turn will come.

  23. This is so me. I was just telling a friend about when I took my son to get his vaccinations for kindergarten…he was screaming and crying hysterically, and several nurses had to come hold him down, along with myself…they were all trying to comfort him, and I was laughing hysterically, tears streaming down my face.

  24. Bwahahahaha! Classic! That is freakin hysterical! To your son you ROCKED it…go Mamma! And seriously…..why am I JUST now hearing about a book tour….any chance your headed to Seattle? You can come do Karaoke with me and the “gang”!!! Your profane words in the mike would make it THAT much BETTER!!!

  25. But really, how cool that you tell us this because we will A. laugh/cry with you or, B. hold your hand!!! Can’t wait to hear about the tour!
    xo
    lynn

  26. BAaaahahahahah~ Me.Too.

  27. Glennon, I cry and I shake. I’m terrified of meeting you because what if you don’t like me? I don’t shake like a little bit… I shudder and shake like a jittery puppy. I’m so scared of people that I can hardly think…. Don’t be scared of me Glennon, I am afraid enough for both of us. I don’t have you on a pedastle. You don’t have to be anything but you because you are enough. If I had the right, I would just sit and visit with you. Maybe hug you, but the whole time I would be terrified. So, don’t be afraid. Please?

  28. You will do GREAT!

  29. This was HYSTERICAL. I loved the whole thing. And i have to say – that’s what i think at every single balcony too! It’s kind of scary! Haha!

  30. Amazing, because we all feel this in 63636378 ways all the time but you expressed it perfectly. Good luck, girl. You’ll do what you do. Which is just fine.

  31. You just brightened up my evening!

  32. Someone else may have already said this, but you can call it the “Giggle Loop”, a lot of us will know exactly what you mean. =)

  33. LOVE IT!!!

  34. At my grandfather’s funeral, the “funeral laugh” kicked in. It was so bad, I was hyperventilating. Luckily, I had my hands over my face and everyone thought I was crying hysterically. People actually got up from the pews and started gathering around me and started patting my back because they felt so sorry for me. My siblings (there are four of us, all 1 year apart) however knew exactly what was going on, so they were all started laughing and everyone was giving them the stink eye for laughing at the funeral.

  35. Great story! I have the opposite problem…whenever I have to speak in public, or sometimes in the middle of a conversation with a close friend, I start crying. I could be telling a hilarious joke, and I’d cry before the punch line. I have horrible stage fright, and avoid speaking in large groups. You, however, will be GREAT on your book tour. If you can open up to all of us (your readers) then you can open up in person too. And if you laugh hysterically while autographing books, just pass it off as the joy of meeting fans!

  36. OH MY WORD. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while! I am going to re-read this often!! I feel the SAME way about balconies (and church and microphones for that matter – PENIS!! VAGINA!! HAHAHAHAHA!). But I have never told anyone other than my sister because I figure that having the urge to fling myself from high places probably earns me a ticket to the looney bin. I love that I’m not alone!! And you have such a hilarious way of telling a story. Relax my friend, your book tour is going to be fabulous! And in any case, it will be good for a story or two! ;)

  37. You know that we will all be there cheering. Whyever would you be afraid of the love coming your way? Come meet the Monkees. We’re ready! Bring on the tour!

  38. Glennon – you have done an amazing job of encouraging us to love our imperfect selves. You’ve modeled weakness, and transparency, and vulnerability. Your readers know they’re gonna get the REAL you….and it’s going to be awesome :)

  39. Gosh so there with you- I too have THAT laugh:) & thanks for the chuckle I so needed this morning.

    Big hugs G I know you’ll rock the book tour even if you feel a bit ‘hidey’ – we’ll all be cheering you on! Remember As they say- true courage isn’t the absence of fear it’s the carrying on through it. sometimes I reckon just turning up can be the hight of bravery.

  40. What I love is that Chase thought you both did great – because you did great. At my son’s first school concert at age 4 he was crying for the whole thing poor little guy – but I pointed out that he was singing and doing the hand actions for the songs AND crying – all at the same time – and that is hard and it is great. After that he said “Everyone else was only doing two things….I was doing three and that was really hard!”

  41. Funeral giggles are my unfortunate reality. I cry when put on the spot, never say what I’m supposed to, forget what is important. I feel ya. So at every event on the tour, I personally will be (not physically but in spirit) there in my (appropriately hidden) underwear facing the back of the room too or giggling until I have the hiccups. With you. For you. We’re all here for you, running across the soccer field with a baby on our hip. You are AWESOME, Mom!

  42. G,
    All I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA………you are SO normal; or maybe NONE of us are normal. All I know is that it’s stinkin’ funny & you always seem to write about what we ALL think about! Love it!

    Valerie

  43. I am VERY reluctant to post this, for fear of putting ideas into your heads…but I imagine pitching myself sideways down the stairs EVERY SINGLE TIME that I walk past the top of the stairs…at my house, which needless to say, I walk past a LOT. Sometimes I muse about the physics (how, precisely, would I bounce? Or would I mostly slide down?) and sometimes I wonder which of my absent-minded self-absorbed family members would notice first. I’m quite certain that my seven year old daughter (think Sheldon, from Big Bang – uber smart and totally inside her own head) would walk over me and NOT EVEN NOTICE me there. The tween would just complain that no one was fixing her dinner. The husband would sigh dramatically about how I’ve made everything all about me, again.

    But, I do LIKE speaking in public and do it for a living, so if you want me to come on your book tour, we could get a whole ventriloquist thing going and we would have so much fun together! And, if you want, I will hold your hand while you are on the balcony and you can stand next to me when I ponder the stairs.

  44. That’s all kinds of awesome. Thanks for your honest, painful, hilarious sharing. It helps us all to know we’re not alone. And the nerves get easier.

    Love,
    A fellow once-stage-shy girl who wrote some books and everyone expected her to speak and now she can without breaking into hives at least

  45. You had me laughing so hard, then with those sweet words from your son crying just as hard. You have fun on your book tour! When we see you laughing we will laugh and cry if needed right along with you!

  46. All of this to say.. at the end of your book tour, no matter what you do, we will all look at you and say “Wow, we did a great job!!”

  47. My favorite quote when I start to ooze my social anxiety:
    “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
    The people that come to see you on your book tour will be there because they love you for you, faults included. Don’t sweat it!

  48. “dissociating with us officially”

    That made me die laughing!

  49. oh my gosh HILARIOUSLY laughing with this… so funny how it is written up… and honestly.. i really did think i was the only one who had balcony thoughts… i was kind of scared of myself so maybe i am not the only one!

  50. And yet…I am so EXCITED about your book tour. You are going to meet so many monkees and I can’t wait to hear all of the stories and encounters and hopefully be a happy little encounter myself.

  51. Chase is right. You did great. And you were real. What better way to be?

  52. Glennon, pretty sure you could get up on stage and laugh for an hour and everyone would love you still. :)

  53. It’s “Sawgrass Syndrome”!. Sawgrass was a huge gator in one of those “Gatorland” type places in Florida. My husband and his buddies just kept imagining the terrible things they could not stop themselves from doing, like dangling babies over his fence etc. They still have Sawgrass Syndrome all the time. Last time my husband felt that Sawgrass Syndrome almost made it impossible for him to fill out his election ballot!

  54. I am fairly new to your blog, but each post keeps me wanting to come back for more! Your thoughts are beautifully written, and I appreciate your honesty!

    I am also the type of person who likes to write, but I hate public speaking. When I was in college, I signed up to take a public speaking class, but I backed out before the semester even began. It’s totally fine. I figure that if my writing is ever meant to be read aloud, God will use someone else to speak for me :)

  55. oh my goodness, that’s awful. my brain goes to that horrible place to: what is the most awful and inappropriate thing i could do or say right now? oh my god, what if i do it??

  56. I laughed so hard at this. I could definitely see this happening to me. Thanks for sharing.

  57. Thank you for the laughter in my day. Thank you for affirming that I am not the only one to go to random, totally inappropriate places ant THE most inappropriate times. G, you rock! :)

  58. Love this!!! U are gonna kill it, Glennon!! Just be YOU that 50,000+ “Strangers” have come to LOVE!

  59. Are book tour dates/locations already set?

  60. I used to sing the hymns Elmer Fudd style, then turn around when the people in front of me did. Also, I often ponder whether an f-bomb or “Darwin was right!” would be more of a riot inciter. I’d like to state for the record that I do have a deep and abiding belief in Jesus, just not so impressed with organized religion. That is all.

  61. THANK YOU!!! I really needed a belly laugh this morning. That was so good for my soul. Thank you.

  62. Martha Beck’s quote of the day seems like it might be for you… “Every time you’re afraid there is an opportunity to make a leap of faith.” You can do hard things, G. We all know you can. XO

  63. I believe that one second after you start you will be fabulous. so don’t let that one second stop you.

  64. I’m still laughing about wanting to say something really profane in church! Just be yourself at your signings/tour. Be yourself. We all “know” you. If you smile alot and look a bit nuerotic and don’t say much — it’s all good. It’s all good! People are going to be nervous meeting YOU! Hugs.

    • ….. and I’ve farted in church, that’s really loud on the pew. oh yeah. I was like, 10 at the time. but still profane and funny!

      • ….she should try it, right Adrianne???? Oh Lordy, I’m laughing so hard now. Sorry Glennon. I need to laugh (thinking how you cannot say the word). teeeehheeeee.

  65. It is SUCH a relief to hear your profane-thoughts-in-church anecdote! I thought I was truly cursed. Well, maybe I am…but at least I’m not alone! And I just know God sees what I’m thinking, too, and I almost expect a smiting, right then and there. Because the pressure to pray something profound is too much?

    Anyway, thank God for your ability to pin down the crazy that might just be normal! Thank you for the bravery to post it!

    Miriam

  66. So good to be in great company with this! I get woozy and giddy when blood and needles are involved. Nothing like trying to hold back hysterical anxious laughter when your child is about to have a medical procedure.

    G, you are not alone and are well loved.

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