“The best blush to use is laughter: It put roses in your cheeks and in your soul” --Linda Knight.
It had to be in the early 1980’s that the term “Church Laugh” was coined by my older sister and I. The first documented church laugh occurred during mass in a pew close to the front at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Attending mass every week was never a choice in our home and there were strict instructions on how young ladies were to behave. Quiet was one of them. I can’t tell you what it was that tickled us so much, but I do remember that we were not allowed to laugh out loud while mass was in full swing. Why...... we should not have even been whispering in the first place! It was a no-no.
However, on this particular Sunday, we had stumbled on something so hysterically funny that we could not help but jiggle the pew with our bodies as we fought holding in the giggles, while tears streamed down our faces. The more we held in the laughter, the redder our faces grew, the faster the tears rolled out and more the pew swayed. From the repressed chuckles forced to stay in, the hushed cackle escalated. My mother squinted her Italian evil eye, but we could not contain ourselves, other than struggle to keep cool and quiet throughout the ten minute noiseless episode.My sister and I had to avoid eye contact if it was ever going to stop.
Since that Sunday morning, no matter what the situation, location or volume, when your funny bone is tickled, when you just cannot stop hysterically laughing, and the more you try to stop, the harder you chortle, until you are doubled up like a rolley polley bug, and you can't halt the happy tears from slipping out, then you experienced The Church Laugh. It is truly the best natural high in the world!
When is that last time you had a Church Laugh?