100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 39: Meerkat at the Wedding
By Amy Rodriguez
Amy wrote this story for flash humor writing contest #1.
When I read the writing prompt for stepping out of my comfort zone, I was instantly uncomfortable. I love my comfort zone. I do not want to step out of it. That is why it is called a comfort zone. In spite of my best efforts, though, I often find myself face-to-face with a decidedly uncomfortable situation. What is a girl to do in such a situation? Curling into a fetal ball is rarely an option, so I take a deep breath and forge ahead. I envy people who choose to step outside the zone. I am not among them.
Now that I have admitted that I am a coward, I feel compelled to add that I often do things that I do not want to do, like spending time with Spouse’s family. They are good, kind people, but being with them is something like being dropped into the center of the cool kids in high school as a pimply 12-year-old. I never know how to behave.
Last summer we were invited to attend a wedding of one of Spouse’s people. I don’t particularly care for weddings, but family obligation holds a powerful sway, so I agreed to attend.
All was going well. I sat quietly in the church pew taking in the sights and sounds that always accompany a visit with this particular group of people. There are some things that shouldn’t surprise me after so many years, but still do. For example, it seems completely appropriate among Spouse’s people to show up at a church wedding or any formal function wearing jeans and athletic shoes, so long as the baseball cap is left in the car. I can handle that and have learned not to over dress.
My moment of heart stopping, crawl-in-a-hole-and-die embarrassment came when the organist hit those first six notes calling attention to the bride. As was the custom at every other wedding I had attended, ever, when I heard those notes, I stood and turned to view the bride. Actually, not to put too fine a point on it, I popped up like a meerkat jumping out of her hole. And then all eyes were on me. It seems that in Spouse’s world, one does not stand to watch the bride make her way up the aisle.
Mortified, I sat back down, but not before noticing the WTF are you doing look on the faces of my fellow guests.
My meerkat experience wasn’t entirely bad, though. It taught me to wait a few seconds and see what the locals are doing when in a new situation. And that behavior feels pretty darned comfortable to me.
You’ll find Amy Rodriguez’s blog, “Laughing at Life,” at rubymay1029.blogspot.com
Her story was entered in our first flash humor contest on stepping outside one’s comfort zone.
If you’d like to learn more about the art and science of humor writing, Dave Fox’s fun and informative online course is on sale at a big discount for the duration of this “100 Hours of humo(u)r” online party. Find out more here!