Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am the queen of inappropriate reactions.

I laugh... at everything. No matter what emotion I am feeling, if it is strong or unexpected, I burst out in a hysterical fit of laughter.

So, my mom got laid off from her job today. She worked at Sallie Mae, a company that mainly dealt with student loans. For the past year or so they have been struggling as a business, and therefore have had to "terminate the working contract" of people in waves. Every previous time people were going to lose their jobs, rumors would begin circulating at least a week in advance. Their supervisors would then inevitably break the news on a Friday. Well, it's just my mom's luck that she would lose her job on a Thursday when no one had any inkling that it would happen.

When she got the news, she called me. Her voice was surprisingly cheerful when I answered, seeming as if she was simply having a slow day at work.

As a disclaimer, I absolutely detest idle phone conversations. When I receive a call from someone who should be aware that I am busy, I tend to get a bit impatient. This was apparent in my voice as I snapped, "Hello?"

"Hey, honey, are you at home?" my mother asked breezily. She sounded as if she was trying not to laugh, like someone in her vicinity had just cracked a joke.

Her inquiry made me instantly suspicious, assuming that she needed some sort of a favor. "No, I'm at work," I replied, my voice abrupt. I work the same hours every day, and yet we seem to constantly have this exact same conversation.

"Oh, okay. Well, I got laid off this morning," she told me, maintaining her upbeat tone of voice.

I didn't even skip a beat before saying the first thing that popped into my head. "But... it's not even Friday." Then I laughed. That has to be the worst way I could have reacted to her news, but I am ashamed to admit that this is exactly what happened.

Fortunately, my mother is basically just an older version of me, so we tend to react to things in the same way. She cracked up right along with me, assuring me that she will be fine. Her severance package is great, and she already has a couple of interviews lined up. I came home about an hour after this conversation, and we have spent the rest of the day together, erupting into giggles for no reason at all. Maybe we don't react to bad news in the healthiest way, but at least we haven't been reduced to puddles of tears. It is a lot easier to remain positive while laughing irrationally, as opposed to moping around all depressed. Right?

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