What is your favorite story to tell? Do you most enjoy stories about accidental hangups that make you burst in laughter, or do you relate more to someone’s most embarrassing moments? What about the tales that have the ability to completely change the atmosphere, either lightening or deepening the mood of the room?
One of my favorite stories comes from my father. A few times in the year, he and the rest of my family will gather for an elegant meal that my mother has prepared. And we always gather around the table, excited to tell our stories. My three sisters, two brothers, and parents take turns remembering their favorite memories of all time – usually telling how they went terribly, hilariously wrong.
My dad will forever tell the story of how he and his best friend accidentally jumped in to an elderly woman’s car, mistaking her vehicle for theirs. In the midst of the conversation of that night, they were leaving a gas station, and my dad reached out to open the driver’s side door while his best friend reached for the passenger’s. They pulled and yanked, but their car doors were locked, even though they had pressed the unlock button on his car keys. So…They’re men, and what do men do? Try harder. Yank, yank, yank, and repeat!
Little did they know…They were trying to forcefully open another person’s car in the dark parking lot of the Michigan gas station. The worst part? It was an elderly woman inside the car – in the driver’s seat – terrified to death and holding the doors closed, hoping my dad and friend wouldn’t enter in and rob her.
As soon as the two saw the mortified face of the woman through the window, they busted into a heavy, deep, uncontrollable, endless laughter that – to this day – my father still breaks out in to each time he tells this story. So, what was the best part of the story? The woman – once she realized that my dad and his best friend had made a horrible mistake and were simply trying to find their own car – joined them in hysterical laughter below the midnight sky of a Michigan gas station parking lot that night.
My father’s laughter spreads each time he tells this story, and my family always listens with such excitement and anticipation, as if it is the first time we are hearing it every year.
That is one of my favorite storytelling moments. What is yours? Comment below!