Oh (dear) Canada

Mama Kat has asked us to share a time when we laughed at an inappropriate moment.
It was hard to narrow it down to one, but here goes….

The summer had ended. School beginning. We were gathered in the classroom, stories of vacations and camps, parties and ‘romance’.
The teacher was new. She entered the classroom amongst the hurried whispers. She was an older lady, her expression one of a weathered teacher. She had seen her share of teenagers and preteens, not much surprised her anymore.
She took her job very seriously.
Catholic school, after all, was serious business… to everyone but a student. Morning prayers over the loudspeaker, general announcements, then Oh Canada. The majority of us mouthing the words, leaving the actual singing to the teacher’s pets and the teachers themselves.

Today was no different.

As the music began, we shuffled ourselves to our feet, shuffling and shifting weight, already annoyed that this was taking so long.

Then she began to sing.

It was painful. Even looking back on it, I can’t pretend that it was ok and I was just looking at it through preteen glasses.

It was bad. Shrill soprano and thick with vibrato. It was an opera singer who has had her day and doesn’t know the time has passed. It was twenty-some kids, head tilted to one side, eyebrows drawn close together, jaws agape.

Sideways glances passed.

I felt it begin at my toes. The waves of laughter washing over my body. My belly hurt. I stared at the floor. please…please don’t…

The moment the giggle escaped my lips the music stopped.

And she was starting in my direction.