Friday, February 18, 2011

The More I'm a Merrier Me

There is nothing so freeing as laughter, as getting silly, as diving into some deep fluffy goofiness. I love that feeling of complete abandon when someone gets me laughing so hard that I can barely breathe.

We forget how to be silly with each other because we fear showing that kind of vulnerability (is my theory). Maybe we worry about possible offense, or maybe we're anxious that the intended humor will be met with crickets. Maybe. But I think it's mostly that vulnerability. Laughter leaves us wider open than tears. There are easy ways to quiet tears, but full-on laughter is nearly impossible to quell (trust me on this, and never sit next to me at a funeral).

And laughter is harder to explain. I mean, if you're crying and someone asks why, you can pretty much pinpoint the issue and elicit some kind of sympathy or empathy... "My car broke down, I've been rendered bald from a bad perm, and I can't remember the last time I had sex..." "Aw, you poor thing... there, there." Of course, I'd be laughing my ass off in the inside, but I'm not a completely insensitive lout. Laughter though, you can't really explain it. "What's so funny?!" "Well, she went into the... bahhaaaaa... and shhsssshhhheeee... ohhaaahahaaa... you had to be there." I get myself in trouble for breaking into giggles at odd times simply because I'm remembering something that made me laugh long ago. "Why are you laughing?" "I just remembered something." Really. How lame is that?! If you try to explain, it usually comes out sounding... more lame.

When you're in it though, there ain't nothin' else like it, and it makes me wonder why we don't allow ourselves to get to that place more often. We feel that we need to be serious in order to be taken seriously. That's just pathetic really. Some of the most intelligent things I've heard have come from people who were making me laugh at the time. The greatest moments of love that I've experienced have been shared laughter. The heart of my closest friendships is the ability to render each other hysterical.

I couldn't tell you what it was the other night, and you probably wouldn't find it funny anyway (see paragraph 3 above - re: you had to be there). As Steve and I snuggled together in bed, we got to giggling about something one of us had said. It would go quiet for a minute, and then one or the other of us would begin to chuckle again, which would trigger the other. We just lay there, snuggled and snerking with laughter until it turned into snoring. What a great way to fall asleep!

If laughter is infectious, let's make it an epidemic. It's a disease we could all use. Give the endorphins free range, I say!


  1. Please don't tell me you laugh at funerals!! I try not to attend them because of this very reason... I'm the WORST! (Well, maybe not any more...)

  2. I loved your post. And I know how wonderful it can be when laughter becomes infectious and you can hardly breathe while tears stream down your face. I particularly enjoyed your description of trying to explain what makes you laugh which brought a broad grin to my face as it's so accurate.


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