The power of laughter

Kaylen - Cleveland, Tennessee
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Long before I was born, my Mom was laughing, but in this situation it was not a good thing. She was in a family of four children and when one child got spanked most likely they all did. As Mom anxiously awaited her turn, she would begin to laugh. Silently snickering to begin with, and eventually escalading into a roaring laugh. The spankings always began with the oldest child and went down the line. Mom was the third child to go, and by the time the youngest was receiving her punishment, mom had gained more for her giggles.

To my dismay my mother has never stopped laughing. Growing up, when my brother or I would get hurt, she would not rush to our aid with sympathy and caring words, which is what we were obviously looking for. She was paralyzed not in fear, but with laughter. It used to make me so mad because there was absolutely no humor in the situation. However, as mad as I was, eventually we would all begin chuckling with her and soon the pain disappeared. It was as if we were never hurt to begin with.

Once, when I confronted my mother asking her the reason she did this she said, “To keep from crying. It is what my mother did as well.” This tradition has carried on through the generations. I now follow closely in their footsteps.

There are certain people that I love to be around simply because they make me laugh, a lot. Family gatherings are always exciting as we constantly have tears rolling down our eyes, some literally rolling around on the floor, and enduring a constant abdominal workout for all of us. One time during our vacation to Florida we were sitting around a table at Old Bay Steamer. Kyle, my cousin, said, “Man, it’s about time we made it to this place.” It was not a particularly funny statement, but for some reason it made my brother snort up his Dr. Pepper. At that point we had the whole restaurant looking over at us with condescending glances, due to our boisterous laughter.

I frequently use humor as a survival tool. If I am fighting with my Dad or Brother I will interrupt them. Usually to insert a remark that will force them to stop midsentence, tilt their head and think about it. After thinking for a minute, a chuckle will follow, and we are forced to end the argument, because no one remembers the reason we were fighting to begin with (another trait I learned from my Mom).

Someone once said, “Laughter is an orgasm triggered by the intercourse of sense and nonsense.” I couldn’t agree more.