In All Seriousness

Amy - Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65

Humorless people are toxic to me. And thanks to Oprah encouraging people to eliminate the toxic people in their life, Debbie Downers get dropped from my radar faster than a jumbo jet with engines chock full of migrating geese. People who show me the funny get clearance for life.

I’m well aware of how serious life can be. It’s embarrassing how easily I cry. My high school boyfriend had to console me at his own father’s funeral. I know what hurts. I also know that laughing helps.

I remember an instructor at flight attendant training telling the story of a young woman who stood up from her interview only to realize she had bled through her tailored white skirt, staining the fabric chair she had occupied. Obviously mortified, she had the presence of mind to quip: “I guess I failed personal grooming.” American Airlines recognized the skill of being able to diffuse an uncomfortable moment and she was hired.

Laughter is my drug of choice. I worship people who have the skill to get me high. I use David Sedaris as a litmus test to weed out those who don’t share my addiction. If they haven’t heard or read him, they are immediately suspect. On the other hand, one moment of shared laughter can be more bonding than breast feeding and just as healthy.

People who laugh at my humor rate even higher. Making others laugh takes me to a spiritual level religion never could. When I make my sister laugh until she leaks from both ends, the Rapture itself couldn’t pull focus. I’m already floating. Please let me die laughing, my abs screaming for mercy, sentenced to an eternal Laughterlife.

I’m not insensitive to the plight of the “Humor Impaired.” I’m all for allowing them designated parking spaces and non-smiling sections. If you’re one of the seriously handicapped, don’t be offended, I won’t make fun of you. At least not to your face because it would be pointless. But your humorless demeanor just isn’t for me. So I choose to segregate myself from the seriously sullen and surround myself with those who believe no subject is sacred.

I believe the adage “tragedy plus time equals comedy” should be coined. Laughter makes tragedies bearable. A life without embarrassing moments is dull. Helping another person see their embarrassing moments as laughable is most rewarding. Having the presence of mind to laugh at my own foibles keeps me humble, happy and wearing pee pads. Laughing is learning, learning to laugh is laudable, and hysterical moments are beyond heavenly.