Evening, loves. This was slotted to be my humorous contribution for today, but the trouble is, it’s been kind of a crap week for me and I’m not feeling very funny. Add to this the fact that I’m not terribly amusing on a good day, and things are looking pretty bleak. So! I thought I would address this issue head-on: how do you laugh when you don’t really feel like laughing?
Everyone knows that the less appropriate it is for you to laugh, the harder it will be to stop laughing. Growing up (and even well into adulthood) I was a terrible church-laugher. Pretty much anything could trigger it: it could be a funny face the cantor made, it could be a restless kid throwing something/falling off the pew, it could be someone near me singing the wrong word or note. Whatever it was, once I started giggling, I was pretty much done for. When I was young, I wanted to stop because my parents were going to get mad at me. When I was older, I wanted to stop because I was a goddamn grownup and shouldn’t be laughing in church.
Then there are funerals. They are devastating and exhausting experiences, whether or not you’re a direct griever. I’ve personally never laughed inappropriately at a funeral, nor have I ever known someone who has. But there is the common occurrence of a joke that a friend or relative of the deceased makes when they get up to speak. You laugh, lightly but sincerely. It’s a relieved laugh, a warm laugh, a laugh that says many things. It isn’t necessarily sad, though it isn’t happy either. It’s a laugh that reminds you that you loved the person. It’s a laugh that assures you you will laugh again.
So what about when you’re just in a piss-poor mood and don’t think anything’s funny? Am I the only one that sometimes finds that a laugh can sneak up at times like that? I think that’s because it’s a combination of the two laughs described above: one part inappropriateness and one part relief. I mean, I can rock a perma-scowl with the best of them. In fact, I scowled my way home from work today even after a five-fingered man announced to the entire subway car that it was a beautiful day (it was) and we should all smile. I didn’t do it! I ruined the day of a nice man with five fingers. Total.
And then my mopey ass pouted on the couch to Mr. McDoogs about my woes and in the middle of his generally sympathetic listening, he said something small and simple that made me laugh. Not the little half-laugh when you’re just humoring someone for their attempts to cheer you up. There was nothing polite about this one because it was a full-on Hattie Cackletm and it was loud. (Also, attractive.) It was enough to make me stop feeling sorry for myself, even if just for a moment. It didn’t fix anything; things are generally still in the pooper for this bitch. But it just felt good to let go for a minute.
If you don’t have a hilarious loved one nearby, TV, movies and the internet are always good in a pinch. I currently have such an overwhelming need to watch Archer that I’m just looking for things to do to pass the time until the new episode comes on. Because that show always makes me crack up, but I have a feeling I’ll laugh more than usual this time. And it will feel good.