Somewhere in 2009 or 2010, I saw the YouTube video “Jizz in My Pants”. My (now ex) husband and I had gone to dinner at my son’s place, and my son shared this video with us. It’s the silliest video; have you seen it? OMG, I laughed sooo hard!
By then, over a million people had watched it, and the response video “Puke In My Mouth.”
When I saw this video, I was going through a pretty intense, unhappy time in my life. I was working a ridiculous number of hours (80-96!) trying to save a business structure and a marriage that couldn’t be saved. I was hyper aware that this was the first time I’d laughed about anything in awhile. Me, not laughing. Holy crap, what had happened to me? My own laughter felt so awkward, it kept ringing in my ears; I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The very next day I suddenly realized the brilliance of that video, of Lonely Island, of comedic ventures in general! FAR more people agreed on what’s funny, than they agreed on pretty much anything else. At a minimum, they at least agreed they liked to laugh!
That’s the day I decided Laughter was the intersection of humanity I wanted to play in. At least if I got run over, I’d go down with a grin on my face.
It took me quite a few years to extricate myself from the unhappy place I was in. I went through some pretty nasty bouts of anger, sobbing heartbreak, desperation and stay-in-bed depression between then and now as I dug in deep to sort my life out. But once I started processing all that, I found when I WAS laughing, it was pure and complete. I noticed I was child-like unaware of anything in those moments, except the hilarity. As long as I was laughing, it didn’t matter whether I’d created it for myself or found it somewhere else.
I genuinely, whole-heartedly laugh a LOT now; I’m guessing it’s fairly obvious from a small amount of time on my Facebook page, or interacting with me. I truly don’t mind laughing alone at all. In fact I stood outside in the dark tonight laughing at a photo I’d taken of the moon that looks like a silly face. It’s okay if I’m the only person who thinks something is funny, too, but it’s far more fun when I’m not the only one laughing!
There was a piece on The Really Big Questions, which aired on NPR tonight. The show was about people sharing with others. (I’m not sure which podcast contains what I’m referring to, but they were both wonderful…well worth listening to!)
They’ve done experiments where they share money with people. One group is supposed to buy things for themselves. The other group is supposed to buy things for others. Then they survey them to see who’s the happiest. The people who have bought something for others report being the happiest. People who share have a higher sense of happiness and satisfaction in general. Money isn’t what I want to share with people, though. Instead, what I wanna share with people who cross my path is a smile. If we have a laugh? Even better! If I had a part in someone else laughing? I light up from head to toe when they tell me about it. And, to my core, I appreciate and value the people who make me laugh.
The day I found George Takei’s page on Facebook, he became an instant hero for me. Surely you’ve seen it? I haven’t been to it yet without laughing about…well, without laughing about nearly everything ON it!
What a treat to find such an excellent role model, and what a fun article someone wrote about him on Your Tango! http://www.yourtango.com/2014209910/oh-my-10-reasons-we-love-adore-george-takei-lgbt That’s where I found my sparkly new, favorite quote. It PERFECTLY sums up what I think about life and laughter:
“It’s really hard to hate someone for being different when you’re too busy laughing together.” ~ George Takei
It gets to live in my heart right next to another daily repeated favorite I’ve been using to measure against whatever’s going on in my life: “Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive, is too small for you.” ~ (David Whyte – Sweet Darkness) – (To see a copy of this poem, go here: http://kathleenflenniken.com/blog/?p=1642)
To me, when I’m laughing is when I feel most definitively alive.
Thank you George, for the gift of laughter you’ve given millions of people, and for how much you’ve inspired me in the process.
~ cj 2014.03.12