Looking at Laughter

I want to laugh
With abandon
Carefree and with volume
Do not shush me
Try to make me afraid
To shake and gasp
Open my mouth
Reveal all my teeth
I want to laugh hard
Without judgement
Disapproving looks
Telling me I’m unseemly
Unladylike, brazen
Don’t try to stifle my joy
Minimize my mirth
Do not muffle my humor
I will only laugh harder

This little free verse was inspired by a warped sense of humor. Little did I know or realize but my sense of humor is a product of my upbringing and societal norms. When I was young, ladies giggled or maybe tittered and sometimes they would produce a “ha!” almost as if it were an involuntary sneeze. But genteel women didn’t throw their heads back and roar. They didn’t gasp or snort or laugh so hard that they gasped for air. A lady never laughed so hard that they would cry – that would have doomed her mascara! So I learned to laugh with my father who would laugh explosively and then shake silently before another round of roaring laughs escaped him. I soon learned that this was too shocking coming from a little girl. I suppressed my laugh. In high school I only laughed when in the company of best friends or family. The rest of the time I suppressed the laugh and only released minor chuckles when deemed appropriate. I was considered a humorless and altogether sober student. It took a long time before my husband ever saw me “crack up”. In fact it was just before he proposed. He had given me a Garfield comic compilation. I started reading and my smile broadened and then I giggled and before I could control myself, I burst into a full fledged laughing jag. I think it startled him. But it didn’t make him love me less. It just might have made him love me more. Now I laugh as often and as loudly as I want. I’m free. I have an odd sense of humor. I think farts are funny. So is rabbit poop. And incense that comes in boxes with holes. I laugh at fashion and food and small children trying ice cream for the first time. But cats always amuse me along with people who own them trying to understand the mysterious ways and why fores of the feline! Thanks goodness for “I Can Has Cheezburger?” videos!!

46 thoughts on “Looking at Laughter

            1. Yep. Married life – take the good with the bad. Maybe he just needs a new mattress or a better pillow. Or better fitting shoes! If my feet hurt I can’t see the good in anything!!

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            2. He says he is really stressed. All I know is I am with him 24/7 and when I try to take a break he throws a fit. He is short tempered a lot. All he wants to do at home is sit in his chair. It’s been a hard summer.

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      1. I was talking about your poem. :). My wife is a published poet, and I like “correcting” it by adding punctuation and ‘missing’words that takes it from being a poem to being prose. Just trying to be funny.

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  1. Love it! You know, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh at farts, poop and the like. I mean, really? Not a tee, hee or ha? God had a sense of humor when he created us (consider the mechanics of sex–how can anyone not laugh at that? No disrespect to my husband intended 😉) We humans are worth some good belly laughs. And it relieves stress too! Keep on laughing!

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  2. wow interesting!

    the mom always told me to laugh like a lady because im one of those whod roar with my (missing) teeth all showing

    cheers!

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  3. Heaven knows I have had looks at my laugh, but don’t remember when I started to laugh but suspect when quite young. Didn’t get it from my mom and not sure from dad either. He had a dry sense of humor.

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  4. Thanks for the insight. I’ve learned to laugh at the ridiculousness of the human being. I just got stopped by another agent online, low level trash you will run into if they feel like it. It’s like, you have control. Unless you shoot yourself, you will win against me. I’m helpless. Go ahead. This is why I’m a paranoid schizophrenic. I just laugh now.

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  5. I had a lovely boss on my first real job, who took it upon herself to round my rough edges. She informed me that a lady did not whistle when I would go about my somewhat tedious job whistling my little heart out. I appreciated her instruction and gave up the habit.

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    1. I never could whistle. My grandmother could whistle like a song bird. She would whistle show tunes and popular songs. I never thought it unladylike like! I hope you’ve not completely given up whistling a happy tune – I hear it masks fear….

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    1. Hehe! And you do it so well!! Sometimes you just say things that totally crack me up! I need to write a blog about middle initials but it makes me laugh so hard I can’t type!!

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  6. Laughter truly is the best medicine, wish more would laugh loud and long!

    I once caught up with an old friend when we both burst into loud fits of laughter in the movie theatre … their initial commercials were about a ‘wedding’ arcade where one could book their dress, hire suits, flowers, book honeymoon, etc. We both totally lost it, recognised each others laughter and walked outside to catch up 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the comment – yes I’ve experienced total darkness in Mammoth Cave. My father decided to take us (my mother, grandmother and me and 2 sisters) on the 4 hour/4 mile tour. I was maybe 8 and had an exceedingly small bladder. As we were still an hour from the exit and I needed to pee. The guide told us to “hang back” and I could go behind a rock as the lights went off behind us… That experience reinforced my fear of the dark!! (and my mother still talks about the time I “christened” the cave!

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