Monday, December 3, 2007
Good Looking and Funny
With Christmas right around the corner, I want to discuss other ways to pump pleasurable endorphins into one’s brain besides eating turkey and chocolate. And how unfortunate it is that we miss easier ways to find joy in a humdrum day—simply by doing things that are truly stupid and utterly inappropriate.
Now before I continue, let me tell you about my day.
Today Hub and I are making the dreaded trip to town. So Hub showers, shaves, puts on clean clothes, a splash of after-shave, and grooms his hair. Soon after I see him examining his image in the hall mirror. He puffs out his chest, sucks in his stomach, and turns left and right examining his profile, his hair, his physique, his biceps, and sniffs the citrus odor of his aftershave.
“You are such a fortunate woman,” he says to the mirror, though his comments are meant for me. “You have a man who smells good, dresses good, looks good, has a sense of humor, takes good care of you, takes you to town” and here he does a clumsy little jig and says, “and is agile as well!”
I laugh at his silliness, at the bold way that he is breaking all the rules about what is and isn’t appropriate. Being so silly when we are too old to be silly. Immature, some would say. With no serious thought given to appropriate or inappropriate behavior.
So many, having seen this display, would be as one is expected to be – appalled rather than allowing themselves to find humor in it. Isn’t it sad, that in our somber judgment, we have forgotten that silly-laughing is every bit as authentic and therapeutic as jokes that play on a comic clash of intellectual thought.
Knowing that laughter is linked to life and longevity, we still feel it is necessary to sneer with sophisticated rigidity at dumb acts and dumb conversation. We feel socially compelled to make discriminatory judgments minute-by-minute of each day of what is funny and what is ‘not funny’ because it is such nonsense. So there is a bareness of laughter in our lives that causes us concern. Enough concern that some communities form Laughing Clubs. Members get together where in desperation they force laughing sounds in the hope that eventually the culmination of their efforts will create enough of a ripple to spawn heartfelt laughter. But I digress.
And so, returning to our topic, social influence has us believing that with maturity it is imperative we act our age and reject silliness rather than seize it. I don’t know why when silly-happy brings its own sweet level of pleasurable endorphins and gaiety.
It’s easy to keep cynicism at bay through mid-life and latter years if we allow ourselves to be happy even if that happiness is prompted by utter foolishness. The complexity is how to shelf the part of us that wants to reject outright silliness thinking that such rejection enhances our own intellect. It’s really quite sad when we can no longer roll on the floor with laughter and find easy joy through exposure to someone who is happy, even if it is silly-happy, rather than practicing sober immunity.
If I were to sum up what gives life special meaning I would have to say dry humor is good. Intellectual comedy is good. But silly-happy is hilarious. With that kind of joke, we don’t have to worry whether our laughter breaks out in a snort, a cackle, a hiccup, an explosion, or even if we dribble a bit in our underpants, because sophistication, delicacy, and decorum have no part to play in silly-happiness.
And so, as Hub puts the car in drive, he says to me. “By the way tomorrow you will be more fortunate than you are today. Bet you thought it wasn’t possible?”
And so, I have to ask, “What is happening tomorrow?”
Hub grins. “So soon not noticing? So soon forgetting the obvious?" Here he breaks into a happy singing voice...
"To know me is to love me. I get better lookin' each day!”