I don't know if you've ever written an internet dating profile.
It's hard to describe yourself in a way that is sincere but not painfully so, and breezy but not contrived. Although maybe now they require less text. Does Tinder require any text?
Anyway, back in aught-five, when I had a flip phone and sody pop cost a nickle, I remember that it took me a long time to even put up a profile, because there were so many steps that required careful thought.
You had to pick a username (one that was not boring and not stupid). I chose Lemon Gloria, because I didn't have a better idea. If you're doing internet dating and have a blog that chronicles your dates, it is in fact plain stupid to use your blog name.
You also had to have a tagline (seriously?), and then write a couple paragraphs about yourself. It needed to be long enough to say something, but not too long because who wants to read paragraphs and paragraphs?
Anyway, I wrote it, and then I read a piece about phrases not to use. One was something about being equally comfortable in jeans or a black cocktail dress. Another was, "I love to laugh." I had to go and immediately delete that line from my profile.
Apparently, saying you love to laugh is stupid and trite, because everyone loves to laugh.
Now, I don't actually believe that everyone loves to laugh. Or maybe they love to, but don't actually do so very often. There are people who will remark that something is funny, but not actually laugh. (I am pretty sure this was on a Seinfeld episode.) There are other people who will smile politely and then you're just left amusing yourself.
When this happens I like to mutter "anal sphincter" and then move along.
Try this. You may be the only one laughing, but it works.
Although none of this happens to me that often anymore because: 1. I am not going on first dates with random people; 2. I'm not actually going on ANY dates with random people; 3. Nick thinks I'm funny. Usually.; and 4. My kids and my mom think I'm hilarious.
Oh! and 5! Maybe even most importantly! I don't work in an office anymore. So I don't have all those regular encounters with people outside my house.
Also: this is why I suck at outlines and figuring out the final points before you start the first ones and making all the things parallel.
So I'm just going to say it: I love to laugh. I do. And! I don't laugh all that often anymore.
Not in a mouth wide open, laugh till you're crying kind of way.
So, anyway, I recently heard a program on NPR on laughter yoga.
Laughter is good for us, both mentally and physically. It makes us feel good, and it actually helps with our health and well being.
And get this: your body does not differentiate between real and fake laughter.
That's the part I found the most interesting. In these laughter yoga classes, they have people fake laugh until hopefully they real laugh.
Since then, here's what I've been doing. I walk around the house fake laughing. I do this when nobody is around because frankly, it's weird.
Go ahead and try it. Ha ha ha ha ha! It feels weird, right?
But your body has no idea. So now I do this. And any opportunity I have to giggle--like if my kids say something emi-funny, I laugh. And then they laugh. And we laugh harder, till we're really laughing.
I'm on a mission.
So a couple weeks ago, I decided to solicit actual, make-you-laugh suggestions from friends. I saved the post so I could always refer back.
And because I love you, and want you to not have to walk around feeling weird about fake laughing, I'm sharing some, most of which I have not yet watched, because we are currently immersed in Stranger Things (which if you are not watching it, why not?).
Some funny suggestions:
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
My Drunk Kitchen
Eastbound and Down on HBO
Youtube video Can't Hug Every Cat (see above)
Tim Conway skits, especially the dentist one
Arrested Development (until the last season...which was definitely not as good)
Parks + Rec
The Good Place, Catastrophe, Atypical
Maybe you've seen some of these already. Maybe you have other suggestions. I'm all ears.
Also, I had to retitle because I totally forgot that I was going to use this lyric from David Bowie's weird little ditty "The Laughing Gnome." When I first listened to it in 7th grade I thought it was just kooky, but now I imagine this was during the period where he subsisted entirely on cocaine and milk. Seriously. He said that.