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What’s so funny?

May 16, 2008

Tonight I cried. Not from sadness. Not from grief. My tears weren’t tears of joy or pain. To put it simply, I was laughing so hard I was crying. I was with a friend and our conversation, specifically two words, started the giggles which quickly went into guffaws.

I don’t often laugh that hard. Not that I walk around moping all the time, but for me that kind of laughter is infrequent. Maybe it requires a certain conditions. Here are a few I can think of:

1. I’m with someone.

I may read something funny or find an amusing show on TV, but I don’t ever recall laughing so hard I cried while reading or watching something funny. When I’m laughing with someone else, their laughter spills over into mine creating an intensifying effect. Laughter is contagious after all.

2. I’m laughing WITH, not AT somebody (or vice versa).

When I laugh at someone or someone laughs at me, the ‘laugher’ isn’t sharing, it’s taking. The laugher is at another person’s expense. Depending on the situation, laughing at someone can mean that the laughter is corroding a bit (or a bunch) of that person’s dignity. That’s ugly.

Laughing with someone is so much better than laughing at someone (or someone laughing at you). When I laugh with someone, the two of us are sharing something. Both of us walk away feeling better than we did moments before the giggles began.

3. I’m with a friend (or friends).

Friends, as in “kinds of”, is a topic that could be another post, but I will say that the kind of friends I’m noting here are the ones I’m comfortable with. I know it’s safe to let my guard down with them. They’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly and have stuck by me. Even when the laughter is over something stupid I’ve done, I know these friends are laughing with me, not at me

4. Tiredness

Often it’s when I’m tired that I will find something normally amusing absolutely hilarious.

What conditions increase the likehood that you will laugh so hard you’ll cry?

When’s the last time you had a good laugh?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jonathan permalink
    May 16, 2008 10:12 am

    My odds of tears are opposite to the laughter-appropriateness of the environment. If I’m supposed to keep it in, I’ll probably cry.

    Examples:
    Standing in the noisy (not a complaint), happy, interactive worship-service part of church on Mothers’ Day and being double-dog dared to shout “Happy Mothers’ Day Sister Nay-Nay!” between songs.
    Grins, Quiet laughter, No tears.

    At a funeral viewing, quiet and still, with organ music consoling sorrow; watching two old ladies up front, holding hands, looking and talking quietly, sadly into Grandma’s casket… And my brother starts whisper-singing, “One of these things is not like the others”.
    Bursts of laughter, Tears, Eviction from the funeral service.

    Depends a lot on the environment.

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