The Gift of Laughter

One of the things I love most in life is when I can get others to laugh. I am not really fantastic at this, I would fail in about 5 seconds as a stand-up comic, but the challenge makes the reward that much sweeter. It also may be surprising because I am not really very social in my real life. I am very chatty over the internet but not so much in person. In fact to meet me in person in my mostly-black attire, wide range of tee-shirts revolving around the theme of “Leave me alone,” and my general willingness to shy away from crowds. It is really surprising that I am a teacher, guest lecturer, and I have held jobs where I was the one establishing community ties with schools, and while at times I felt like I was drowning in human contact, I do well in these settings with these duties. Many of my students seem to enjoy my company and seek me out before class, during office hours, and after class to talk about a wide range of topics. I can never walk alone to my car because at least one student will follow me out of the building. And while I may grumble about being pestered, I am truly proud of my students and their accomplishments. I love that I can introduce them to a wide range of social issues but in addition, help them see how they can make a difference too. But at the end of the day, nothing brings me greater joy than reflecting back on making someone else laugh.

No one in their right mind would ever call me a happy person. When forced to go to a conference held at a Disney hotel near Disney World, the running joke among my colleagues was that it would be an epic battle of Colleen versus the happiest place on earth. I am misanthropic. I rarely see the good side of situations and people and if given the opportunity, would isolate myself from other people. Some of this may be attributed to the phenomena that I study and social issues that I care deeply about, all highlighting the darker side of humanity.

I enjoy being alone much to the dismay of my rather social family. I prefer the company of my dogs to people and would rather spend an evening reading a book or watching a movie than being out and about among others. I prefer the comfort and isolation provided in a dive bar than that which is found in a club. I hate answering the phone and rarely do, again, much to the dismay of my social family. But my friends and family refuse to allow me to retreat to my reclusive ways and force me out at times.

When I started this blog to help work on my author brand, I planned to write happy, uplifting, and humorous observations, but for those that look back on my postings, I have stayed closer to my grumpy and moody ways talking about serious issues and concerns. I wish I was funny and that when I think of something humorous to write about, I would be near a computer or voice recorder to get it down and then not succumb to my outrageous self-doubt and insecurity. But I am not giving up and one of these days (hopefully soon) I will write and share something funny on my blog. In the interim, my humor is restricted to the sharing of jokes, one-liners, and comments on twitter, pinterest, facebook, and email. Even though I have not found myself successful in writing humorous blog posts, I am satisfied with my other activities that make people laugh, whether it is from my outrageous examples I use in class, my complete lack of a poker face, or failing to filter some of my more salacious comments. I am loyal to the bloggers who make me laugh and appreciate the gift they give me on a daily basis, because the ability to make others laugh is truly a gift. I don’t know where society would be without laughter and it is humor that is the shining beacon that I seek when I am trapped by the dark clouds and shadows that daily life can contain.

Here are a few of the funny lessons that I have learned so far:

When on the Mayflower tour, when the tour guide states that everything is an exact replica of how the original ship was constructed back in 1620, DO NOT exclaim to the tour guide “I didn’t know they had smoke detectors back in 1620?” You will get kicked off the ship.

When your brother is rowing a boat back to shore and you thought that you tossed the anchor overboard without it being attached to the rowboat, double check BEFORE brother starts trying to row and you complain about his lack of progress.

Never ask a pregnant friend if she is having twins or triplets. And when she threatens to kick your ass for that question, do not remind her that she cannot see her feet.


4 thoughts on “The Gift of Laughter

  1. Kristin Anders says:

    Colleen, I love your blog. I subscribed a while back and usually read your posts via email without traveling to your site. (Good move on making the entire text available in email, btw. Love that.)

    Your posts are interesting–even when talking about ordinary things. Leave Me Alone vibes and introverted attitude? You must be an author. Many have a low social quota.

    And when you write something funny it will be that much more valuable. Because it’ll be real and honest and (hopefully) with a little misanthropy. (Did I use that right? I’m looking it up.)


    • irishdragon7 says:

      Thanks for following. 🙂 I like having the email option for the blogs that I subscribe to because sometimes I cannot get to a regular browser to check the site itself, and that way I can retweet a post that I’ve read via email even if I am not able to comment on it yet.

      One of my favorite tee shirts reads “Just because I’m moody doesn’t mean you are not annoying.”

  2. You are a HOOT! My students chuckle because I will have way out there analogies to get them to understand something. (IE: a Excel Function is like a bread machine – you put in the ingredients and out comes a finished product). I would be categoriezed as more of an extrovert but sometimes I just need to be alone. Keep on doing what you are doing cause I enjoy your blog and our “tweet” talks.

    • irishdragon7 says:

      Thanks! Not too long ago I was describing the difference between the US Census official definition of household versus family and I used an example of a brothel to show that a family is always a household but a household is not always a family (according to their definitions). I also frequently use an example of a hypothetical experiment measuring the impact of dose of cocaine on typing speed to demonstrate independent, dependent, and control variables. I like your bread machine example for Excel Function. 🙂

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