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.