I have a loud boisterous infectious laugh. When I laugh everyone in the house knows it. First, they look at me to make sure I am okay. They may be thinking that I am having a heart attack. Next, they look to see what is so funny and decide if I am crazy or if it is really that funny. Finally, they may join me.
Recently I laughed at a Doc Martin episode (Season 3, Episode 7) on Netflix. It was the Doc’s wedding day and anything that could possibly go wrong was going wrong. I marveled at the creative writing that went into the hilarious episode. For me the funniest part was after the alcoholic vicar, the presiding priest, had a physical struggle with Doc Martin over a bottle of gin in the vicar’s office. The old vicar fell hard and broke his hip. The only other qualified minister was a recluse who hated weddings and would only consent to performing the wedding if Doc Martin (not a veterinarian) would take a look at his beloved pig who was having pain in her rear end. The scene switched to the barn yard. As the Vicar was talking with the doctor about weddings the doctor’s arm was up to his elbow in the rear of the pig attempting, and indeed finally fixing, a prolapsed rectum. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to hurt myself. Tears ran down my face and I had a difficult time talking. The things we do for love! That was a great laugh!
While entertainment will make us laugh we mostly laugh with the people we love. When Jennifer and her dear friend Lisa Cotton (Hi Lisa!) were home raising children, back in the old days, they would get on the phone together and watch I Love Lucy episodes from their respective homes. Being stay-at-home moms they needed each other and the fun and laughter of watching those hilarious episodes together in separate home miles apart was more than just fun and funny, it was survival for them. That laughing bond never left them. Though life and time tried it’s best to keep them apart their reunions are warm fun social events. They love each other to this day.
The biology and neuroscience of laughter is well document but there is more to learn about how and why it is so effective in making life better. Sophie Scott’s 2015 TED talk has been viewed by millions of people and just tickles the surface about laughing, check it out.
My ideal day of love has a big hairy audacious healthy belly laugh right in the middle of it.