The First Laugh is the Deepest

joe —  Sun 4-Apr-10

I’ll let you in on a very personal secret. Get a little closer to the screen as I don’t want everyone to know this.

I like to have fun.

If you knew that already then it shouldn’t surprise you that I surround myself with people that make life fun. My wife Beth holds the title of the single person that makes me laugh most. I think our teenage kids, Jared and Lauren would concur. Heck I think that any of our kids’ friends that have been around her would agree.

Let me give you an example that is completely typical of her everyday style and how it plays into today’s confession.While driving our kids and Lauren’s friend Samantha, to school Beth realized that everyone had a case of the Mondays. No one really wanted to face school and no one was saying a word. She didn’t want their day to start out that way, so she took it upon herself to change that by blurting out for no reason.

The Fam.jpg


Five seconds later Jared, always willing to play along, replied with his favorite color


Getting no other response and not wanting the momentum to stop Beth countered with


Sensing that some sort of game was starting and not wanting to be left out, Lauren added a touch of flair with


Now of course Samantha was sitting in amusement, feeling somewhat obligated to join in but not having an ounce of a clue to what was going on replied


Jared quickly affirmed her answer with an emphatic


Everyone was quite surprised that he knew that color let alone was comfortable enough in his football playing masculinity to say it out loud. Beth wasn’t going to let that one go.

Dude. Mauve? Really?

At that point everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves, just in time to be dropped off at the doors to the school. No one knew what happened, but somehow their day started off framed in laughter all because my wife took the initiative to inject random silliness. She gave them permission to not take themselves so seriously.

Victor Borge.pngBeth is not one of those that constantly jokes around and makes fun of everything. She would have never been known as the class clown. She has an incredible sense of humor and has this great ability to use it when most needed. I have a room full of stories just like this one. It truly is a gift and a beautiful reflection of her soul.

Here’s where the confession comes in. This story makes me smile whenever I retell it. However, when I sat down to write this column I tried to tie this story into a lesson learned. Maybe someday over lunch we could talk about the ill-fated Mary Tyler Moore’s Law, or how Beth’s actions were a great example of Seth Godin’s concept of permission marketing. There are four separate endings that now sit in the digital trashcan.

Adding a deeper meaning to something as simple and beautiful as laughter and the people that create it seemed ironic. It is like looking at a wondrous piece of art that just moves you in way you can’t explain and then have some bozo next to you tell you what the artist was trying to convey.

This timely laughter is a story, perfectly written, with no other commentary needed. Even retelling it here cannot capture the spontaneity of the moment or the expressions on the kids’ faces or even the enthusiasm in Beth’s voice as she first told me about what had happened.

So let’s not dawdle further on what this story means, but instead be abruptly thankful for those in our lives that share this gift with us.

Question of the Day
Who in your life makes you laugh?