Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Laugh a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Laughter: not just cheap medicine, but also known to be the best kind of medicine. Do you laugh a lot? Not just smirk, but full out belly laugh? With your mouth wide open, eyes scrunched up, head flung back in pure, un-embarrass-able joy? I try to. . . it's not always easy, sometimes I have to tell myself to quit with the tears and laugh out loud. . . but I really do try to. A lot.

And what does laughter look like to you? I know this seems like an odd question, but let me try to show you what laughter looks like to me. . . Laughter looks like my brother after a few brewskies, dancing to "Booty Work" in his well worn, bill bent into severe submission, camouflage, baseball hat. Laughter looks like my mom watching those creepy Target commercials with the crazy, blonde lady exercising with her present-filled, red shopping baskets and having tears pool and run down her face in glee. Laughter is chasing my curly-haired, perfectly complected, baby cousins around Gran's house while they squeal in delightful protest. Laughter looks like pictures from high school football games, impromptu photo shoots in a bedroom, and that look. . . ya know. . . where you appear as if you are attempting to sniff your upper lip, but you are actually thinking you look sexy and mysterious. . . yeah- laughter looks like three huge stacks of snapshots of my best friends and I doing that over, and over, and over, again.

And what does laughter sound like to you? Not sound as in, how does your actual laugh sound, but what are the sounds that provoke your laughter? To me. . . laughter sounds like a brilliantly sarcastic story being regaled by a particular family member I am told I resemble. Laughter sounds like Braden "beat boxing" in my back seat along to a Jay-Z song, Belle "teaching" a class in her "classroom," and the two of them scheming to convince me they fully deserve an ice cream treat from Holly's for snack. Laughter sounds like Lindsey and I talking in "that voice" that TJ is convinced I made up ( I did not), Emily and I planning how we will flirt with that hottie Steve at Red Robin, my deep, serious conversations with my mother in which I firmly tell her she knows nothing about my life, and locked and saved text messages with my brother in which I quote a lyric from a song and he returns with the next line. Laughter sounds like pig snorts, knee slaps, and smoker's coughs.

And how does laughter feel to you? Laughter feels like stomach cramps because I'm doubled over in pure, giddy pleasure. Laughter feels like little hands grabbing at my wrists to put a stop to the tickling they asked for in the first place. Laughter feels like bass pumping through my veins and a cold beer in my hand. Laughter feels like a warm room, anywhere my family is, sunshine on the crown of my head.

It has come to my attention that even on my saddest days, the hardest trials, the cloudiest horizons, I can find laughter welling up inside my chest, giggles over moments past that will never be forgotten, knee slaps in a chair that a great man used to occupy. Laughter is a memory taking place of a person that's never really gone, sunshine on a day in which there should be a down pour, "freeze frame-d" in rustic picture frames lining walls and crowding tables. Laughter is an epidemic for which there should never be a remedy, an ice cold elixir of magic available to all, even if you aren't 21, a tear-stopper, smile-inducer, acronym filled sentiment posted all over the world in mere seconds on Facebook. Laughter is something that looks good on everyone, sounds perfectly in tune to everyone, and never goes out of style.

Laughter can alter a mood, create an atmosphere, change a life. So on those days you can't seem to muster the energy for a smirk, think about that little guy you used to baby sit and the crazy antics he tried to pull; on the day you have to let someone go forever, remember the reasons they told you they loved your smile; on the days you're so pissed off you can't see straight, remember a car drive with your best friend from high school, that game you used to play with your cousins when you were kids, the night out last weekend that started too late, ended too early in a McDonald's parking lot, and is burnt in your memory for forever.

My laughter is loud, probably obnoxious, but surely unforgettable. . . and much like yours, it's contagious. So go spread it- like wildfire.

-Stephi D.


  1. Laughter sounds like a great-uncle slapping the arm of his chair, wheezing and giggling, saying, "G** dammit. Yaknowhutimean?!"
    Laughter sounds like a great-aunt after a much younger me helps two professional quilters figure out which squares were not placed right.
    Laughter to me sounds like three sisters lying in a king sized bed, giggling together like they were still in that big room on 55.
    Laughter to me sounds like Mom laughing so loud in the movie theatre that she is totally embarrassing her tween age kids.
    Laughter to me sounds like a long lost friend coming through the phone lines, laughing at the antics of my life.
    Laughter to me is helping a teenage mom, pregnant with her second child, yet determined to

  2. I feel like this is unfinished, Aunt Luc. . .