I read once that God gives us friends in apology for our family. It is meant to be funny, and it is funny because it is true! There are those families that move in life as insync as that boy band; it is cool to watch. They gather regularly, share life with all the highs and lows, momentous peaks and sorrow-filled valleys. Some families really like each other and encourage each other and don’t feel embarrassed of each other. Remember Billy Beer? I wished I could have heard what Jimmy Carter REALLY thought of that. One brother became the President of the United States while one became president of his own beer company. Jimmy is cool and I thought he handled the family stuff pretty well. I hear he has a great sense of humor.
I propose that strong, healthy families have healthy senses of humor. Laughter is found not only within the outer limits of safety, but in the compound of the family fortress as well. I loved Tina Fey‘s book, Bossy Pants. She tells the reader that they won’t find negative stories about why she is funny. I read the book and laughed my way though the pages. Funny can be born in a nice home where life is lived within positive norms and without crazy crap.
Parents are comedic anchors aren’t they? Did Jimmy Carter’s mother, Miss Lillian, drink Billy Beer and belch the ABC’s? Hilarious! One of my childhood and now adulthood friends had really funny parents. One time they both came out of the back room dressed as hard-rockers; playing guitar and wearing wigs. I sat there believing that my friend had the best parents in the world. Ones that weren’t afraid to have some crazy fun in front of a house full of tweens and teens! In a time before Saturday Night Live, I was being entertained by a skit with live performers who were not only my hosts but also the musical act! I went home and looked long and hard at my family. My consensus was that only one of us was funny and that was my oldest brother, but in retrospect, my brother closest in age to me was the funniest. He was the class/family clown. If either of these two were in a good mood, the family had a good night. Mom and dad were never funny. I think that valium and absence was the reason there.
If you know your family isn’t funny at all, how does one go about staging some comedic relief? Maybe there should be a comedy service that comes in and teaches mom and dad how to use everyday items for some impromptu prop comedy, or teach the basics of improvisational comedy. Funny is a muscle that has to be exercised to grow. I met an extremely funny lady in Utah my first hike at Fitness Ridge. She is an improv-comic and puppeteer. I am amazed at her ability to turn any situation into a punchline. I roomed with her the next year; that is the friends make up for our families promise. I met her and thought…hum, can I keep her?! I can imagine how helpful her talents could be to the boring and mundane family units. Teaching comedy could look like teaching a fat kid how to perform a good plank position; it is difficult and foreign and hard to imagine how doing it can be a good thing.
My girls and their families are funny. I love being with them because we spend our time laughing, sharing, laughing some more, singing and laughing even more. One time, when my niece graduated from high school, we met at a restaurant. My sister, nephew and my side of the family showed up ready to do what we do. I was stuck at the end of the table with niece’s then boyfriend’s family. At one end of the table was laughter, food sharing and fun. At the other end sat a teenager who only drank water (eating disorder in all it’s glory) parents who hated each other and his parents who looked miserable. I tried to move down and get in on the fun, but seating wouldn’t allow it. I ended up sulking with my own H2O. I looked at this girl and asked who she hung out with. “Nobody,” she replied. I told her she should get some friends who like to laugh…STAT. I pointed to the loud end of the table and said, “FUN” like it was a word she needed to learn.
I have been looking for a good business idea. One I could sell to the Sharks. In-home comedy training. Life-coaching with a punchline to it.
Mom and dad, go buy a wig and play some air guitar for your kids. They will love it, I promise.
- Where Is Your Sense Of Humor? (1tric.wordpress.com)