There’s No Such Thing
A few days ago, I was waiting in line at the coffee shop. The guy in front of me was with his wife, and they were quietly standing there – just another anonymous couple.
Another man walked in, and gave the guy in front of me a tap on the sleeve.
“Hey, big guy!” he said. “I saw your car in the parking lot and had to stop.”
Guy #1 smiled and hugged Guy #2. “How you doing?” he said.
“I’m off to see my dad, so I’m gearing up to get yelled at,” Guy #2 said.
And Guy #1 laughed.
He laughed like it was an inside joke. He laughed like a friendship that lasts through time.
He laughed like the best music you have ever heard. One of those joyous, chuckling, laughs that bubbles up from the toes and gains momentum in the belly and sweetness on the heart. His laugh was magnificent.
I was suddenly envious of the young woman who was his wife. She gets to listen to that laugh every day. I’m sure it’s every day. Maybe every hour. Because he laughed like a happy soul.
About 35 years ago, I was single and hoping not to be.
A girlfriend set me up with one of her husband’s buddies. This guy – I’ll call him Eric because I honestly can’t remember his name – was a nice enough guy. Good looking enough (most people are). Kind of quiet. A guy who liked his job – and I liked that because people who like what they do are happier and nicer to be around. But I got the distinct impression that he had been pressured into asking me out. That someone was going to owe him big time for agreeing to this date.
Eric and I went out twice. It turns out that we didn’t have much in common. But I did rather hope that we could try just a little harder. Honestly, It wasn’t desperation… more of a hope that two nice people might find they liked each other more if they just worked at it.
About a month later, I had a bit of an argument with the girlfriend who fixed me up with Eric. And my friend – as a parting shot – said to me, “Eric told me that he could never warm up to you, because your stupid laugh was so irritating.”
God, that hurt. To think that something that was such an integral part of you – and something that you never even think about – it’s a natural as breathing – was terrible.
I’m a happy person. I laugh a lot. I felt bad for a long time my joy was so offensive.
But 35 years have gone by.
And I haved learned – many times over – that Eric was wrong.
THERE IS NOT SUCH THING AS A BAD LAUGH.
All laughs are magnificent.
Why would you disparage an expression of delight?
The next time you are in the coffee shop – or at work, or in a parking lot, or even at church – and you hear someone laugh –
REVEL in it!
You are so lucky! You have been given a marvelous gift. You may not even know the person who has given you this gift.
But how can you be luckier than to be given a share of someone’s joy?
PS – Eric: You missed out on the great gift of my laugh. But I hope you found someone whose laugh you enjoy. It is so worth it.