Go On, Make Me Laugh

What exactly does it mean, to “…have a sense of humor”?

I see this requirement pop up a lot in online profiles, so women generally think a talent for making them laugh important. (Men might equally seek funny ladies, but I wouldn’t know because reading male profiles is overwhelmingly embarrassing. No.)

We can all stipulate that a way with words (or actions, now I think about it) that rouses a laugh in others is a valuable skill. I would say that it is a very valuable skill, which brings me back to the original question: Just what is humor, and why does it help any kind of relationship?

For the most part, I see male humor divided along two lines. There are guys who follow dog-humor, which focuses on the scatalogical side; toilet stuff, sex shockers, the bawdy, working blue. Quick gags. You get the picture, the outrageous “joke” for the quick laugh.

At the other end of the spectrum we see the cat-humorists. These guys are more verbal, arch and subtle; they’ll use word-play, and work for the line that makes the audience feel like they’re smart, having connected the dots.

Drawing a sight on where you sit in these stakes should be fairly easy…as easy as choosing between cats and dogs. I’d bet that on any first date, you can tell which kind of laughs that date will provide. Hiding your humor is impossible, and in any case no-one wants to.

The value of finding laughs is pretty clear, right? First there is the outright good of laughter, an unalloyed life pleasure. The second is the way that humor has of aligning our perspective, to take away the directionality that bogs us down. It widens our vision, and gives us the freedom to look away from problems for a while.

Humor is where you find it, but if you don’t find it in the individual with whom you might couple, think about living with Carrot Top for the rest of your life.

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