For some reason I've been thinking about laughing lately. Perhaps it was brought on by watching Conan O'Brien bobbing for apples (after Martha Stewart tied his hands behind his back with a cloth napkin, of course). I laughed so hard I almost cried. And then I thought about how long it had been since that had happened. And then I remembered a man I knew in high school. I think he was a gay barber, but that's beside the point. (And how did I meet him? And why did I know him? Fascinating questions, but also beside the point.)
At a party one night, he told me about a friend of his who was so funny in high school. She was hilarious. But then she went to college and she got ironic and bitter. And then she wasn't funny anymore. She didn't laugh as much. She got dark. All this by way of telling me to "maintain my sense of humor."
And now, on the eve of my 20th high school reunion, I have to ask myself, have I? When I think about the friends I had in, say, junior high, I remember how we used to laugh at the slightest thing. We used to laugh hard. And then in high school, all I had to do was call up my friend Cyndi using my "Jewish mother" voice and we would laugh for hours. We'd do our "Jewish mother" voices at the carwash, at the dinner table, during grammar class. We laughed all the time. And with my sisters it was the same thing. My one sister would do Dana Carvey doing George Michael. We would all sing "Chopping Broc-olli." In college I would leave my friends long, convoluted messages that usually had a punch line.
In recent memory, there's the Conan O'Brien thing. Oh yeah, and tonight I laughed at Son's statement that what he wanted for dinner was "Beans and Buggers."
So what's happened? Has life gotten less funny or have I?