Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Funny bones

I've got a sensitive funny bone. I like to laugh and to make others laugh. My parents get me a subscription to Reader's Digest, which is not really my favorite magazine, but it has good jokes. My favorite this month is on page 222, upper right corner. It's laugh-out-loud funny to me. Uncle Mike has a quick, dry wit; he's my kind of guy.

I read somewhere over the weekend that humor is not a particularly valued trait when people are listing what they're looking for in a date. Humor, the article said, denotes lesser intelligence. Well, I guess that's true if your idea of humor is three guys named Moe, Larry, and Curly or the currently popular junior high "body noise and prank" movies.

I'm an old sap, though. (Key word: sap; not old, ahem!) Give me a Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn movie any day of the week. What I love best about them is the smart, fast repartee. It's sexy and fun and to pull it off in real life you have to be damned smart. I've had that kind of relationship once and it was invigorating intellectually and the most fun I've ever had.

There is a smart movie line, touching and hilarious, at the end of an article reprinted in this month's RD. Written by Elizabeth Livingston, the article tells the story of her parents who fought about everything throughout their marriage, but stayed together through it all. In their old age, they both suffer from dementia, bringing about a surprising twist in their relationship: They've forgotten how much they dislike each other. Livingston writes:
"I don't doubt that if my mother and father magically regained their old vigor, they'd be back fighting. But I now see that something came of all those years of shared days—days of sitting at the same table, waking to the same sun, working and raising children together. Even the very fury they lavished on each other was a brick in this unseen creation, a structure that reveals itself increasingly as the world around them falls apart.
"In the early morning I once again heard the voices through the wall. 'Where are we?' my father asked. 'I don't know,' my mother replied softly."

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