Island of the Humorless

on 04 October 2010

I had the privilege of interacting this weekend with someone who apparently is a native of the Island of the Humorless.

Privilege is a bit of a stretch.  Let's just say, if it wasn't an obligation I wouldn't have ANY interaction with ANY of the natives of the Island of the Humorless.

I have to say, I'm not sure how someone grows to adulthood with absolutely NO sense of humor, and because I can't see how such a total absence of humor is possible in normal human development, I can only understand it by believing that they come from some island, isolated from all that is quirky or funny or cheeky and surrounded day in and day out with serious things.

And now that I think of it that way, I kind of feel sorry for her.

What offends me, is not her rude and self-righteous treatment of me, but rather the fact that I am surrounded by people who, by rights, shouldn't have a sense of humor right now, but DO.

The woman I work with, her daughter has leukemia, she's the chair of a department that is hemorrhaging faculty and staff, they face serious funding issues, and YET--she has a great sense of humor.  She laughs and teases and takes everything in stride.

My brother just got back from Afghanistan.  He saw and had to do things that were serious and seriously grim.  You know what?  He still has a sense of humor.  He told us the Perils of Drinking the Milk in Afghanistan and it was disgusting and hilarious.

My best friend Samwise, she has to move, she's the leader of the young women in her church, she works part time, she's re-certifying as a dietitian and she's raising the roundest little redhead that I've ever snuggled with.  Her own history is chock full of hard times and yet, YET, she's got a sense of humor you ought not to fool around with if you're drinking anything because it WILL come up your nose.

**********

Maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way.

Maybe a sense of humor is a gift.  A talent.  A skill to be practiced and developed.  Maybe it's not something we're born with, something inherent in our DNA.  And maybe it's just not something that happens to be in this particular woman's skill set.

Which also makes me feel sorry for her.

I've just never encountered anyone quite so humorless before, someone so incapable of hearing the nuances of playful banter.  And it's this total want of humor that reduces someone like me, who relies on my wit and humor and charm to win people over, to a lump of human flesh totally devoid of desirability.  It's an alarming feeling.

And so to console myself I made a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread and have been eating toast all weekend.  Because when one is obliged to interact with the humorless, it's best to have a piece of toast first.

3 comments:

Sibley Saga .... said...

Ew. I've met people from that place. Personally I say we pelt them with said toast until they return to their island. They don't deserve to feel the magical powers of how 'laughter through tears is [a] favorite emotion'.

Sibley Saga .... said...

Ew. I've met people from that place. Personally I say we pelt them with said toast until they return to their island. They don't deserve to feel the magical powers of how 'laughter through tears is [a] favorite emotion'.

Cel and JP said...

this might be the freshmen course of psych 101 in me, but it seems to me that folks like that are insecure with their abilities to relate to others so they resort to a sort of snobbish aloofness that guarentees they can never get hurt or make a horrible social error. So what I'm saying is, it's quite possible that she has a sense of humor, but refuses to employ it in order to retain superiority. that is almost worse, I think. Did I mention I got a B in said psych class? so take this with a grain of salt. or a pat of butter. for your toast :)