Everyone is funny. Everyone has a sense of humor. It may not be a mainstream sense of humor, and maybe you can’t tell a joke to save your life, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have your moments of hilarity.  In my opinion, nothing kills a joke faster than trying too hard, and nothing saves it faster than self deprecation. This especially helps in those moments when you start telling a story and realize half way into it’s one of those “had to be there stories.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that. Being able to laugh at yourself is truly one of the keys to developing and maintaining a sense of humor. Looking back, I have had sooooo many missed opportunities to laugh at myself. Opportunities that my family never failed to take advantage of.

Let’s go back to Christmas of 1986. All I wanted in the entire world was a Teddy Ruxpin – a bear that when you squeezed him would rattle off some catch phrase along the lines of “I’m going to be your best friend forever never let me go I love you hahahaha.” Looking back, he was kind of creepy, but not to my six year old self. (Also creepy – the glow worm I got the next Christmas. But, again, I never wanted anything so badly). So, Christmas morning comes and there’s Teddy under the tree. My six year old dreams had come true.

Later that day, during Christmas lunch/dinner, things took a decidedly darker turn. I’m not sure exactly what happened or what was said, but somehow, everyone at the table ended up laughing at me. I mean EVERYONE. Mom, dad, grandmother, GREAT Grandmother, even my lovely Great-Grandfather. I hopped down from my chair and grabbed my Teddy Ruxpin, prepared to leave the room in a show of righteous indignation. I picked Teddy up and hugged him, sure that he had a witty retort along the lines of “At least I still love you enough not to laugh” or “Don’t worry, I’ll always be your best friend!”

What I got was: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” Damn bear betrayed me in the worst way at the worst time.

Traitor!

My six-year-old heart was broken.  Bad enough that my family was laughing at me, but now my toys? Worst. Christmas. Ever. This probably also explains why I think the cat is always judging me.

Yes, I am judging you.

Looking back, that was also one of the most amusing Christmases. Second only to the year we got a Christmas card addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Bob Crimmins and Steve.” Again, I’m an only child. Then there was the time in high school I told a guy I liked that I was “horizontally challenged,” I meant vertically but got confused. The list could go on and on and on and on. I’d keep going, but the cat is reading this over my shoulder and she doesn’t need any more ammunition.