I have always enjoyed a good joke, and sadly, those that are not so good. It seems that I have always had a casual relationship with humor. Like a couple of buddies, we have always felt comfortable in each others company. Laughing has always been an inherent requirement that has forced me to look for the positive in my world. Actually, I think it is what provided my sanity.
My wife of many years was fond of saying “no one enjoys your jokes more then you do” and, although I never acknowledged it, she was right. A good joke to me is not about the quality or tenor. It can be subdued, silly, abstract, thoughtful, or deprecating, If it isn’t mean, it is fair game. But there should be as much joy in the telling as there is in the hearing. Laughing, like wine, is best when shared.
Writing is a lot like that. When I first decided to take up the pen (or as some friends suspect, the quill) I was hesitant to let anyone read my words. It wasn’t until after a lot of coaxing and encouragement from a good friend that I jumped into the abyss. Looking back now, I muse about why I was so reluctant to share myself on paper. I was never going to be a Longfellow or Emerson nor did I ascribe to be. It seems rather that I was afraid that other people would not like what I wrote. And therein lay my peril. I thought I had to write for other people to gain acceptance. I had to figure out what you wanted to hear and then write about that.
Well, so much for that. It took a while, but I finally figured out that sharing a thought was a lot like sharing a joke. You never knew if the other guy was going to laugh, but you did, so it was worth the telling. I finally understood that the reason I like to write is because it gives me a sense of pleasure. If you like it too, then it’s a win win.
So, with all due respect to my wife, I will continue to laugh at my own jokes and enjoy the satisfaction that writing provides because when all is said and done, ‘this one’s for me’.