Soooo… last Sunday I got the local Sunday paper. Honestly, the main reason I buy it is for the Target ad insert. Yes, I know I can access it online. It’s just this thing I love about the Sunday paper on Sunday morning.
Annnnnd…. so I read Parade magazine. Seriously, how does that thing continue? Oh. Probably by people like me continuing to read it even though they know its worthlessness. It was their annual What Do People Earn? issue, where they have tiny profiles of folks in various jobs and what their salaries are. This edition was a big switch-up, in that they profiled a bunch of people and compared what they were making years or decades ago compared to what they make now.
I admit that I find this really interesting. I’m always really curious about what people do for a living. So the job titles ran the gamut, and the one that struck me was a woman who had been a realtor, I think, and now was a “Laughter Ambassador.”
I read that aloud to Total Husband Ron several times. I’m sure he was getting annoyed but I had to try and make it make sense for me!
So… is she a clown? Does she make rubber balloons? Does she represent the United States at official functions? Does she broach rapproachements between hostile emotions among people? Why would one refer to one’s self like that? To distinguish one’s self? A phrase that attracts the eye on a business card, and invites discussion?
Maybe one of my reactions has to do with the fact that I rarely, if ever, refer to myself as funny. You are just setting yourself up. It is so subjective, for one thing. It was a self-preservation mechanism when I started doing standup comedy, and people would ask, what do you do? “I’m a standup comedian.” Men would say instantly, “Oh, yeah? Say something funny.” Or, “Make me laugh.” Of course, you’ll never be able to make someone laugh who insists that you make them laugh to prove yourself to them. (Women, on the other hand, would invariably say, “Oh, my, I could never do that! How do you do that?!“)
And sure enough, when I consider it, the funniest people I know never declare themselves funny: “I’m funny!” They just are. It’s a state of being, it’s not a vest they put on. It’s the same with creative people. I know a lot of people who declare themselves creative, and throw that word into every description of themselves or ways of looking at the world, and it just feels forced or trying too hard. The most amazingly creative people I know live it in all they do, and they would never describe their interpretation or way of moving through the world as “creative.” That is not where the spotlight of their self-awareness lands. It is effortless, without thought, and comes from their very way of being. They simply embody their way of seeing the world, their eccentricities, their oddities, their interpretations. The creativity, the humor just is.
I trust that woman has found her niche, working at hospitals or corporate events or whatever the hell she does, because she made somewhat of a living off it last year, according to Parade magazine. But egads, I get a little anxious thinking of running into that person at a party and being trapped while she tries to laughter ambassador me.