I'm not much of an "out-loud" laugher. One of my most significant out-loud laughs in memory was when I was about 14 years old, listening to LoveLine on the radio. Adam Corolla made some off-color joke about spreading his "seed" out the window of a helicopter, impregnating the women below and spawning millions of little Adams. I know, totally queer. But it's all in the delivery, and Adam is a master deliverer, apparently, because alone in my room, I laughed so hard I fell of the bed. I actually fell off.

I digress. The point of this rant was to pose the question - should one fake a response to appease a crowd or stick to their guns and face both his/her own embarrassment and the embarrassment of others? Example: a friend recently showed me a YouTube video that another friend produced as an online Christmas card. Objectively, the video is very funny (girl in weird looking wig sings Mariah's "All I Want for Christmas is You" to her cat. Again, delivery...) and though I smiled wide, she was not satisfied without sustained, barreling laugh.

"Did you not think it was funny? Seriously?"

"No no," I said, "it's hilarious. I'm just not much of an out-loud laugher."

That explanation didn't really fly. And believe me, it never does. People always assume their jokes aren't that funny or the movie's not as good as they thought when they see my reaction. That or I'm a heartless b****.

So when she decided to show me a second video of another friend, I opted for riotous (but believable) laughter to calm her worry that a. I was a heartless b**** with no sense of humor, or b. she was wrong in finding it funny in the first place. This solution yielded a much more desirable response - smiles, shared joy (albeit feigned) and no hurt feelings.

Moral of the story is that in my opinion, if it'll make someone else feel better and get them off your back, fake it.


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