you guessed it... today's gratitude topic? that's right.
i consider myself to be a very lucky individual, partly because of my ability to find humor (and happiness!) in pretty much any situation. while i tend to laugh at any and every thing, my favorite type of laughter can pretty much only come about when i am surrounded by my college friends. i dont know what it is about being with them, but this sentiment was only further cemented after a mini-college reunion with a few friends last weekend for another friend's (lovely) wedding. maybe it's because we literally can talk about absolutely nothing for hours (and days, let's face it) on end. and maybe it's because we know each other so well (we do, after all, share quite a history). regardless of overanalyzing the WHY of our good times, the fact of the matter is that, after that weekend, i grew ever more aware of how much more appreciative i am of the art of laughter (giggling is, of course, included).
this is why ive decided to take the opportunity to highlight a few people ive encountered in my life who, in my opinion, have pretty much the best laughs/giggles that ive ever heard. please note that the "best" laughs/giggles is most heavily weighted by being addictive in nature...
1. kathy s. - she's one of my absolute best friends, how can i not start out with her? kathy is by far one of the people i have shared a history of incessant giggling/laughter with. whether in person, on the phone, on IM/email (who do you think introduced me to "laksdjflsj!"??). i feel like, more often than not, we have had those stomach-aching, laughing so hard you stop making laughter noise and you are just laughing silently, and (our specialty!) tears in eyes laughter. it doesnt help that when kathy laughs, her eyes become the size of little slits, only further perpetuating my laughter/giggling some more. sigh.
2. sarah d. - when i first met this girl, we had a lovely conversation (just standard, hi how are you stuff). i must admit, i was thrown more than a little off-kilter when she let out her first laugh at something i said. i mean, whatever id said could not have been all that funny, but let me tell you, her laugh came straight from the gut. i actually felt like quite the comedian! talk about a self confidence boost! that was before i realized that this is her standard laugh. she just genuinely finds things to be THAT funny. a-mazing. to this day, she is one of my favorite people, primarily because of her most addictive laugh (and her heart of gold, of course).
3. emily w. - okay, well, im kind of biased because from the very first time i met the dear emily, it was during this training at my old job and i already knew that i wanted to have her as my senior at some point (which worked out! yess!) because she was so gosh darn NICE. thank GOD i got to have her as my senior because i have honestly never laughed so many times on a single project. it helps that she has, quite possibly, the best giggle ive ever heard. one would never be able to misclassify her giggle as a laugh. if there were such a thing as an audio dictionary, her giggle would be the clear-cut definition of the word. it's one of the most addictive things ever. it's like music, really. haha. sorry, em, hope this doesn't creep you out, but i can assure you, we should take a poll and i bet this would be the general consensus.
4. kiley b. - even though i have had the most minimal of interactions with this girl, she is pretty much famous for her laugh. you can essentially hear it from a mile away, because it is a true, belly laugh. for such a tiny girl, im amazed at how bubbly of a laugh/giggle/chortle comes out of her. yes... chortle. i think that is actually the best way to describe it.
5. anthony c. - i just laughed to myself thinking about anthony's laugh. hahaha. there are very few guys who i believe have a distinctive laugh and he is certainly one of them. i cant remember a SINGLE time where he laughed and i didnt start cracking up. hysterically. now HIS laughter would be the audio dictionary's definition of boisterous. that is simply the only way to describe it as it's clearly straight from the gut... and it only helps that it's very... very... well, loud. SIGH I MISS ANTHONY!!! hahaha
6. bhavna - the girl doesnt even need a last initial with her name, let's be honest here. im still trying to decide whether to classify her laugh as a "laugh" or a "giggle". i go back and forth. regardless, it is one of the most addicting things ever. while her antics and/or stories are entertaining enough in their own right, i swear, half the time i laugh at work, it's just because i hear her laugh/giggle... i dont even need to see her laughing to start laughing myself... you can hear her laugh from a mile away. it's only pretty darn fabulous.
7. jermaine p. - okay, i have never met someone who laughs as much as he does. whether hes stressed, annoyed, or just genuinely finding humor in a situation, you can certainly hear his laugh from a mile away as well. between him and bhavna, you really cant get much more laughter in one workplace setting, let's be honest here. i dont know what it is about his laughter that causes me to crack up as well- i cant determine whether it's due to how MUCH he laughs (seriously. he laughs. at. everything.) or whether it's due to the sheer VOLUME of his laugh (seriously. a mile. away.)... but whatever. regardless, life is just that much more jolly in the workplace because of jermaine. hahaha. (and it certainly helps that i know he's an avid blog reader so of COURSE a shout out is in order! hahaha).
8. cliff - my partner in crime for celebrity stalking during the clinton global initiative. you can GUARANTEE there was plenty of laughter to be had during our... shenanigans. i mean, the things we DO for pictures with celebrities. sigh. for another time. cliff, again, is someone that you should hang out with if you want to get a self confidence boost about your ability to entertain. the dude laughs at EVERYthing. i felt SO FUNNY around him. hahaha. one of my favorite memories with cliff involved me ranting and raving about something or other to him (i was genuinely fired UP!) and he was cracking UP because he thought it was entertaining to see me fuming, apparently. while i couldnt help but laugh, myself, i quickly stopped myself short with a "dude, STOP! im being SERIOUS!" to which he IMMEDIATELY ceased the laughter in a (real weak) attempt to feign some degree of seriousness/concern about whatever situation i was all riled up about at the moment (more than likely out of fear of being reprimanded by me, rather than genuine concern, let's be honest here).
so there you have it. while it's well known that one's own laughter is the best medicine, who ever would've thought that other people's laughter would be so nurturing and wonderfully fulfilling to an individual? maybe this isnt normal for most people to analyze and celebrate such a natural, everyday occurrence, but i dont care. i love laughter! why NOT celebrate it?!