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Missing Carrie

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I love Carrie Fisher and am sorry she’s no longer traveling with us on this planet. I loved her sass. She was funny. She big hearted and funny and fully herself. Sometimes she was a mess. There’s no doubt, but she found humor in her train wrecks, and that is something I always admire.

We need more of that these days as we slide back into ignorance and darkness. A sense of humor saves.

My dad loves being funny. Even when you need him to be serious, he’s funny. When you’re angry? He’s funny. Crying? He’s funny. He’s startled when his jokes aren’t appreciated. Actually, I don’t know if he’s really startled because he’s just making another joke. Nuclear bombs could be dropping and he’d tell a terrible joke. “You remind me of Lana Turner’s sister.”

“Yeah?”

“Stomach Turner!”

Do you know anyone like that?

What a strange thing laughter is though, isn’t it? Most animals don’t laugh. Right? I listened to a radio story about laughter. Apparently, rats laugh. Rats! What kind of animal laughs?

What is laughter for?

Years ago when I was in grad school, I was taking a break from my studies to read a novel–Carrie Fisher’s novel, Surrender the Pink. I was sitting in a student lounge. Everyone was quiet, studying. I should’ve been studying. But instead, I burst into laughter at a scene Fisher had written. People glanced over at me, but my efforts to not laugh just made my laughing worse.

This reminds me of seeing the movie, L.A. Story. I remember only two things about that movie. Sarah Jessica Parker spelling her name on her hand and Steve Martin seeing messages from the signpost. In my memory (I can’t find a clip), the signpost lights up with the message, “Hug me.” Martin’s character wants to know why. “Because I’m a signpost.”

I couldn’t stop laughing. It got to the point where I thought I’d have to leave the theater. Mt stomach hurt. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t. My friends reached over and slapped my arm. “Hush!” I’ve no idea why the absurdity of the scene struck me so. For years, any time I’d try to explain the scene, I’d start to laugh. I’m probably not even remembering the scene properly, but I do remember how much I laughed.

Isn’t it lovely when your sense of humor matches up with someone else’s? When you’re with friends who make you laugh, laugh so hard tears come to your eyes? Thank goodness for those friends.

My mother made me laugh, though she had a very different sense of humor from my dad. I loved when we’d stay up late and she’d get sillier and sillier, doing impressions of TV characters of the time–particularly from Fantasy Island. She could be so serious, but then laugh, leaning forward, putting her hand to her face, her shoulders shaking as she’d struggle to suppress her laugh.

We need humor these days. Not mean-spirited humor. Sincere humor. Happy laughter.

Laugh or go mad.

I think I need to read more Carrie Fisher.

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