I started to write a Mother's Day blog last weekend, about my mom's sense of humour, (which is highly developed), but it went all over the place. I couldn't reign in the funny. Also, it made me think about my dad's good sense of humour which often functions on a different frequency than my mom's.
Dad is quick with the quips, especially the inappropriate ones geared directly at me, (his Archie Bunker impression never grows old, but it can be a little too good at times). His doesn't have the silliness that my mom's sense of humour does.
This is why I never finished the Mother's Day blog because my mind went off in all directions about senses of humour in my family. Like, anything with a range of diversity, my disclaimer is no sense of humour is superior to the other, they are just different. I'm not heralding one family trait to be better than the other. Celebrate the differences!
I think we're all agreed that having a sense of humour can save us in the tough times. Any kind of light at all can lead us out of darkness. When I think about my parents' sense of humour I can't help but think of their family histories and the ancestors on both sides. No shortage of hard times, but the stories that remain and are told, are punctuated with humour. That survives. It gets passed on, which is nice because I don't come from a family that is passing on any grand multi-hectare estates back in the homeland. Besides some furniture, objects and photographs, the stories are all we've got. Nothing wrong with that.
My mom had three brothers, the two of them who have died, were very funny. (Uncle Norman, I'm sorry if you are reading this, which I'm sure you're not, but I'm certain you would admit to being outplayed in the silliness and funny department by Victor and Brian. This doesn't mean I don't think you are funny too. You are also very good with a snowplough, an excellent skill to have, [see above disclaimer, celebrate the differences etc. etc..])
Uncle Victor was a master of spontaneous crooner lyrics. He had a melodic voice whether he was talking or singing. He was stylish and graceful with a robust sense of humour. He could make a song up about anything and deliver it with a twinkle in his eye. I hear his voice in my head still when I make up ridiculous names for my own dog, like he used to do with his beloved Tilly.
Uncle Brian was in a category all his own. He was a legend of my childhood. A great human package of fun. Being around him was always exciting. You never knew when he was going to say or do something outrageously funny. The story that best personifies this for me, is the time we were driving down a country road outside Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and he pulled the car over to ask some cows the time. He got out of the car and within earshot, carried on a one way conversation with the cows (a la Bob Newhart for those of you old enough to remember Bob) that was riveting and madly funny. Made even more so by my mom silently laughing uncontrollably beside me, smacking me as she does in that state, having her hands do the talking when her voice can't.
My mom is quick to laugh, because she loves to laugh. My father, as I've alluded to, has a different sense of humour, but no less developed. As I was writing this, I remembered in my youth stumbling upon an adult-sized, anatomically correct, male, white fuzzy bunny costume in our front hall closet. Amidst all the winter jackets. When I asked about it, I was told my father would be wearing the costume to an upcoming Halloween party. Nothing more was said about it. After the party, the costume disappeared. I'm glad to say, I never saw him in the bunny costume. (Good parenting decision Mom and Dad!)
That is a different kind of humour. It's louder than my mother's. It's one that takes ... ahem ... gonads. And therein lies the family jewels. (Sorry).
The first time my mother-in-law served me dinner, I'd known her less than a day, she hovered over a pot of rice with an ice cream scoop and asked me if I preferred 'one boob or two'. As I watched the breast shaped mounds of rice land on my plate, I noted that not only did Anne resemble my maternal grandmother, but she shared a similar wicked sense of humour. I felt at home.
Admittedly, I chose my mate, in part, because of this shared sense of humour. As a personality trait, I find humour pretty crucial. Like everything, it can be nurtured, but it helps to have a little in your blood.