Everyone has one like her, or at least did back in high school: that one friend who could always make you laugh. She is not even necessarily trying to be funny (in fact, that is the best part: she is not trying), she just is. You repeat the same things she said to someone else later, maybe to your mom or little sister. They do not laugh. You do not understand, as you said it verbatim and with the same intonation. Why is she funny, and yet you are not? Even when saying the same thing? Why is that?
So my funny friend in high school was named Caroline* (disclaimer: this is her real name). I don't know why she was so funny or how she was so funny. It is not something that could be dissected. She just always made the perfect biting comment or wry observation at exactly the right moment. I know you are probably waiting for me to say that she became a famous actress or stand-up comic or something. I don't think she did. I have lost track of her and I'm not on Facebook. Actually Caroline was not really my friend. She was more the Friend Of Everyone. I just tried to stand in her orbit, hoping the funny would rub off.
However, I had a friend named Lisa that somehow thought I was hysterically funny. To this day, I do not really understand how such a thing is possible. I have to plan plan plan things in my head to make sure they won't fall flat. And yet they do. (Fall flat, that is.) Lisa was my best friend all four years of high school, because, hey, who doesn't need an ego trip like that on a daily basis? (Plus she was Einstein, so we pretty much were in a mutual admiration society.) She laughed at all my jokes, even when it wasn't a joke. If Lisa was a man, I would have married her.
Instead, I married The Husband. Who is fabulous in myriad ways. One of which is not, surprisingly, finding me funny. How could this great guy not find me funny? When I describe a situation that I thought was hilarious (pulling from my decade-long career in the airlines) he says merely, "Is that supposed to be funny?" or the withering, "You already told me that story," or the one-size-fits-all, "I guess maybe you had to be there."
Now, it should be noted, that HE (The Husband) thinks that he is f---ing hysterical! and maybe after four glasses of wine (for me) he is. The Husband also has a funny friend (that's right: The Husband does reluctantly admit that he personally is not the funniest in his group of friends). The Husband's funny friend is named Dave. We all love Dave, Dave is a good guy. But Dave is not funny.
Somehow, though, it is as if The Husband has drank the special Kool-Aid because when Dave is around, The Husband will just laugh and laugh and laugh until tears are streaming down his cheeks. He can't not laugh when Dave is in the vicinity.
Last time I saw Dave, he approached The Husband and me at a party and said a quick thing to us, that immediately had The Husband in stitches. I think it was "Hello". So later, I say to The Husband, what exactly was so funny about that? To which he replies (the great catch-all), "It's not really what he said so much as how he said it."
Then driving home, I make an exceedingly clever remark, situation-comedy-worthy. To which (amazingly) The Husband does laugh! I say, "See, Sweetie, I can be funny!" To which he responds (as if broken out of a trance), "Huh, what? Did you say something? I was just remembering back to something Dave said earlier."
Where is Lisa when I need her?
("Much Outrageous Vivaciousness")