The humour connection, or the life of the party

I think when I was born, I was designed to be comic relief.
Smaller than I shoulda been, breech, I was the only birth for which my mother required laughing gas.
I think I’ve felt the need to bring laughter to others since then.
In my family, I was the one who could be counted on to see the funny side of everything, to tease people out of bad moods, to say the right thing to give others a different view on things.
My dad would ensure he gave me his little bad news items first – his need for bifocals, his requirement for a “uni dent” tooth replacement, his other life trifles.
My job was to make him laugh about these things.
Though he hid the bad things from me, until much later, I still had that job, trying to find something funny in his collapsing spine, his ongoing cancer.
It was my job.
Later, with friends, I got the same role. I’d tell them tales about MY life, instead, making it funny til,they could laugh and forget about their problems, relieved that there was indeed someone who had a stranger life than they did. I’d exaggerate, poke fun at myself, make wild faces and gestures.
I see the same thing in my firstborn, the storyteller gene, come by it honestly through the Brown side of the family, however hard he may deny it.
It’s a life skill, this being able to turn the humour onto yourself and make yourself the chosen entertainment for the evening.
It’s also a protective device – a smokescreen of ha ha moments means you never have to actually connect about things.
I have one friend who doesn’t let me get away with it. She turns her eagle eyes on me and soon has me speaking the truth.
In a way, it’s a relief to let down my guard and share what it really going on with me. Cos it ain’t all sunshine and lollypops in there…
In another, it’s uncomfortable. I feel naked without my silly mask. So soon enough I pull it up again, pop on my sunglasses, make a foolish face, laugh it off.
It is, after all, my life job. And vacation days are few and far between.