In fact, it had always bothered me that Greg was never able to make me laugh. It wasn’t because he was serious all the time or that he was slow on the uptake. It was just that, whenever we were goofing around, it would always be me who was making the jokes, and him laughing, which didn’t make us a sad couple, but I did worry about it.
In movies, in books, and even in conversations with my friends, the characteristics of the “perfect guy” would vary, except for one thing — that he had to be able to make you laugh. Now, I’m not crazy enough to base my decisions on things I see on TV. I know I shouldn’t be making a big deal of little things like that. But whenever I saw other girls laughing at something their boyfriend said or did, it bothered me somewhat.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked when he noticed that I was staring into space again.
“Nothing,” I said. “I’m just excited about the play.”
We were on our way to the theater to see, I don’t even remember the title. It was his idea to see a play, which is a bit strange, considering neither of us was very fond of plays. But I was happy to be doing something other than our usual dinner-and-a-movie routine, and the fact that it was his suggestion made me all the more intrigued.
It turned out to be a play about the difficulties that come after college life, but the twist was that the characters were puppets, and it was like a parody of Sesame Street. It was hilarious. But that it was great wasn’t my favorite part. Throughout the time we were watching, whenever a character delivered a punch line, Greg would turn and look at my face.
“What? Do I have dirt on my nose?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I just wanted to know what the things are that you find funny,” he said.
I didn’t really understand what he meant, but didn’t think too much about it. We just continued on watching the play.
We were still laughing about something one of the puppets said even after the play was over.
“So? Does he?” my friend prompted when she noticed that my mind had drifted during our lunch.
“What were we talking about again?” I asked.
“We were asking if Greg could make you laugh,” another one of my friends explained.
“Oh, well… ” I started, and remembered how much I laughed when we were watching the play, and how Greg looked at me every time I did. “Yes,” I said. “He finds a way to make me laugh.”
Reminder: This is FICTION. I don’t know anybody named Greg. That was just the first name that popped in my head when I was writing this. And I actually saw Avenue Q with a bunch of girlfriends, so.