“You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.”
~ Tina Fey
What if you are told you laugh at everything? It probably makes me a genius.
I am shamelessly addicted to laughing—my identical twin sister and I have had the giggles since birth.
It has been a character trait for the last 31 years. Interestingly, we started out socially “slower” than the other children in primary school because we were content hanging out with each other under our cubbies.
(Why would we make friends? We had twin things to discuss, in our own secret language.)
Thankfully, my mom convinced our kindergarten teacher to not hold us back a year to help further develop our social skills…I mean, we were quiet and painfully shy to other kids. But they still tried to play with us and by “play” I mean the boys tied us to tress with our skipping ropes.
They must have really liked us.
I don’t exactly remember the turning point of our shyness but it may have coincided with us insisting we weren’t dressed in matching outfits in different colors. Seriously, I already have to share a face, let alone some fluorescent ensemble—or better yet our matching onesie ski suits.
Gradually, we started defining ourselves more as individuals. It was hard since we were always in the same grade school classes and shared the same love for tap dancing. My twin did have an interest in choir…until she was kicked out for being a terrible singer. (Seriously? Kicking a grade two out of choir for belting out “Over the Rainbow” waaaaaay off key. She should have lip-synched the words like me or listened to our grandma when she told us both we couldn’t sing.)
Growing up along side my twin and older sister gave us all a plethora of material to throw in each others faces. And sparked my love for laughing and seeing the lighter side to everything. We thought we were hilarious, especially when we were able to recap stories like the time I was still too shy to let my tennis coach know I had to pee…which resulted in a suspicious pool at my feet. Mortified because I had a young girl crush on my coach but not mortified enough to not stroll into 711 and have a slurpee bought for me by my dad, wet shorts and all.
To this day, it’s a constant glorious chatter between us all. We never know what random things each other will be into next.
My twin recently has sparked an interest in gemstones and white light healing, which is an interesting development because she used to make fun of me for my yoga practice and attempts at finding spiritual enlightenment. (I move away for eight months and all of a sudden she’s practicing Monday night white light healing and filling her pockets with gemstones.)
I came home the other day to her burning her intentions from last year up on the rooftop patio, under the Cancer full moon (clearly, our sign is Cancer). Blissed out. This is the same chick who thought if she poured coke down the drain it would go to the poverty stricken children in Africa… first of all, coke?
But really, who I am to judge. I have an oversized book focused on “natural healing” and a book on Chakras that are piled up on the left side of my bed. Oh and a dreamcatcher (no wait, two) above my bed, a rose quartz gemstone beside my bed, to channel love (my twin took me to the gem store) and…yup that’s it.
That alone is a handful of jokes to bring up next Christmas or any upcoming family event—because family gatherings are really all about who can roast who the most.
I have found throughout the years that laughter binds people together. A silent language, that brightens the soul, even in the worst of times. Laughter is contagious. Addictive.
I even found the humor in being laid off the first time. Given, they had just promised me “job security” the following month in my review instead of a raise—they were uncomfortably sheepish and I found the irony and left laughing. Then I cried at home. But only a few tears.
Then I realized it was summer and I was eligible for EI; Summer of Heather was upon me.
(Is it weird that my twin and I have been defined throughout the years by our laughs. Enough so, we have “laugh with me” inked on opposite arms. Too much? Nah.)
When I moved away for eight months, I moved solo. I was scared I would resort back to under my cubby sans my twin. Shy and friendless. Thankfully, the opposite happened and I embraced being “Heather” and not “the twins” for the first time in my life. Until, she came out to visit me and I may or may not have mentioned I had a twin…so from then on, I was “Heather who has a twin.”
Old colleagues have asked to record my laugh to have on stand by for when they need some extra cheer around the office. I mean, that’s slightly creepy but also amazing that my cackling laugh is music to some peoples ears.
As cliché as it is, laughter is the best medicine—it is also an instant vacation, which I try to go on daily.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise