When I first met Ben he was in a comedy troupe at the university. He was funny. He had a lot of groupies who thought he was funny. People like funny people. I liked Ben as a funny person. (Though strangely, I did not like his groupies.)
One evening our apartment had a group of friends over playing a game that is certainly enhanced if someone employes a certain wit, because that makes things all the more amusing. I was convinced that Ben's contributions would have us rolling on the floor. I was wrong. He likes to win more than he likes to be funny. I on the other hand decided that I didn't care if I won or not. I was going to try and make Ben laugh.
This thought may have been only semi-conscious on my part. We weren't dating. He came over only once in awhile. He was friends with all my roommates. He was dating someone else. So why try to make him laugh?
The thing about this game is that everyone wrote down their part on a paper and one person read all of the responses so you didn't know who had written what. Any laughter culled by the writer from the other players would be genuine.
Did I succeed? Yes, I did.
So why try to make him laugh?
It turns out that I like to see Ben laughing. It doesn't have to be at something I have said or done. But when he laughs it means he is taking genuine pleasure in something and after more than ten years of knowing him, that is still one of my favorite things in the whole world.
We have been watching The Fiddler on the Roof the past few days. It makes Ben laugh. I have loved it.