My son, Oren, is fascinated by my boyfriend; he slightly hero-worships him, while at the same time being somewhat hesitant. To Oren, the Esq is "super-duper-OOper smart" (direct quote), and "the best at video gaming" (direct quote), which is really the only thing that matters when you're a nine-year old boy. I can tell Oren is a tiny bit intimidated by the Esq (who isn't), which prompted me to address it last week; I asked him if he felt comfortable around the robot, and he replied, "Preeetty much." I let it go, and then later on, he asked me this out of the blue: "Mom, why doesn't Justin laugh at people's jokes? Does he not think anyone is funny?" The answer to that question, without any doubt in my mind, is HELL to the YES. But as we discussed it, Oren also observed that the Esq doesn't laugh out loud, and isn't very animated, which he thought was 'kinda weird'. I think it's kinda weird, too, but since his standards for humor are much higher than the average human, I know it's a slam-dunk when he laughs at something I've written. He's a good barometer for the blog, actually. He reads my posts to me so I can hear the problematic areas, and I've found that when he painfully smirks, that's where a normal human (you) would laugh out loud; when he laughs out loud, that's where you would be struck by a freak bout of lightning and die. That's how often he laughs out loud: as often as you get hit by lightning.
When I met the Esq, I wondered about the un-laughter, too. He laughed at stuff I said, but he was also
The list of Dignified Things seems larger and more general, although he tends to only talk about the undignified. I'm guessing that he would put The Law on his list, as well as 'wearing tailored suits'. 'Being in control' is probably considered pretty dignified, equal to 'being educated'. Other possibilities include Morrissey, space travel, family, technology, and the color of Oprah and royalty: purple. Honorable mentions: the library, arguing well, and having a girlfriend (I clearly made that one up; having a girlfriend exposes you to more undignified things than I care to think about).
I only bring this up because Michelle, Laura, and I went to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie today, and 'dignity' is the last word I would use to describe the feeling I had when I left the theater. I can't quite put my finger on the correct word, but it's close to the opposite of 'dignity', and probably closer to the phrase 'a cry for help'. Thanks to the crap-happy dialogue, I left the movie feeling like a grimy film of shame had settled over me, which I am presently trying to scrub off. That being said, it was an awesome experience, and I'm glad we went. I laughed through the entire movie, most notably during the saddest/most serious scenes, which is why I went in the first place. Laughing at your pain makes me whole, and I hope to never forget that valuable lesson.