Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I missed out on the giggle gene. Not that I feel deprived about it. I can laugh, sometimes til I’m stupid with it. I can snigger. And maybe that other thing’s a chuckle, who knows. I’ve never really analysed the semantics of mirth. But I do know I don’t giggle, probably because I missed the girly-girl gene as well – a deficiency borne in upon me very early in life.
It was preschool that did it. I was three and wanted my mummy. But I mustn’t cry, the teacher said. See, that little girl over there wasn’t crying and she was smaller than me. She was older than I was as well, but clearly this was irrelevant in the wider world, and equally clearly, this was a lesson I’ve never forgotten: if you’re tall (and later on even worse, plump as well) you must be stoic and unobtrusive to avoid making a fool of yourself.
A bit OTT, you might think, to reach such a conclusion so young. But I’d already learned from my eldest sister that I was surplus to requirements (hers) so this slotted easily into my concept of Where I Belonged: ie right on the edge, where it behoved me to watch my step. And not with other girls of a similar age, apparently, since I didn’t conform to the statistical norm.
As I got older, this discrepancy in size revealed ramifications that drove the lesson home even more firmly. To belong in the community of Girls who Giggle, you must conform from the feet up, and if you have feet bigger than the largest size in teen footwear, more flesh than is seemly (or later, less flesh than is healthy), you should put on your skis immediately and head for the high ground. Teenage girls are merciless. You will be bruised and bloodied if you stick around.
But even if I’d managed the girly-girl stuff, I doubt I’d have managed to master the giggle. It just doesn’t run in the family.