Dear Second Acts;
Okay, this might sound a bit superficial, and I hesitate to even ask, but here goes. I met this guy recently who really is kind of wonderful on paper. In fact, he’s wonderful in pretty much every way except one: he has a terrible laugh. Don’t get me wrong, he has a great sense of humor and he makes me laugh all the time. But his cackle is so nasal, so grating, so annoying, I find myself trying not to make him laugh, restraining my own laughter and even avoiding saying funny things. I thought everything else was worth it and when we’re alone it sort of is. He’s a wonderful guy and I think he’s falling in love with me. So, I figured maybe I could learn to live with less humor. But then the other night, we went out to dinner with some friends. It was all going great until he started telling a funny story about going to the DMV and everyone at the table was laughing until he came to the big punch line and then he laughed and suddenly everyone got quiet. It was like the room went from a mood of frivolity and hilarity to shock and dismay in two seconds. Wide eyes, gaping mouths…the whole bit. I mean, even people at other tables stopped and stared at him. It was unbearable. He was honking like a goose in heat. Do geese even get in heat? Doesn’t matter. Anyway, I feel terrible breaking it off for something like this. What do you think?
Thanks, Not Funny in Phoenix
Dear Not Funny;
This is an easy one because you answered it yourself. Love can be a lot of things. It can be wonderful, it can be all-consuming, and lord knows it can be it certainly can be challenging. When people come to me and say, “He’s wonderful but he’s __________”, there are a lot of acceptable adjectives for filling in that blank. But in my opinion, “unbearable” is not one of them. You’re not being superficial. I really don’t think you can ask a person to change the way he laughs. It would probably drive him to the brink of some lethal form of neuroticism. And you can’t just live with it. It’s seems like the kind of nagging irritation that might eventually drive you crazy, if not to violence. Seriously. This laughing matter is no laughing matter. I mean, you could get him one of those anti-bark zapping collars for dogs and maybe somehow reprogram it to prevent laughter, but that seems harsher than just breaking it off, don’t you think?
By Cynthia Amas of Second Acts Dating Service
This “advice” column is the result of art overtaking life. When author Julia Dumont created her leading lady, Cynthia Amas, for her Second Acts novels, she had no idea how domineering her character would become. Cynthia, a man-challenged matchmaker, insisted on writing her own dating advice blog. Julia tried to explain that fictional characters don’t usually write advice blogs for real people, but Cynthia was undaunted. The result is not your average dating blog, but it’s just as funny, irreverent and delightfully crazy as Cynthia. Should you take her advice? Read on and decide for yourself.