I have never heard of the University of Glamorgan, but apparently the Welsh researchers who work there have just completed a study on grumpiness.
Is this a joke?
It must be real because I saw it on my local television news over the weekend. These Welsh researchers found that people, at least Welsh people, become grumpy at the average age of 52. They laugh less, they gripe more and it only gets worse as they age, according to the so-called Lifetime of Laughter Scale.
This study, which I cannot locate anywhere, says that people in their fifties laugh half as much as teenagers. The study further contrasts the 300-some times a day an infant laughs out loud with the pitiful three times a day of the average quinquagenarian.
Could this be because the fifty-somethings are the parents of these teenagers? Could it be because infants have their bellies tickled all day long by grown-ups making funny faces and animal noises at them?
Assuming this isn’t a phenomenon uniquely affecting the Welsh, and even if it is, something must be done. This trend must be reversed.
As someone who, at times, can be quite the grump, I also laugh out loud plenty throughout the day. My minimum daily allowance of comedy is just a foundation on which I pile giggling at my cats, chuckling at my own foibles, even laughing to keep from crying when circumstances dictate. I often laugh out loud at the movies when no one else does. We already know that I laugh inappropriately on planes.
If grumpiness peaks at 52, I’ve got 14 months to beat back the trend. Even though statistically that puts me smack dab in mid-menopause, I’m up for the challenge.
Starting today, I am striving for 300. Who’s with me?