Annoying Laugh

Movie #29 of the year, Toy Story 3.

Typically when I am dating someone new the last place I want to go on a date to is a movie theater because essentially you’re just paying to sit next to each other in a dark room for two hours or so. There’s no interacting, there’s no getting to know each other, there’s no conversation. And it’s really cliche. I had been on one date with the latest guy, a “hike” at Runyon Canyon, and I was still on the fence of whether or not there was something there worth pursuing. So when it came time to set up date number two, and between our busy schedules we were left with a Wednesday evening after work. Limited to a weekday after-work time he suggested that we see Toy Story 3, which neither of us had seen, and me not wanting to appear demanding (and not having anything better to suggest) agreed to it, even offering to buy the tickets in advance.

We met briefly before the showtime and headed into the crowded theater to our seats, our only time to interact before the previews started rolling, and for me to get a better idea of if I liked this guy or not. And then sure enough as the movie started and both attentions shifted from the guy sitting next to us to the screen in front of us. But then, as the movie played and the jokes kept coming, I heard this really annoying laugh. Not nails on the chalkboard type of laughter, but something exponential, that starts small and the more you hear it the more annoying it becomes, like water dripping from a leaky faucet. And I glanced over to my date and realized it was his laugh.

This is what my reaction looked like.

Realizing that’s a really superficial reason not to like someone I tried to ignore it, but all movie long whenever he laughed it made me cringe. After the movie when we interacted again, all I could think about was his laugh, like it was echoing in my head — only the echoes weren’t getting any fainter. And at our post-movie dinner I was left sitting across from him struggling to conceal my repugnance to his laughter, which must have showed because he never bothered calling me back for a third date. And then I realized maybe it’s not always a bad thing to take a new date to the movies — because I learned a couple of things: I didn’t like this guy and I’m shallow.

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