If you go into a shop near where I live and hear someone laughing loudly, it is probably me. Most probably, since I seldom hear other people laugh while they are buying groceries. A family member recently made the light-hearted (I hope) comment that he is embarrassed being with me in a shop since I laugh a lot and loudly, and this made me think. I don't particularly like shopping, and shopping in new or confusing stores makes me very nervous. But when I feel at ease, I laugh. When my kids are with me, we laugh together, my eldest and I enjoy the same type of humour, and my youngest makes me laugh with her antics. And my husband really can make me laugh, I love it. It is ironic that we are all introverts, and not exactly a bubbly, spontaneous and cheerful bunch. There are days when we are out where we could be described as a walking sulk in four parts. But we are not afraid to laugh, and we love it.
Laughter is one thing I am not self-conscious about, and I don't understand why it can make some people uncomfortable in public. I love the joy, the feeling of something squeezing my stomach, the ticklish feeling in my chest. And I really don't care what strangers think when I stop in the middle of an aisle in a shop, say out loud "a medium sized wickerwork cat box" and bend over laughing and laughing and laughing. Or when my son comes up with a new and hilarious word, and I hug myself and stamp my feet while I laugh because the absolute fun and wonder makes it impossible to stay still. Or when I read a funny book in a coffee shop and have to squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath to stop the joy from exploding and knocking over the table.
Laughter and fun and joy are gifts. Experiencing them in such an intense physical way is also a gift. So I will keep on laughing in shops as much as I can!