I’m sitting at a table in a Palm Springs Carrows, which is the same deal as an IHOP. And of course, a giggling woman is sitting one table over with her boyfriend. Giggling constantly and almost hysterically. And she refuses to tire or ease up. And is utterly indifferent to the possibility that others in the restaurant might not want to share in her merriment.

You can’t order people not to be gauche, and there’s really no point in asking them. They’ve either been taught the meaning of the word by their parents at a young age and have been mindful of it it all their life, or their parents were…whatever, common or coarse or didn’t think it was important, and figured that laughter in and of itself is a joy and a blessing and told their kids to always let it out, regardless of the social circumstances.

My theory is that the louder and more relentlessly a person laughs in an otherwise sedate and low-key environment (like a Carrows), the more pent-up and miserable they are with their day-to-day circumstances. I guarantee you that Pablo Picasso or James Joyce or Albert Einstein or George Gershwin never laughed like this in a quiet cafe.

I know one thing: there are more people like the happy giggling lady in today’s world than there are people like me.