I admire funny people and always have. I grew up painfully shy until I discovered ways to overcome my shyness in Junior High School but we don’t really need to go into all that. I do believe it must be said however that when my lovely daughter came along I put all bad things away from me and lived a cannabis free life. Although occasionally I do get a laugh from something I say I’m not spontaneously funny and I envy that trait in other people. My daughter is a naturally funny person, her Tweets and Facebook posts usually make me laugh. She’s not one to shy away from inappropriate humor even as it relates to herself. I wish I was that brave but I’m not. On the other hand occasionally I wish she wasn’t that brave.
How I am perceived by other people is way too important to me. In a way I don’t see that as a completely bad thing, although some of my more evolved friends would beg to differ (and have vociferously). I believe in decorum, tact and not airing my “dirty laundry” as it were. I was raised by a “lace curtain Irish” mother and I don’t think that this is such a horrible way to grow up. As a matter of fact I appreciate that I was raised this way. I believe there is a time and a place for inappropriate humor and that place is with close friends and loved ones that can forgive your most delicate faux pas.
Suddenly it seems, humor has taken a dark turn. It’s funny to reveal things about ourselves that heretofore we might only have told our spouses, our doctors or our therapists. Now, don’t get me wrong, I laugh when I hear or read these things, much of the time however my laugh is often one of discomfort and is usually followed by a groan (maybe internally but a groan nonetheless). The creation of a social network forum is a good idea. I like knowing what is happening in my friends’ and families’ lives and I love that I can do that without intruding on their days. I cannot however imagine why anyone would find it amusing or informative that you were unable to eliminate this morning after your morning coffee or that you found foreign objects sticking to your skin as you took your morning shower.
But I digress, I do enjoy hearing about people’s lives and have become a self proclaimed Facebook stalker. Hey don’t judge me, you know you do it too! I prefer reading my friends updates to calling them on the phone sometimes because it just seems less intrusive.
What I do for a living requires me to be on the phone pretty much all day. I love what I do but at the end of the day I sometimes just do not want to see another phone. Sometimes (and yes I know some of you have suspected this and now I’m admitting it in writing no less) I hear the phone ring and simply ignore it because I just don’t feel like talking. Hey, accept it people, sometimes I don’t want to be readily and immediately accessible twenty freaking four hours a day!
But that, as they say, is a topic for another day.
My sister is one of the funniest people I have ever had the privilege to know. She tells stories that have people bent over double laughing with tears pouring from their eyes. I have heard many of these stories more than a few times yet cannot wait to hear her tell them yet again. The girl is gifted. She also happens to be gorgeous and artistic and smart and ambitious and strong willed and … well anyway … she’s a very cool person. She tells stories of things that have happened to her or around her but to my knowledge has never resorted to the proverbial fart jokes. Some of her stories though don’t always put people in the best light but then as I said in the beginning of this, I find that to be incredibly brave.
When I was almost nineteen years old I met this man-child who for the sake of anonymity I will call Scott. Scott was one of those guys that everyone wanted to be friends with. He would walk into the house where we all hung out and people from all over the house would call out his nickname, kind of like Norm from Cheers. He was the center of attention in every room. I was the silly redheaded girl worshipping from the other side of the pool table and nursing my Yago Sangria. (don’t ask I wasn’t a beer drinker)
Scott had long streaky blond curly hair, just a little past his shoulders, a round red toned face with rosy cheeks, a cherubic mouth and sparkling brown eyes. I know what you’re thinking, “Sparkling? Really Mary?” Yes I swear to you they sparkled, I could have gone spelunking with those eyes! He had a reddish blond mustache and beard and was just a couple of years older than me chronologically but ages older than me in every other way. I was this ridiculously sheltered girl with too much hair and a big mouth that got me in trouble a lot. I was also very innocent of the world of men and women; at the risk of negating my own above-mentioned reticence to “air my dirty laundry” I’ll leave it at that. Don’t get me wrong, I knew all about it I had just never had the opportunity to put what I knew into practice.
He was funny … hilarious actually and brave. He would hustle people at pool and they would laugh the whole time they were handing him their hard earned dollars. He balanced a chair on his forehead at a wedding reception once and had everyone in the place smiling like idiots. He was just the right amount of “Don Rickles style” insulting and self deprecating at the same time. He could tell jokes one right after the other like the pump action on a machine gun. rata tat tat He was the man and everyone knew it. Did I mention that I like funny people? Well as you can imagine I really liked this guy.
He noticed me. I am forty six years old as of two days ago and for the world of me cannot tell you even now what this guy who everyone worshipped saw in me, this silly immature eighteen year old girl. I was chunky and awkward with a big curly head of red hair and no idea what I was doing with this dream of a man.
He was no Prince Charming I’ll tell you that, our time together was usually spent one on one and eventually my hero worship wore off when I discovered that he had a girlfriend and that I was the girl “on the side”. That was quite an experience for me I’ll tell you. I cried for weeks. I sat down the street from his house and listened to ridiculous love songs on the radio and wailed at the loss. Loss of what? Oh well with my clear forty six year old vision, not much but try telling that to a twenty year old. I put my friends through hell with my phone calls and tears and depression … good lord is there anything worse than a twenty year old girl who was dumped by her first love? I was a nightmare! He was a complete ass about it all too. Men! Who needs them right?
Yeah … so when my divorce was final at the tender age of twenty two I ran into him again. Here we go again as they say. This time though I was a woman of the world so I handled it better when he moved on. Yeah I wouldn’t buy that either if I were you. I fell apart all over again. To make matters worse this time I had told him how I had felt about him that first go ’round. Oh god, I wanted to die of humiliation as he very quickly and decisively extracted himself from my grasp with his usual, “I’ll call you” as he ran full tilt to his car. That was it, I was done! No more room for Scott in my world!
Wrong! We ran into each other a couple of years later at a 4th of July party and it started all over again. My daughter couldn’t stand him, I’m not sure why that didn’t set off alarm bells but there it was. I moved from North County to West County shortly after we started seeing each other this time. It didn’t last long after that though because I lived too far away for him to drive to see me. Forty five minutes each way, that apparently is the deal breaker. What a jerk! Man I’m so glad to see the last of him.
Here’s the sad thing though. If I were to see him right now all of those same feelings would come rushing back to me and if I had the opportunity I would do it all over again. He doesn’t have long hair anymore, I know this from mutual friends, but I’m willing to bet you that his eyes still sparkle. If he said my name just that certain way I would be his however temporary that might be. If he told me a joke with that cupid smile on his face there is no telling what I might do. He probably doesn’t have the same fond memories of our time together as I do but I don’t care. These are my memories and I will do with them whatever I’d like.