I wish I was a comical writer. I wish that I wrote things that made people laugh out loud – instead I stray towards more serious tones, usually interspersed with a love story. My sarcasm and wit and humor doesn’t translate to the page. I guess perhaps because my humor tends to be more physical – silly faces, blank stares, big arm movements, falling down. There is little that I do that could be put down on a page, and so my writing suffers.
At least it suffers for me. Maybe my readers (are there any out there?) don’t want humor. Maybe those who know me think I am funny because they can picture me, drink in hand, typing out these thoughts and making ridiculous faces. Sometimes, for those of you who may not know this, I unconsciously act like I am being filmed and make everything physically hilarious. I don’t tell jokes (once, I asked my boyfriend if I was funny. He said he didn’t know, he had never heard me tell a joke. I realized I knew one single actual joke and that the last time I told it I was kicked out of the party I was attending). (Yes, it was that bad.) (and yes, they let me back in after a while.) If I do tell jokes, they’re either a) old and worn out, b) not funny, or c) an inside joke/quote that about .2% of the world will understand. Ergo, I suffer.
Sometimes my humor is self-deprecating. I have one friend, S, who laughs the hardest when I’m making fun of myself. She laughs second hardest when I am making a particular face and third hardest when I’m being outlandish. When I’m in a group setting I use her as my humor indicator – Did I make S laugh? How hard? Is she smiling afterward? WHY DIDN’T SHE LAUGH? IS SHE MAD AT ME? I have a mental folder full of notes about what worked, what didn’t, and what I need at the grocery store.
I’m a sarcastic person, but I didn’t realize it until I got to college. I thought everyone spoke that way. I didn’t realize that there were people in the world that gave straight and honest answers during non-serious conversations. My mother is the one that taught us to be sarcastic. My dad is almost too jovial. I’m lucky that my boyfriend is sarcastic and dead-pan. I’m not sure we would have worked out had he no sense of humor; and I like him, so it’s a good thing he does.
Have you ever tried dating someone with no sense of humor? It’s HORRIBLE. I once went on a date with a guy who didn’t laugh at a single.thing.I.said. Nothing. It was a first date from hell. Even worse when you’re the one with no apparent sense of humor. Let’s not forget that sometimes I laugh only to myself. For the longest time, I’m pretty sure my boyfriend thought I was humorless, because I barely smiled while watching comedic television and/or films. But really, I’m just laughing in my head. When something is really funny (like John Mullaney, my god the man cracks me up) or really really funny (cats falling down) I laugh loudly. Sometimes, I snort. (Disclaimer: I do laugh more obviously when I’ve been drinking.) I feel bad for the booksellers I work with – since we do most of our business over the phone, they can’t see that I am smiling at the stories they tell me. But I am. I SWEAR IT.
Oh man, I didn’t even talk about drunk Emily funny. That might be more suited for another time. Perhaps when I write a (serious) essay about my fear that I am an alcoholic (y’all have at least a drink a night, right?)
By the way, I used to be funnier before I got the cat. The cat has turned me into this creepy, crazy cat lady that tells her friends that “meeEEeee-ooOOOoooowwww” means “Hello friends of Emily, how are you this fine day?” Again, another story for another day.