Funny who?

Dear Friends,

A new reader (who happens to be my new friend in my new town) commented on my blog yesterday and said she thought I was funny. As much as I appreciated hearing that with three exclamation points, in a weird way, it made me feel worse.

Because I am not funny.

I aspire to be funny. I read other funny bloggers and secretly desire to be them. But I am not them. (You want funny? Read this. Or this.)

And since I am not them, I usually spend a lot of time thinking about how much I suck and nurturing my girl crushes on the funny bloggers. And on Tina Fey.

Wait, wait, wait . . . this is not a bloggy pity party, okay? I know what I am.

I am warm. I am sweet. (Oh my god, “warm” and “sweet” totally explains why I have such meager traffic on this site.) I am genuine. I am introspective (hopelessly so). I am self-deprecating. I am sometimes sarcastic, though I am mostly optimistic and affirming. I have a vocabulary that rocks. (I don’t put it on full display in this forum because, you know, I don’t want to appear snooty or elite-ish. But, just so you know,  I regularly have conversations with other eloquent friends in which words like verisimilitude, imprimatur, atelier, pejorative, and zeitgeist are thrown about.) And, I occasionally write prose that others have called “lyrical” and that makes me happy. (Okay, I called it lyrical, but I am a discerning judge of good writing.)

And those are all good things, I suppose, especially for a woman who’s writing a gratitude blog.

But what I secretly desire is for you to spit out your coffee or blow Pepsi through your nose when you read me. What I secretly desire is for you to think OH MY GOD that girl is sooooooo funny that I’m going to pee my pants then I’m going to send this post to 10 friends!!!

I know it ain’t happening. And I’ve accepted it.  It is my lot in life to be warm.

For what it’s worth, I’m related to two funny people. My son regularly makes me laugh out loud, both in person and via his Tweets and Facebook posts. He has an incredibly quick and satirical wit and my other secret desire is that he will give up his dream to major in Agriculture at Mizzou and instead become a comedy writer and produce all the best material for my girl-crush Tina Fey. Then I will finally get to meet Tina Fey and she will, undoubtedly, ask me to marry her.  We’ll be too old at that point to have kids, but since we both already have “been there and done that” (where “been there and done that” equals all things involving a penis or its progeny), I think our marriage will be mostly happy and fulfilled. And very funny, thanks to Tina.

Also, Mr. Mom is notorious for making people laugh so hard they spit out their food. We used to belong to a supper club a few years ago (where club equals five married couples who got together once a month to drink and eat dinner as a distraction from the mind-numbing boredom of suburbia) and he regularly achieved the “food spitting” standard of funny among our friends.

I can remember one occasion in particular where I thought our friend, Brad, was going to have to be revived. I wish I could tell you the joke, because then you’d spit out your coffee and I could take credit for it on this blog, but it’s too racy for this forum.  Suffice to say, it was funny, and all the more so because it involved a pejorative statement about one of my body parts, to which Mr. Mom attached an unusual but clever name. And because I saw this joke coming a mile away (and thought it was really funny, and not insulting, because the joke is always sacred and comedy trumps personal feelings), I sat stone-faced through his telling like the perfect straight man I am.   Which, I think I’m safe in saying, made Brad choke even harder. So I got a little satisfaction from knowing Brad was a half-step away from being a Heimlich survivor and I had a small role in it.

Plus, I don’t really think you can scale the heights of gratitude, which I aim to do, while being too funny. Because then the gratitude –if hilarious — might sound sarcastic (read: insincere), which I don’t aim to do.

I’m going to settle, then, for warm. And grateful. And affirming. And you’ll just have to pee your pants elsewhere, as sad as that makes me.

With gratitude {and a perennially straight face},

Joan, but you can call me Mrs. Fey