Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wanted: One Funny Bone

Pondering the value of humor. I have been encouraged to try and find the humor in things more often than I do. I have never had much confidence in my humor, especially as far as my family is concerned. My kids have always neatly and succinctly labeled their parents as “Dad is the funny one. Mom is the smart one.” Well, there you go. Children can tell. They know what is what, and there is no fooling them. I suppose I should be very flattered that they value me as smart. Smart is good. But I know that they have more respect for funny.

How does one tap into one’s sense of humor? Is it possible to develop it? Is it possible to coax a reluctant funny bone out of hiding? I want to be funny. I want to be able to write about things in a humorous way. I want my readers to smile at the narratives of my life. But I want to be real. I want to write with authenticity. I want the reader to be able to hear my own voice. What can I do? What should I do?

I completely believe in the ability to strengthen and hone one’s craft. Writing shouldn’t just be about sitting down and seeing what comes out. It can be stroked, and caressed, and smoothed, and perfected. Can it also be funnified?

I have a friend that thinks I could have increased the funny-factor in my post about my airport anxiety. Was I too subtle? I felt bad when one of my readers apologized for having giggled as she read it. No apologies necessary! Giggles are invited. I feel bad that I don’t come across as inviting giggles, or as being open to a chuckle or two. Am I too strait-laced? Am I too uptight? Am I too much of a prude that people don’t expect to see any humor in my writing?

I can’t change my innate personality, but having lived with Brian all these years proves that I must have some kind of sense of humor. I certainly have been exposed to his wit long enough for some of it to have rubbed off. I know how to laugh at all the funny parts. No one understands his sarcasm like I do. Frequently my children will look to me for clarification because I can always tell when he is joking, even if no one else can.

Thank you for letting me air my concerns. I am not asking for placation. I am not looking to be pacified, appeased, or mollycoddled. I am thinking out loud, and wondering if I ever might be able to draw you in because of my irresistible wit and sparkling sense of humor. I don’t know. Maybe my kids were right...


Cheressa said...

I gotta tell you...every single time I read your blog I can hear your voice as clear as if you were standing beside me! And there has been TONS of times in Sunday school where you have had me laughing.=)

5Youngers said...

I agree with Cheressa. I hear your voice every time I read one of your posts. I wish I was more humorous as well.

Kim said...

As the "giggler," I have to let you know that I didn't want you to think I was laughing at your circumstances, because I know that can be frustrating. That's the only reason I said that.

Jay has a very dry sense of humor, but when he lets loose, he's so funny and it does catch all of us off guard.

I want to write with authenticity but no one takes me seriously or thinks that I can be serious, which I can we suffer from similar issues. I understand. And FYI, I love your writing. If everyone wrote the same way, books would be boring!!!

You go girl!

Maili said...

I have to say that many of your posts have made me smile, and I enjoy your interchanges with Sara Jo.

I am also trying to develop a sense of humor. I have always taken life seriously and Jim often tells me to "lighten up" especially when the kids are acting up. I think I can't because too much is at stake with this family's eternal salvation. But there must be a happy medium since the Brethren are funny. When you figure it out, please share your wisdom. In the meantime, KEEP SMILING!

Laura said...

I know exactly what you mean!! I wish I was quick witted and funny. But I'm not, so I'm trying to be happy with being on the sidelines and laughing at and with all my friends who are! :-)