Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I am not funny

I just got around to looking through the huge pile of papers the kids brought home when they cleaned out their desks when school ended.  In it I found a paper that my then third grader filled out  It had a checklist of character traits such as cute, cuddly, sweet, etc.  And I got high marks.  My heart began to swell a little until I looked a little closer and saw one box that wasn't checked off...funny.  The only empty box was funny.

I was sure he forgot.

I asked him about it.  Thanking him first for the kind comments and then smiling I said "I see you forgot to check off funny."

"No I left it blank on purpose," was his reply.
Snorting my response, I said "Well, why?"
"Because I don't think you are particularly funny," he said.

Well, I'll be damned.

I think of myself in a certain way and yes, one of my fallbacks is funny.  I wasn't the pretty girl in the room, my whole life I was the one telling the joke.  I was the one making the funny faces, breakdancing at the prom (and my own wedding) and cracking jokes to help people laugh during uncomfortable life moments.  I have never been afraid to be the punchline.

Now my own kid doesn't think I am funny?

I polled the other kids and the two that can talk in the house said that I am funny "sometimes."

Even my husband said "Yeah, I think you are your own way."  What does that mean?

Maybe I am not particularly funny.  Who am I?

Growing up I was a talker.  The kid in class that teachers had to separate from people because of too much "socializing."  My own brother compared me to John Candy in a classic scene from the movie "Planes, Trains & Automobiles."  Steve Martin's character says that Candy's character is like a Chatty Cathy doll who pulls his own string and won't stop talking.

At first I was offended, but then I just embraced it.  And I have to admit I have always loved John Candy.  "Uncle Buck." "Spaceballs." Funny stuff.  So I was okay with the comparison.

But lately I have felt more like the cranky Steve Martin character.  Maybe that is why my kids don't think I am so funny.

It is a tough to figure out how to be the rule maker in the house and also be liked.  As my kids get older, I find it exhausting to always be molding them and teaching them.  I want to be the goofy character who is funny and lovable, and never saying no.

Then I look back at the list Peyton made in school.  He checked off a lot of other things like brilliant, brave, kind, thoughtful.  And I now know he put a lot of thought into the list.

I would rather my kids think I am brilliant and brave over funny. That damn big picture thing again.

And maybe I can try to be somewhere in between the Steve Martin and John Candy characters.

Bonus fabulous clip from one of the best movies ever, Planes, Trains & Automobiles.


  1. The "Well, I'll be damned" line in your post made me laugh out I would definitely check off the funny box if I were taking the poll! I think it must be a Mom via child's eye thing. :)

    From your neighbor who thinks she is very funny herself (even if I'm the only one laughing!).