I’m not funny.
I sit and scroll through Facebook posts on my small phone screen. So many funny people. Updates that genuinely make me chuckle a little bit. Offer me levity on my too-busy days, making me feel better about spending any time at all on Facebook.
But me? I’m not funny. I don’t post funny updates to Facebook. My anecdotes don’t make people laugh, online or in real life. Truthfully, I don’t particularly even like being laughed at, even when it’s with the best of intentions.
I can be goofy. I can dance with my kids and shake my booty and make silly faces and generally let it all hang out when the music is loud and I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner and the kids are spinning and boogying to dance party in the next room. We smile together. The kids roll their eyes at me, raise their eyebrows. It’s all fun. But it’s not funny. Not really.
Sweetie is funny.
And our youngest daughter is funny. She. Is. Funny. She defines funny. She is smart and kind and generous and wise beyond her four years. And she is a riot. Hysterical. Entertaining. She’s goofy, too, at times. But she has comedic timing that mirrors her dad’s. And facial expressions to match. She works for the laughs (though she rarely has to work very hard at all). And she soaks up every chuckle and grin that comes her way as a result of her near-constant antics.
Our older two children more resemble me when it comes to their (lack of a) funny gene. Our son is goofy. Very very goofy, in the way that many 8-year-old boys can be. He also hates, despises, melts into a loud, dramatic puddle in the nearest doorway when someone so much as lets out a gasp of a giggle at what he would consider his possible expense.
Our older daughter is creative and dreamy and serious. She gets silly and dances with all of us, often accessorized and dressed in dazzling colors and fabrics while she choreographs her moves as the rest of us spin haphazardly. But she doesn’t spend time looking for laughs. She spends time thinking big thoughts and creating complicated and gorgeous art.
We’re all unique individuals, the five of us in this family of ours. There are similarities and differences and anomalies and comforts of recognition. We live together and change together and endure together. And this morning, while I was showering, the title of this post came to me as a truth. So many ideas come to me in the shower. I used to think it was funny, this phenomenon. But it’s not. It’s just me. It’s who I am. A person whose mind relaxes enough in the shower that the ideas come to the surface, pushing up past all of the must-dos, those thoughts that swim around and crowd my mind almost every other second of my waking days. Maybe I should just be content to enjoy the funny Facebook posts. Maybe I should shower more frequently. Maybe both will lead me to ideas that wouldn’t otherwise make themselves known to me. Funny or not.
Jen has been a Project: Underblog contributor since November 2012. She writes at Momalom about writing and mothering. She really isn’t very funny, but she’s increasingly better at combating her inner critic.