Maybe I’m tooting my horn. Perhaps I’m on an extremely high horse. Or maybe I tell myself way too many affirmations. Or I’ve had too many people telling me I have to do stand-up.
But I think I have a little disorder called the “funny girl" complex. Hailed by psychologists as a means to get people to like them or make sure everyone is happy.
Actually, that is a lie. I’m as much of a psychologist as Lucy from “Charlie Brown” is.
Damn, that makes me a pathological liar now, on top of being a possible pseudo-funny girl.
But that’s besides the point.
From a very young age, I’ve always wanted to be different. You’d never see me wanting Limited Too tops with frogs rollerskating atop them. You’d never see me wanting to get my nails painted. I’d rather brush up on my spelling lists than play with my E-Z Bake oven (I was that annoying girl who won every spelling bee. I still scream out the etymology to words when I watch Scripps. I’m not joking). I lived on my navy blue Razor scooter, not blessed with the cuteness most 8 year old girls had been gifted with; I had a large bushel of hair to give Diana Ross a run for her money. And I definitely had a lot more meat on me than Limited Too jeans knew what to deal with.
But despite all that, I was funny. That, I knew I had going for me.
I broke VHS tapes of the movie “Superstar” and lived for re-runs of “Strangers with Candy”, “Kids in the Hall”, and any episode of “Saturday Night Live”. If I had known how to acquire the old bubble gum and hair of Molly Shannon and Cheri Oteri at 8 years old, I would have made a shrine to them and prayed to it three times a day. I think by the time I entered middle school, I had at least memorized most of the skits, characters, and voices from the late-‘90s episodes of SNL. I was smitten with making people laugh.
Growing up, I was also mostly the nerdy girl. The one who would recite facts that my teachers had told me, annoying most of my friends when I told them some new French verbs I had learned that day. But I quickly learned how threatening that kind of girl is to most people. You seem unapproachable, intimidating, and besides, no ten year-old really wants to know what new French verbs you’ve learned. No one. They just want to braid your hair, or talk about Scottie’s new hair cut that makes him totally more dreamy than before. Or have Britney Spears dance-parties.
So I slowly but surely assumed the role of Funny, Weird Girl. Not by force. It had always been a part of me, just dwarfed by my aspirations to be on Scripps, my obsession with school supplies,and raising my hand for every question in class. I had always really enjoyed the Age of Avril Lavigne, when wearing skirts over jeans, ties with T-shirts, and messed up Converses were suddenly made “cool”. The Weird Girl had been put on a pedestal, and I was all over it like a white girl on a diet coke. I was more than happy to be able to wear skirts over my jeans throughout middle school (I still wear dresses over my jeans. Holla, 12 year old self!). This all allowed me to feel that being weird, funny, and smart was okay.
And so here I am. Still Weird. Still (partially) Funny. Still Smart. And that’s basically how people know me. Which I guess is my own fault. I always give myself a metaphorical pat on the back when I can make someone laugh. Hell, I dropped out of New College because I wanted to break into Improv comedy and be on SNL. Which is still true. No shame in that. But I guess what I’m hinting at is that I’m a lot more than that. I’m not just everyone’s weird, funny friend.
I’m an amateur Speed-Scrabble player (Okay, I’m more than an amateur, but I’m attempting to be humble). I’m an expert hummus eater. Occasional poet/songwriter of non-parody songs (although I still think “I Kissed a Weasley Twin (Don’t know which one, and I liked it)” is my finest work) . Pseudo-ginger. Lover of moody Smiths songs. Amateur quiet person (I really am an amateur at this; I lack volume control). Aspiring triple threat, but hopefully I will be more successful than Britney Spears. A part time- serious person, underneath my goofy exterior and penchant for making funny faces instead of flattering ones whenever a camera is whipped out. I still like the occasional to-do list, despite my impulsive Travelocity purchases. And the type of girl who writes her transfer essays in October when they aren’t even due until April.
And I guess a part of me feels limited by being the funny girl. I want to be more than that. I want to sing really moody love songs in smoke-filled clubs in long peasant skirts. I still want to perform comedy, but I also want to perform pieces that give people chill-bumps, raise the hair on their arms, and cry. I want to write and make people laugh with my words, but I also want to make people think, question, and possibly scare them a bit with them as well. I want to be able to dance awkwardly at parties, but be able to turn it all around and have lengthy talks about etymology and philology.
In short, I want to be able to ride my Razor scooter down the road and sing moody love songs in the same capacity. Just that. Only that.
And that’s all I truly want.
currently listening to ‘archipelago’// mirah