Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why Are We Funny?

Above is a clip of one of the funniest guys I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I know some ridiculously funny people.

I went to high school with Don Harmon and he, it is widely agreed, had a comment, joke or sarcastic remark for every situation. On top of being just plain funny without really trying, he was also kind, smart and, I will admit, a cutie patootie.

He committed suicide this week. Leaving behind a wife and a very small daughter.

Thew news of Donnie's passing shook our mutual friends.When word broke as to the cause of his death even those who hadn't seen him in decades were (are) devastated. How does someone who appears so happy - I would go as far as to use the word jovial - decide no one will care if he no longer exists?

Last week my family watched "A Gaga Thanksgiving" (mock me now, I'll wait). Gaga has spoken often and publicly about being bullied and I asked the question (or no one in particular) "What is the difference between someone who is bullied mercilessly and becomes Lady Gaga and someone who is bullied mercilessly and decides they just cannot stand to live in this mortal world one more minute?" I honestly don't know. Maybe one really good friend or family member who keeps an eye on you and makes sue you know they love you. Maybe it is finding a place - in the nick of time - where your square peg finally fits perfectly. I just don't know.

Here's what I do know: A vast majority of the funniest people I know use comedy as a defense. When swearing like a sailor didn't work for me in Catholic school (go figure), I had to get funny fast, in order for people to laugh at me and not, you know, AT me. Lots of comedians are overweight (RIP Patrice O'Neal, Candy, Belushi, et al). Get funny or get picked on. Some are compensating for other reasons, perhaps reasons only they know or can see.

As I think about Donnie tonight, I wonder why he was so damn funny. Smart, talented, kind and handsome, I'm sad not only because the loss of his life is a loss to us all, but because I feel sure there was something that made him funny and I worry that this is the thing that finally pushed him over the edge.

The truth is, I was not close to Donnie. I have friends who were. Likely none of us are close enough to him now to ever have really know the demons he may have been fighting with a well-timed one-liner. But I have friends that share Don's sense of humor, who battle ghosts of their own every day and tonight, I vow to make sure they know they are more than the sum of their comedic material. You are special. You are loved.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Half-Assed is the new Fabulous

It has been almost a year since I last posted on this blog. A lot has happened in that year. Jack started real school. My grandfather died. We renewed our wedding vows. I went to Vegas. Twice. Sisterhood imploded. It's been a year.

J has had a stomach bug since Saturday night. The poor kid can't keep anything down. Cheerios finally went and stayed down tonight at 7:30. Because I have the ability to do most of my job from home, I emailed my boss last night, explained the situation and tried to work best I could with a puking kid from home today. I had already arranged to work from home on Wednesday, because J doesn't have school. So I have to go in tomorrow so this week won't be a complete wash.

I received a couple of disturbing emails from my boss today. Nothing in-your-face, but with a definite edge to them. Maybe it was my guilt, but I was sensing his irritation. So I will g in tomorrow, even if J is sick.

To review, I feel like I am not doing an adequate job at my job because of the two days I have to work from home this week because of the kiddo. I will go in tomorrow and if J is still sick, I will feel like I am doing an inadequate job as a mother because I won't be with him to rub his head just the way he likes, or get vomited on for a 6th time in 48 hours.

I am completely burned out on volunteer work, so that has been suffering as well. Three years at the head of the organization was too much to bite off. So I have just shut down on that front and am really not taking in any new information. Oh, and I serve on the Board of that organization with some of my best friends, so I am feeling like a shitty friend for stepping back from those duties. (Side note: I have an awesome co-pres who is picking up the slack this year. She rocks and I would meltdown without her.)

Thanksgiving is in three days. We are going into Cincy on Thursday and leaving Friday because it is chaos when J and D are there together and I can't stand the tension. So I am feeling like a pretty crappy daughter, aunt and sister.

It is has not been a good week for the self-esteem.

I am thankful that I have family to visit. And that they are all healthy (puking Kindergartner aside). I am extremely thankful for my husband, who does his best to pick up the slack when Sisterhood responsibilities and work call me away. I am thankful beyond words for my girlfriends, who are acutely aware of my faults and love me anyway. And even though I feel like I am doing a half-assed job lately, I am really thankful for my gig. I love my job, genuinely like my boss, enjoy the members I work for and the fact that I get to do what I love daily.

I hate doing things half-assed. Although I don't think I'm a perfectionist, I want to do everything I do well and leave things better than I found them. Lately, though, I feel as if I am treading water in a pool that is getting increasingly deeper. Something's gotta give.

I've already started backing away from Sisterhood and pray that my friendships don't suffer because of it. The rest of it is kind of non-negotiable. Do I want to be a half-assed employee. No, I sure don't. I half-assed friend? Absolutely not. A half-assed wife? Nope. A half-assed Mommy? Makes me sick to think about it. So where do I find some give?

Praying for the answer.