Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Describing Yourself

We continue with our series on The Practice of Pigeonholing People: Normal Human Behavior or Evil Plot to Drive Us Crazy?

But first, an update:

Today's Facebook offerings on Super Son included a new moniker by a classmate; he is characterized as "Someone who will always make you LOL."

This struck a nerve, because I was recently given a mug which read LOL.

Let me explain.

I am a member of a secret cabal select few small gang of sassy women who have dubbed ourselves "The Smart Girls Club." (Our unofficial name is too rude to post on my blog.) At Christmas, we had a small gift exchange, and one of the women gave us each cute coffee mugs with text messages imprinted on the sides. One had XOX, another had BFF. I can't remember what the others had. I received LOL. Presumably, she chose them based on our personalities. For one brief moment, I was envious of the other women. Were they more lovable than me?

Then I got over it.

It's not so bad to be known as the one who makes people laugh. It beats the hell out of being the one that makes people depressed or disgusted.

Sure, it's nice to be recognized as multi-talented, gorgeous, brilliant...but I'll settle for being funny. Especially since my friends also let me know that they think I am kind and smart.

High school kids are not typically as good as my buddies at satisfying their friends' need for recognition of more than one attribute. And maybe the need isn't as great in some of them. Some might be very content to be acknowledged in any way, for anything.

I told Super Son that he should be grateful he's considered the funny one. It shows that people admire his wit, and share his sense of humour. There are a lot of professional actors who would kill for his ability to improvise and his clever mind. There are many actors and actresses who agonize about not being taken seriously because they are primarily admired for their looks. Many who are considered sex symbols deliberately choose parts that cast them as plain or even downright strange or ugly characters to shed the stereotype.

Consider, for example, this:
Well, maybe it's not the very best example, since Johnny Depp's Edward still attracts a girl. But surely this one shows the actor's willingness to be utterly unattractive.

His Willy Wonka was just creepy.

I love Johnny Depp, especially in his Jack Sparrow persona, but I'd pick the funny guy who preceded him in the first film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory any day of the week.

How about you? How important is it to you that someone has the ability to make you laugh?


stephanie (bad mom) said...

I was jealous of you, getting LOL, so that says how important it is to me that I'm considered funny. Maybe my OMG was meant to express that; as a teacher of teens I took it more as I am somehow outrageous. Which I guess is okay, too.

Did I make a point here?

Fantastic Forrest said...

I suspect the point may be that we are never content being considered one way vs. another. You are highly outrageous, indeed, fellow Smart Girl. XOXO

lisleman said...

we all need to lighten up much more than we do. I enjoy making people laugh especially my grandkids. I wish adults could keep their laugh trigger set like kids do.
Now I am rattling my mind to recall the Gene Wilder movie with song "The Lady in Red".

kyooty said...

Laughter is fabulous it works the abs :)

hehe my word verification was cutte hehehe Kyooty? hehe

Barry said...

It's very important, although it would be nice to also have Johnny Depp's looks, fame, acting ability and (what's that other thing? Oh yes...) money.

Bee said...

Oh, I would rate humor very highly. Tell your son that humor is a sign of intelligence -- and that it's really sexy.

The other night a friend said that she admired my wit and I was incredibly pleased with that compliment. People want to be around the friends who make them laugh.

My teenager has started using the abbreviation lol as a verb: "we loled/lolled? so much today." I wonder where I could get one of those mugs.

Maureen said...

I love Johnny Depp. I wish he was my BFF (I'd totally give him the mug!) But Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka was better.

mommapolitico said...

My favorite night each month is the night I hang with some girlfriends and play a dice game called Bunco. We have one rule: whatever happens at Bunco, stays at Bunco, and we take the rule very seriously. If someone starts gossiping about our discussions, they find they aren't invited back! It's a chance to be as hilarious, bawdy, smartass and just plain funny as we wish, to laugh our heads off at things, no matter how crass, and to just let our hair down. I come home wheezing every time from laughing so damn hard - no matter how tired or stressed out I am when I arrive, I always leave relaxed and happy.

Funny rocks, but when you combine it with smart, it's a powerful combination, able to get you through much more in life than beauty and cuteness ever can. (Though being a smartass may not get you out of many tickets...just sayin'...)

Great post, as always, Girl.

phd in yogurtry said...

V.E.R.Y! You can XOX anyone and BFFs are a dime a dozen. But the LOL friends are my most cherished friends!

オテモヤン said...


A Tired Wife said...

It's VERY important to me and I find the older I get, the more important it has become.