When I was 12 I was nicknamed "the funny fat friend."
I was deemed socially useless as my best friend was the adored model Ashley and I was just her friend who tagged along. And being 13, I felt I needed some sort of purpose to accompany the beauty queen around and gave into my role as 'funny fat friend.' If I made the "cool kids" laugh I was allowed to hang out with them.
A few years later people stopped being evil and allowed me to exist within their vicinity. I didn't have to overcompensate for the vicious middle school sociopaths to enjoy my company. (I still hate all of you.) However my self-deprecating pessimistic and monotone nature I had exuded for so many years prior had dug itself into my brain and never went, or will, go away.
I still hate and make fun of myself for the sake of laughter, but the aspects of myself I mock are no longer the unfortunate perception of my being the human manifestation of birth control. Instead, I perceive my life to be an "absurd" version of a sitcom where I'm a kooky blonde with a crazy ex and way too many boy problems. And I want the whole world to hear about it.
Over the past few years I've planted myself right in the center of social media and shouted from the cyber rooftops, "I am the world's most self-absorbed girl with fake problems ever! And here are my ridiculously over-sensationalized and extremely personal stories." And people seem to care! Once I came home and heard my roommate reading my Twitter out loud to his house guests. They laughed at how absurd it was that a human being like me could exist: a vapid crazy girl who does juice cleanses and has seventeen boyfriends. This is my social media presence, meaning it's really my only presence as I only have about four friends I actually see in real life.
So if everyone sees me as the juice cleansing neurotic girl who has managed to blame being blonde for everything ever, why would they want to hear me talk about anything else? They wouldn't. Sometimes I get sad. I know, right? It's real. And it isn't because the employees at Just Salad forgot my goat cheese, although that does make me really irrationally upset.
See? I made a joke about things that make me sad. But I do have real problems! Like when coffee shops don't have almond milk. OR SOY.
No one gives a shit if I have a real problem or have anything important to say, ever. My 'articles' (I don't know what to call these things anymore. Extended Tweets?) are rejected from publications but I'm told they will publish any of my comedic writing if I would just send that along, thanks. That's really wonderful, very few aspiring writers can say this. Maybe I'm just really bad at sounding "serious." But really I just think no one wants to hear it from someone like me. Someone "uneducated" and "vapid" and -- I don't know. Someone else tell me what your first impression of me was. I need it to fill in that question on my OkCupid. (See?)
My therapist AKA my best friend once asked me if I was ever actually sad.
"You're never not joking. Does anything ever actually upset you?"
Of course it does, but I can't help but think, "Well, at least this will make good material." (I'm sure any writer knows this is such a thing 'we tell ourselves.')
I am a writer, therefore bad things are supposed to happen to me. Right?
Well, yes. Because I have the talent of turning everything that makes me want to curl up into a shrimp position, sob and die into comedic statements compiled in the form of 140 characters at a time.
Meanwhile I do have actual opinions. I like talking about body image as I discussed in the first paragraph, about bullying, which I also discussed in the first paragraph, and how hard it is to grow up in Los Angeles surrounded by what the media defines as 'beautiful people.' (As discussed in the first paragraph.)
Men who sexualize my entire existence because of my body type. Abusive relationships. People you know and love telling you to get liposuction and meaning it. Family members who call not to check in on work but on how much you weigh. Your suicidal best friend and not knowing what to do about it. Oh and the best one was when I talked about sexual harassment at the local bar at my college. I wrote about something that actually happened to me on Halloween. And what happened? Not only was I laughed at the night and called a drunk slut (I know, this really happens all the time. This is a huge HUGE problem that is totally irrelevant to and way more important than what I'm writing right now) but I was told I should really add that into the screenplay I was writing. A few months later I brought it up to my friend who just laughed and said, "Oh yeah, the night you were wearing that stupid Santa outfit." It was funny because it was a Santa outfit and you can't get less sexual than that. It's not funny because who cares what you're wearing when you feel violated.
These are things that happened. These are things that upset me not only because they happened at all but because, when it comes to my re-telling of these stories, I can't help but add the morsel of humor that remains in to the story (ie. The fact I was literally dressed as the least sexual being ever.) But more unfortunately, that when I manage to skip over the 'funny' part, someone else has to add it in for me.
Nothing serious can happen to someone who makes you laugh all the time. They don't want it to and won't have it. You know why? It would make everyone else too upset and realize the one person who is positive and full of light in their life is lying their ass off all the time to make everyone else feel better and cover up the serious deep holes that are as much in our souls as they are in theirs.
I'm really glad I'm humorous and that I've been able to, and hopefully will, make a career out of it. I really do aspire to be a comedic writer. I really do like that my internet-persona is so ridiculous. I like that I can make people feel better about themselves by reminding them I am probably more depressed than they are but it's funny because of reasons A, B and C.
However I do not like that anytime I voice an opinion on something that really matters, someone has to call me and ask if I'm okay. Because "something is definitely wrong when I write something serious." What the hell does that even mean, guys?! It's like I cry and it's not over the Gossip Girl finale and WHAT ON EARTH IT MUST BE THE WITCHING HOUR.
Okay so this entire thing has been a perfect example of my turning my irrelevant life into an egotistical analysis of something I do to make a statement on something I do actually consider to be a problem. Unfortunately I don't know anyone else who openly feels this way, preventing my sociological study on how comedians feel on the subject and how often they can comfortably and honestly discuss non-funny things with their peers. And, even if I did attempt, Louis C.K. NEVER tweets back at me.
My metaphor for a comedic career is Jim Carrey. The loudest, funniest man with the most malleable face ever and he's openly extremely depressed and "spent 24 hours alone on the top of a mountain" to deal with it. Talk about overcompensating. He climbed out of a rhino's butt for Christ's sake.
So, do not call anyone a funny fat friend, and most importantly if someone is actually sad please take them seriously. I don't care if it's over goat cheese. If you're sad, you're sad, and some people can only stomach non-cow lactose so please, lend a shoulder and for once STOP LAUGHING. You can do that after you buy your friend Lactaid.
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