I stood on a stage in front of a few hundred people at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, bright lights in my eyes. “I don’t know what I’m doing here,” I said to the audience. “I’m so not funny.”
But I’d signed up for stand up comedy in an effort to change that and performing was our final project.
“I did get my friends and family to laugh,” I told the audience, “when I broke it to them I was doing stand up.”
My husband and children think you have to be mean to do stand up.
At dinner, my daughter said, “Mom, you’re like Tinker Bell, and Tinker Bell is so not funny.”
Our dinner table is like that. A battlefield. My children can be mean. They get that from their father. By comparison, I fall short. Recently I’ve tried to pick up my game, and the other night, I threw a spoon at my husband. I confess we fight a lot. I read in an Astrology book that we’re a perfect match- our verbal sparring foreplay. Personally, I’d rather a back rub.
We are Syrian and my husband has dark skin. So do my kids. My husband thinks they look like him, and says I was just Fed Ex. He admits they have my ears, which isn’t a compliment because before I was Tinker Bell, I was Dumbo.
My family fights about everything. They will debate, with vigor, if potatoes are better mashed or fried, if vegetable soup should be more vegetable or more broth. My kids are so mean they even make fun of vegetables. Imagine needing to be one up from a vegetable. Organic vegetables are the worst. They want meat: thick steaks, hamburgers, BBQ. And the terms hormone-free, farm-fed, and free-range piss them off. My family’s all brawn.
They don’t believe in global warming and littering is just practical because as my youngest son says, “When I don’t litter, my car gets filthy.” When I gasped, he said accusingly, “I know you love water bottles.”
And it’s true. I sneak them into my closet, pretending there is only one, and I admitted that on the stage at Omega which was way more daring and scary than doing the flying trapeze earlier that same day. But I’m changing.
I gave birth naturally 5 times. Nursed them all. I made homemade baby food. I was an elementary school teacher. I had the patience of a Saint.
But no more! Now the music on an ice cream truck makes me cringe -- nails on a chalkboard. Children splashing in a pool, irritating as ants at a picnic.
So you see, I can be mean. As the old Syrian saying goes, if you put a cucumber in a pickle jar, you get a pickle.
And just so you know, the audience at Omega laughed throughout my Stand Up routine. A woman came up to me after the show and said, “That was great. You should start a blog.”
I laughed and said, “Now that’s funny.”