Pretty Funny

The above is a picture of Phyllis Diller, she was quite the dish. Down-right hot, so hot in fact, she was denied a Playboy spread. See, Playboy did a Mama Cass spread and thought it would be funny to then do an unattractive skinny girl spread. They chose Diller because she made her career on being funny but ugly—except it was a lie. Phyllis Diller was a good looking woman with a curvy body and large breasts. The Playboy spread wasn’t a joke—it looked like a legit spread, therefore it was not funny and scraped.

Phyllis Diller made her mark by being funny but ugly but she wasn’t ugly. Tina Fey makes her mark by talking about how she has no life and eats cheese in pajamas, Whitney Cummings modeled through college but goes on stage in a baggy shirt, no makeup, and a ponytail. Do you want to know why? It’s because women are not allowed to be pretty and funny.

I recently watched a documentary called, “Why We Laugh: Funny Women” and it spent a lot of time discussing this “women aren’t funny” rumor that men have started. I really loved some of the comebacks. Basically, they were saying “women aren’t funny the same way men aren’t good in bed—you would say that if that’s all you’ve had”. The truth is—it’s not that women aren’t funny it’s that men don’t want them to be funny. Women have taken a role in everything and we had to fight for that role—it’s the same in comedy.

This documentary also talked about how the majority of women on the road do not have families. No husband, no babies, no pets. It’s too hard to be gone 39 weeks a year and maintain a family—but men have all those things because they have women at home. Men also get to sleep with their audience. This part really stuck with me. The women in the documentary spoke about how they don’t know one woman that took someone home at the end of the night but every male comic has. When a women is witty or funny she’s not sexy—when a man is he’s attractive.

I experienced this on my first date with my boyfriend. I was “quippy” it’s how I operate. I make snide (what I find funny) remarks. For instance—my boyfriend is 5’7 and he was talking about how he played football and my response was “what were you, the kicker?” My friend kicked me under the table and his friend said, “Wow you’re a bitch”. Now, if my boyfriend would’ve said that to me it would’ve been called “flirting” there’s even a term for this called “negging” and it’s taught by “pickup artists” and Russell Brand. Make a girl feel bad about herself and she’ll have to qualify herself to date you. But turn that table and you are a bitch. Luckily, my boyfriend got that joke and that’s why we’re together.

To be a comedian you have to de-sex yourself. You have to make people relax and they can’t relax if you’re sexy, apparently. The women in this documentary said that women in the audience get mad if you’re sexy and men stop listening because they’re focused on wanting to have sex. It’s a good way to win an audience. I find that so interesting. Why can’t a woman be pretty and funny? Sexy and funny? Or even better: sexy, funny, smart, and successful?  A man can be all these things and more. You can say a man is sexy, funny, smart, successful, a pit of a prick but still a good guy. But you can never say a woman is “a bitch but still a great woman”. She’s always just one thing. A bitch. Sexy. Pretty. Funny. Smart.

I find this interesting since women are expected to be all things: mother, daughter, friend, comforter, gatherer, lover, lady, and sister—but in certain settings we are stripped of these things and made to be one thing: Just A Girl.



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A New Normal

The term “stay at home Dad” still has some stigma around it. I bet your ears perked up. It’s still uncommon with only four percent of stay at home parents being men. Now, that’s an official number but actual stay at home dad’s say that number is much higher.

Stay at home dad’s talk a lot about how they seem to be a novelty. People in grocery stores stop and stare at a man with a baby strapped to him grocery shopping during the day. Thinking it’s probably his day off—not his daily routine.  People smile and point at the dad at the park but pay no mind to the mom’s around him. That’s the mom’s role, right?

The story of one stay at home dad in particular is all too common. They didn’t start out this way—dad lost his job and to save money on childcare he stayed home. That’s when they noticed that their son was less tense, happier, listened better, less fighting and yelling in the home—clearly this was a winning formula. This particular stay at home dad also said he was stopped one day while walking with his boys. A car pulled up and rolled down it’s window to reveal a college kid. He smiled and said, “You know, I wish my dad played with me as much as you play with your kids.”

Dad’s always seem to be this untouchable, authoritative figure.  “Wait till your father hears about this!” That phrase strikes fear in the hearts of millions. Dad is the disciplinary—the worker, the guy that gets the big piece of chicken—he doesn’t make the chicken…until now

Kids benefit from having a parent home. This we know. I wonder if it makes a difference that the one that’s home is the one that is the rough and tumble one? They think, you can always pull one over on mom—just bat your eyes at her and she’ll swoon on your charms. I remember my nephew throwing a fit over some snack he wanted that my mother had refused him. You would’ve thought that this kid was being tortured at Gitmo the way he screamed.  She gave in and as he walked past me he very calmly stated “works every time”.

My nephew doesn’t pull that stunt with me—mainly because I’m one of the father figures in his world.  He grew up with my parents and me. My dad and I are the only masculine figures my nephew knows. Whenever he draws his family I am the only girl in pants and I always stand with my dad while his mother and my mother are in pinks and oranges in pretty dresses to the left. My dad and I are in blues and greens to the right. That’s fine, I’m more of a guy’s girl anyway—but it got me thinking—how different my nephew would behave if I was his stay at home parent.

The four percent figure I stated earlier is double what it was a decade ago. This trend is growing and all I can say is: “GROW BABY GROW!” We need more dad’s at home. We need more families to see that it doesn’t matter who “brings home the bacon”. People are people and families are families no matter the dynamic.



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This Dad Wins The Internet

I’m a HUGE equal rights activist. Obviously, I want equal rights for women but it doesn’t just stop there, I think all human beings deserve equal rights. If you are alive you deserve certain unalienable rights. Marriage equality and gay rights are very near and dear to my heart. I post endlessly on my social media accounts about it. I loved when Buzzfeed posted all the pictures from the first day that same-sex marriage was passed. Love is love, people. I live by that principle and when I see that principle come to life nothing makes me happier.

This story…ugh I love this. A man overheard a conversation his son was having and wrote him this letter:

In case you can’t read it is says:

Nate,

I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.

I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born.

- Dad

P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.

 

I love that he made an “out” joke and I love that he gave him chores. A dad is a dad no matter who his son is and this letter illustrates that perfectly. Love should be unconditional I’m glad to see other people feel the same way.



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Thank Yew: My Thanksgiving

photo of turkey pictures
So, I’m not going to rant about how half of the history that they teach in elementary schools is horrifying lies. Or even really complain about how when Lincoln founded the US’ Thanksgiving as an official national holiday with a specifically prescribed date, his statement of the subject makes it sound like a holiday for Americans who are of Abrahamic faiths.

Because, you know what? Unlike more official religious holidays, Thanksgiving is really just an American holiday, with its religious undertones purely optional. Even if, as my family did, you only celebrate the Santa-and-getting-what-you-want side of Christmas (I refer to it as “Santamas”), you still probably call it Christmas and may have noticed what the first six letters of the holiday are. You still hear crazy people who believe that any cashier giving them a generic religious greeting rather than one specific to their own religion is contributing to the collapse of America and dooming the world to catastrophe. Thanksgiving is just, well, Thanksgiving.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, have you heard this nightmarish song from the same total weirdo who produced Rebecca Black’s Friday? Patrice Wilson’s latest victim . . . I mean “client/star,” is Nicole Westbrook. I had it in my head all day on Thanksgiving—until I listened to Songs For An Evil Queen, a two-disk playlist which my best friend recently and painstakingly assembled especially for me because he is the best person ever.

I do not really like Thanksgiving food. I mean, cheese does not really factor into the meal very much. Or at all. I like cranberry sauce (but mostly I love the cranberry sauce that I used to get from Boston Market. That stuff was the best and way better than canned or homemade cranberry sauce, though I have not had it in a decade), but until I was in my early teens, I just did not see an upside to Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes? No thank you. Stuffing in which my mother has hidden mushrooms and who knows what else? I’d rather die. Green bean anything? Don’t insult me.

And then I discovered that Hidden Valley Ranch dressing is a magical serum that transmutes uninteresting meat like turkey into a delicious food. Specifically, a delicious vehicle with which to ingest ranch dressing. It can’t be just any ranch, though. Hidden Valley. Other ranch dressings are … nightmarish imposters.

I should know. At this point, I am an expert in ranch dressing.

After the meal, usually cooked by my mother (this year, it was the two of us, my grandmother, my eldest aunt, and my mother and aunt’s cousin who is delightful but whom I see much less frequently). This was the first Thanksgiving since the family dog died (she passed away on the fifth of October of this year), and the fourth Thanksgiving since my youngest sister died (e. coli at the NC State Fair; fortunately, the livestock are now separated from where children are allowed to go. It would have been nice if they had done that before 2009). My youngest sister, Jaime, died on 2 November 2009 and would have turned fifteen on the twenty-eighth of November of that year, so Thanksgiving often falls on an awkward time for my family.

This year, I had a wonderful time with my relatives. I drank a bit too much delicious wine and the pies were not opened until it was just me with my mother. When I am done writing this post, I am going to go eat a slice (read: one quarter of the entire pie) of blackberry pie, because hot damn pie is delicious. After I was done visiting family, a wonderful friend of mine came over—after having more than one Thanksgiving—and he and I watched Justice League because it is an awesome show that we both missed out on when it first aired.

Also, Disaronno, my favorite beverage on the planet, was involved. On the rocks, of course. I did not make it into an amaretto sour like some kind of . . . monster.

And, of course, I considered the things for which I am thankful. No one at our table prayed openly or anything like that; that has never been a part of my Thanksgiving experience, though my grandmother and aunt, at least, are Christians. We mostly exchanged stories, most of which we had all heard before. Old people are adorable.

I considered the things for which I am thankful. A non-exhaustive list? I am thankful for my magnificent friends who are the only reasons for which I have not given up, moved to as cold of a place as I can find and found some life-sucking job that will pay me enough that I can play video games and, in all likelihood, reach five-hundred pounds through simply no longer having any motivation to interact with other humans in person. Even just keeping in contact with them online is enough to keep me sane. Or close enough.

I am thankful for my wonderful and absolutely out of her mind insane mother. She is all kinds of weird but she cannot help it.

I am so thankful that I have a computer that works, and works well. Computer troubles leave scars in your soul.

It has been such an honor to write for Zelda Lily and I absolutely love doing it. Even on weeks like this one when I almost forget until the last minute because my schedule has been crazy.

I am writing a book (the first part of a series). I am so thankful that it is coming along nicely, that I have a detailed outline of the book’s events already assembled in order and a clear idea of where the series is heading. I am especially thankful that my unreasonably awesome best friend is my collaborator. He is so brilliant and, while I would be writing even without him, the stories and characters and settings would not be the same without him. Plus, he’s often the voice of reason when we are blamestorming, and that is all kinds of necessary. I hope that, next year, I am thankful that we are done writing this book and that we have found a publisher.

I finished the first draft of another chapter just before writing this, in fact.

I thanked the Gods for being awesome, but I did so in private.

I am especially thankful that President Obama was reelected. Thankful that I will never have to say “President Romney” unless I write a story about a gloomy alternate universe.

Happy belated Thanksgiving, you beautiful people. I hope that you enjoy your delicious leftovers if you still have any.



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