So, lately, I have really been struggling with my sense of humor. You see, since having Ez I find myself saying things that I find funny…but that make other people super uncomfortable.
True, I have always been that way…at least a little bit. I still cringe thinking back at a few of the off color things that flew out of my mouth over the years. But that was just me being awkward–saying the exact thing I was afraid I would say.
Now it’s a bit different. I genuinely laugh about the crazy shit storms that life throws at people…and at the absurdity that it hits some people more than others…it’s funny in that awful uncomfortable kind of way. I find myself wanting to laugh while other people tell me the sad ridiculousness of people they know–the person who has a sick child and who got sick himself, and so on. They are telling me, concerned, trying to relate to our situation, with great empathy.
And I am cracking jokes about what an asshole God can be.
It’s not that I am angry. I mean, I am angry. But that’s not why I am laughing…it’s that I realize how insane and random all of this is. Some people get cancer and die. Some people don’t. Some people don’t just get cancer, but they get it and a whole other host of things happen. It seems so unfair…so unfair that it is hysterical.
I guess I thought it was weird of me to crack jokes about this stuff…about the differences between my child and the children she plays with, and so on…I mean I noticed that it made other people uncomfortable. So I do it only in my head when I can help it.
But this weekend my hubby recommended I listen to Tig Notaro’s stand up routine on her battle with cancer amidst a flurry of other life altering bullshit. Of course I listened and found myself laughing so hard that said hubby ran into the room thinking something was wrong.
“Hello. Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you?” She opens.
What makes this routine so funny, so amazing, is that it is raw. You know, in a way all great comedy does this…it pushes up against something that makes us uncomfortable. Everyone in that room was uncomfortable…She forced that audience into the discomfort of her world…and made them laugh about it. And there is nothing, I think, more human than our capacity to laugh–at ourselves, yes, but more importantly, at our pain.
Because really, what the fuck else can you do?