My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Snarkasm

Oh, the sarcasm that fills my soul at times...

Despite the fact that I grew up in a Christian home... I was the only girl out of five kids... and with four EXTREMELY intelligent brothers... intelligent and witty brothers, I should say... and so as a defense mechanism, in order to just keep up with the brothers, I have developed the spiritual gift of snark. Ok. Maybe it's not so spiritual. But it's there.

My dad is the king of the cheesy joke... things like, "Heather is the flower of our family... the stink weed." His humor is so distinctly defined that my kids have a tendency to respond to a bad joke with, "that was a POP joke".

And Jim... anyone who knows Jim knows that he loves puns and works them so effortlessly into conversation that people sometimes miss them. Our friend Misti sometimes has to go back over what Jim has said and replay it in her head... and then it cracks her up.

Bryan... has a very dry wit... delivers a witticism or two in that succinct way that lawyers have... and instead of a "toss your head back" belly laugh... he smirks. Occasionally he'll snicker. But it's a dignified, controlled humor.

Michael became a Jehovah's Witness about sixteen years ago. The jokes just write themselves.

David, as the baby of the family, does a lot of laughing with... and a fair share of laughing AT the things that happen in our lives.

I'm certain that my love language is sarcasm. I know it's not one of the ones that Gary Chapman outlined in his now famous book... but I'm certain that it's the fastest way to my heart.

I mentioned yesterday about a snarky blog I had been reading that counters and contradicts a certain high traffic blog. It turns out that there are more than one of these type blogs for more than one high traffic blogger because a couple of you guessed incorrectly... and I (of course) had to go check out the other Snarkers.

Boy howdy. There's a lot more snarkasm out there than I thought. (yes, I know that's not a real word).
Makes me want to google to see if there's someone snarking me... I think that's the new pinnacle of success as a blogger. It's a bit edgy. A little mean. The one I'm reading, though, provided some really important information that made me realize that this is not someone whose life I want to model. I say that not out of a sense of judgment but out of a sense of discernment.

I was shocked to find out the high traffic blogger I was discussing was making oh, about twice what I make a year working full time... FROM HER BLOG ads. I wish! My ads, when I bothered with them, made about  $.56 - yes, that's fifty six cents - over the course of a year.

Apparently my story isn't near so compelling. I'm not jealous or covetous, you understand. It just amazes me that kind of money can be made on the internet.... even though spam would have you believe it. Although I would love for this baby to be a cash cow, I also know that there would be a temptation to ramp up the drama to increase the clicks. I want to be my authentic self to the full extent that I can be and not hurt others.

At any rate... all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. That's what I hope to show and share through this forum. Blessings are all around us, sometimes we just don't recognize them as such. Sometimes you have to put on the rose-colored glasses  purchased by mail order from the Billy Graham Crusade, in Many-apples, Many-sodas, to see those blessings.

That's one of mine and Jim's first puns... it used to be that at the end of every televised Billy Graham Crusade (and we saw them all... if he was on, that's what we were watching)... at the end they gave the address to write for more information about salvation or to send your prayer requests.... and it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Or... mini-apples, mini-sodas... whichever... always made us laugh.

I never hear the phrase "pay-per-view" as it's intended. I always hear "paper view" which, in my mind, is reading a book. So that always cracks me up.

That family humor sustains us... one time I made mint chocolate brownies.... I'm really not a good cook. I mean... I can create some awesome salads and I can throw a roast into a crockpot and such but I'm not naturally gifted at it... and I wasn't really trained either... so... I tried my hand at baking and experimented with mint chocolate brownies which seemed like a good idea but... the first "feedback" I got about them was that they were... "different"... and so, from that point on... anything that anyone in our family deems *less than* delicious is labeled different.

The bathroom... the ONE little bathroom in the house I grew up in... which my dad would commandeer the minute he got home from work... and lovingly referred to as "the library"... because he kept a variety of reading material in there for... well, you get the picture. All my brothers could stand on the back porch and "relieve themselves" if that one bathroom was occupied. (the grass always grew greener right off the back porch for some reason) I was the only one who really suffered from the lack of available facilities. You had to laugh.

My joke is that my parents bought the house next door where Cody and Marquee now live because it was cheaper than adding a bathroom to their existing house.

Family humor sometimes crosses the line... Jim is heading to Haiti at the beginning of March on a mission trip. I reminded him of one of the first (totally inappropriate) jokes that came out at the time the Aids epidemic was first in the news back in the early 80's. If you are old enough to remember.... the first victims of HIV and AIDS were homosexual men and Haitians.  SOOOOoooo... the joke went something like, "what's the hardest part about telling your parents you have AIDS?".... "convincing them that you're Haitian".  Get it? Because obviously you... well, never mind. *crickets*...

Now why in the world would this (very bad) (and inappropriate) joke come to mind when my brother is preparing for a holy, important, mission trip to Haiti? I can't explain it other than to say... it's my defective funny bone. That's the thing about growing up around funny people. The world becomes your Sitcom.

Truthfully... the people in life that I'm closest to are the people who also suffer from snarkasm. I love being around nice, sweet, kind people and I try... Heaven knows... how much I try to be one of those gentle people who never says anything controversial but... it's just lipstick on a pig. Even if I'm not saying it (the inappropriate joke)... I'm probably thinking it. And frankly... anyone without a highly evolved sense of humor will just not last long in my world, no matter how nice they are. We don't speak the same language.

Purple Michael and I have several "routines" we perform for people - sort of a George Burns and Gracie - although I'm not sure which of us is which. We always tell the story of the time he forgot his name ...

We had spent two very full, crazy days auditioning about two hundred people for two shows that we were casting. The way our partnership works is that he is the face, the talent, the creative one, THE PRETTY ONE... and I am the one who keeps him fed, sane, organized... There are times that I have to give him gentle reminders, discreetly, of an administrative nature, so that things stay on track, especially when we're tired and overwhelmed. So... he's preparing to give this instructional speech to let people know how the audition process will go and what they need to know... and he really just can't gather his thoughts. I have a stack of visual reminders in front of him... forms that need to be filled out... etc... so he can simply pick them up and expound on each point of interest... and I am sitting at my desk with my back to the crowd, as he stands in front of my desk, about three feet away from me... by way of introduction he starts out with ... "hello... my name is..." long pause.
Terribly long pause.
Embarrassing long pause.
Dead air. 
So I feed him his line without moving my lips... like a ventriloquist, "Michael Vaughn".... and he takes the line (his name) and goes on with his speech. That's always worth a laugh when we remember it and it's always funnier when we tell it together.

We have another really funny EPIC story from when I was working with Rocky Horror the Musical but it's inappropriate for this format. Maybe one day.

And there was the time that Cody thought we were letting him drink vodka... but it was only water... and Cody kept acting  *drunker* and *DRUNKER* from drinking watered down cranberry juice. Cody thought we were laughing at his drunken antics... when we were really laughing at his SOBER antics.

At any rate... whenever we get together we make each other laugh. Those are the best kind of friendships in my opinion... the ones where your wit and sense of humor matches the other person. Otherwise... one of you is just mean and the other is just hurt. Or clueless. I've dealt with both.

Like I've said before ... you either *get* the joke.. or you ARE the joke.

Where was I going with this? Oh. The snarkasm. (made up word). I get the joke of poking fun at over the top narcissism that's required to be a blogger. Honestly.... if you don't think you have a story worth telling, you're probably NOT going to blog. But when you get right down to it... people who think a lot of themselves are sometimes just a Saturday Night Live skit waiting to happen.

Some of the stuff that happens in my life... I can either laugh or cry... and unless I'm in an over the top blue funk, I can usually find humor in just about everything.

My friend Amy (who used to work with me at my Uncle's office) used to say, "you can't make this stuff up".
That's what I said in my blog yesterday... truth is stranger than fiction.

My other friend Amy (who used to work with me in Woodstock/Holly Springs/Canton) and I used to connect with totally inappropriate humor over things like... a co-worker who was freakishly tall (I still laugh every time I see a giraffe)... and the tragic death of Anna Nicole Smith ("things just haven't been the same since Vicky Lynn died").

Dewayna and I have a whole LIFETIME of puns and location jokes (as in ... "you had to be there"). And we remember all of them... going back to 3rd grade and even earlier. We were funny way back then, too.

My boys all three have a highly evolved sense of humor... although when Austin makes a funny and I don't laugh because I'm trying to deadpan him... he gets offended. He doesn't get the comedic rhythm yet.

Even my little nieces, at 7 and 9, are really funny people...

I think the key is to not take yourself too seriously. I have had a ridiculous number of tragic situations over the past five years. I've had some crazy things happen. If anyone wanted to create a snark blog about my blog, I'm sure I give them plenty of material. I'm ok with that. I get the joke, even though I AM the joke. My life is legitimately ironic.

When I did a little biblical search about laughter the very first thing that came up was Abraham laughing at the thought of his 90 year old wife becoming pregnant. You've gotta love it... God gives him a promise... and the miracle ahead of them is so far beyond what the mind can comprehend that they LAUGHED! People laughed at Noah when he built the ark. People laughed at Moses about being led out of Egypt. It's all part of the process, I think.

I would never encourage meanness... but I will always encourage you to look for the humor or irony in everything you face. Snarkasm can change your life.


Ryan said...

Hey, just wanted to share an article I read recently on the origin of AIDS. Hope you find it as informative as I did.