I think I’ve lost my funny…

This is hard for me to say, but since my mom’s passing, I’ve lost my funny.

I write RomComs, quirky characters, and silly/weird situations for my romance novels. I’m known for my snappy dialogue, my character’s sometimes snarky inner thoughts, and my ability to make you cry on one page and bring you out of with laughter on the next.

I’ve got a bunch of books I need to get finished to release this year (2023) and I’m really struggling because I just can’t find the funny.

Not in my characters, my storylines, or my dialogue. Not even in myself.

It’s like my funny bone died when my mom did.

Not that she was a barrel of laughs, but she did say some crazy-funny things at times.

Like she called the gynecologist the groinecologist – a word I used in one of my Match Made in Heaven books.

Once, during a fight we were having when I was a teenager she hurled my current COSMO magazine at me and screamed, “this is nothing but trash about organisms and slutty shit.”

I knew she meant orgasms, but if I’d corrected her she would have gotten even more angry, and referring to something as shit was synonymous with a normal person saying stuff.

When she got angry she usually slipped into a Mrs. Malaprop persona. And if you told her who that was she wouldn’t have had a clue and would have thought you were insulting her.

Once, when I was about 12, I said something snarky and she threw a slice of pizza at me and called me a little shit. The pizza was cold, so no damage done. I picked it up off the table and ate it.

Twenty years later I referenced that, laughing at it then because the argument had been about – of all things – if I could use tampons (she wouldn’t allow me to), and she got all mad and pissy and said, “You deserved it because you were acting like such a little shit.”

Le sigh…

Please don’t get the idea she was abusive- not in the true sense of the word, anyway. She just had a hard time handling the emotions of a neurotic teenager, going through a horrible menopause she didn’t understand, and since she had been parented by a mother who didn’t love her and was cold to her, she had no true sense of how to parent me.

But we did have some funny times, too, lest you think it was all horrible.

We never had a clothes dryer in our home because she couldn’t afford one, so whenever she washed clothes they were always hung out on the line to dry, no matter what season it was. Once, the temperatures dropped and she didn’t know they were going to, so she hung out all the laundry she’d done in the evening, thinking it would be dry by morning. Morning came and all the clothes were frozen solid. She brought in a pair of my stepfather’s cotton boxes and they were as stiff as a sheet of cardboard. You could have flung them like a Frisbee. My flannel nightgown had both arms frozen and sticking out to the sides, the gown portion hard as concrete. Her bra stood up on its own. When she brought it into the house she said, “If I wear this my posture is gonna be perfect for the first time in forever.”

I remember laughing hysterically because she never self-deprecated. Ever.

For some reason, both she and my stepfather loved to go for walks in the local cemetery. Every single time—Every. Single. Time—she would say, “People are just dying to get in here.”

Dumb, but…funny, you know?

She had her moments, she really did.

Maybe if I try remembering more of the funny ones I’ll get my funny back….



Filed under Writing

5 responses to “I think I’ve lost my funny…

  1. Kathleen Bylsma

    You have it within you. Your memories of your mother are a gift of humor, albeit accidental, from her. Never fear, it will reappear because it was always there. Grief takes strange forms and this is your mourning.


  2. Cara Hartley

    Give it time. I have a feeling it will come back to you. Don’t try to force it. Here’s the reason my brother’s ex-wife gave for filing for divorce shortly after our dad passed away.
    “You’re no fun anymore.”
    Thirteen years later, she tells my mother she regrets divorcing my brother and wishes they could get back together. My brother basically said, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
    I think many of us have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. I know I do. I wouldn’t expect anyone to be feeling particularly humorous after a catastrophic loss.


  3. Give yourself some time to mourn. Don’t try to push the funny until you’re feeling it. I think this is probably a normal reaction to loss.

    I had to laugh at some of your stories because they reminded me of my mother. When I wanted to use tampons as a young teenager, she told me they were only for married women. We didn’t have a clothes dryer for many years either. I well remember the frozen clothes out on the line. I remember freezing my fingers hanging them out there or bringing them into the house, though my mother had to do it more often. She used to string up a clothes line in the kitchen in the winter and hang up the frozen clothes after bringing them in. You’d have to dodge my dad’s long johns to get to the table!


  4. Peggy Jaeger

    Good lord! Good to know I wasn’t the only one to experience this with the frozen laundry!!!


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