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.”
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….