it’s not a big deal but my entire life when i was funny i was sassy. i think about that a lot. about how sometimes my brother would tell the same stories, same inflections, same characters - but he was clever, he was funny. i was just… sassy. my sarcasm and sharp tongue and wit were always whittled down into kind of a bitch. when he was the class clown or a riot or a great guy, i was a problem student who couldn’t shut up, a disruption, an attention whore. i talked less than him. kept the ice to a minimum. pulled the bow of my arrow voice a little shorter than he did. he could step over lines and dance between them with entire rooms laughing. but when i did that, i was kind of full of myself. i was seen as loud, overly dramatic; my humor too dark or too quick or too feminine.
there’s power in making people laugh. it draws you into them. it’s a good thing to feel you’re making someone happy. i watch boys at parties who are so funny and everyone loves him and how they cackle and howl and never worry they’re taking up too much of their audience’s attention. how when i chime in, when i’m just as funny - if not funnier than them - all hell breaks loose. how fast they get vicious to me. how fast they turn their comments onto my personality. how fast they scramble to be the center of attention again: in an instant, the funny stories become snide comments. and i’m quiet again.
sassy girl gets told to sit down. she gets called up to the front of the class because oh, if you’re so smart, why don’t you teach the lesson. sassy girl gets cast as villain in all her musicals, because princesses don’t use the bitterness in their souls. sassy is ugly ursula, is wicked witch, is snide sidekick. sassy girl makes you laugh when you’ve been crying so much you feel sick. sassy girl listens to you while you spill your secrets, knows when to make a joke and when to take thing serious. tell the cuban girl she’s sassy, watch her eyes roll, watch her heat up, use that latin anger that whips in octopus tentacles out of her. she takes everything so seriously. she needs to calm down, practice ladylike, less swears and less blasphemy and less sassy.
my brother easily relates to “funny.” my brother and most boys i know pride themselves on their humor. they know they can throw a comment into the air and have it stick to the wall of their peers, they know even if it doesn’t land, everyone will just cover their ears. it’s not a big deal. it’s just if you have two people in equal situations, like a brother and a sister both with the same shared timing and humor and stories - some even stolen from each other word for word and with exact phrasing - and if one of those people is treated differently, usually something strange is happening. it’s not a big deal. it’s just i don’t really ever hear girls called funny.