You know how sometimes, you get in those moods where the little things that people make fun of you for are like…not funny anymore? Let me give you a hypothetical and mildly amusing example.
Let’s pretend, for example, that I’m talking about my overwhelming fear of ducks.
That’s hilarious, right? Right. I can totally admit that. And I can also say, with complete honesty, that I’ve never gotten tired of someone teasing me about it – mainly because no one’s been enough of a dick to ever go so far as to bring me a live one or something.
But let’s say that happened. I mean, I do work in a middle school. The odds are higher there.
Let’s say that one day, my students saw our resident ducks outside of the school, and decided it would be funny to capture them and set them loose inside my portable (this has, for the record, been in more than one of my school-themed nightmares). I freak out, cry, have a complete breakdown in front of them, make the teacher across from me banish said ducks, and then go home for the day a broken person.
Guess what? For the next week, I’m going to be really effing sensitive about this fear. Probably for the next month or longer. So if a kid tries to make light of it by off-handedly referring to my fear of ducks as a “fear of the unknown” or something else we’re doing a theme lesson on, I’m going to get pissed.
Because guess what? It’s not funny anymore.
Obviously, my little soap box (seriously, it’s tiny, like a 2-pack of Dial, or something) isn’t actually about ducks. It’s about those little quirks that people tease you about good-naturedly, and you laugh, because if you can’t laugh at yourself, your life is going to be long and sad and boring.
Natalie Portman said that better in Garden State.
Thanks to whoever made this, btw. I tried to find it to attribute it…but…ah well, it’s from copyrighted material, anyway, right?
So yeah, I can laugh. I laugh with people about how nerdy I am all the time. I laugh with my one (now in high school) student about how I’m still working on the Great American Novel, Family Guy style. I laugh about a lot of ridiculousness in my life. And other people’s! Take, for example, the fact that I love fucking with my friends about being crazy cat ladies – whether they’re attached or not!
So I’m in favor of the laughing most of the time. I love the laughing.
But you know, there’s always a point that you come to, when the jokes aren’t funny because they’re too real, because now that fear that you were making fun of is way more of a reality. And so it really, really needs to stop. At least for a little while. At least until you’re past whatever place you’re at in your life, you know? Unless your friends and family are trying to drive you into a complete and total mental/emotional collapse. They should figure that out, right?
Guess I need to grow a thicker skin. Like elbow skin, but everywhere.
Gross. Can you imagine? I’m going to put on lotion, like, right now.
My skin may not be thick enough to keep me happy, but at least it’ll be soft. That’s something, right?