Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finding the Funny

Humor is truly a saving grace.

If it hasn't already been made clear, this year and a half or so has been hard by anyone's standards. But, the way I cope with it (and have always coped with anything) has been through humor.  There is a comedian I like named Tammy Pescatelli who has a comedy special on Netflix called "Finding the Funny" and I thought it was just the best thing, especially for people with chronic pain.  Plus, she's Italian-American and in my head, I probably think I'm her. But, in short, I would be miserable all the time if I never found things to laugh at.

Growing up in my small, boring hometown, you had to go out of your way to make stuff interesting. If this were Mean Girls at lunchtime all my friends probably would've fallen into the category of art freaks aka "the greatest people you will ever meet". Janice (or Tina Fey, I'm assuming) makes a pretty good point. Art freaks are the greatest people you will ever meet. 

People who have the ability to "let their freak flag fly" and not be deterred by boring, shallow and close minded people really are the best people. They (we) have the most fun.

When I moved to New York (which is a mecca for weirdos), I was convinced weird stuff just found me. I always had strange stories to tell my family and friends of things I encountered I never thought possible coming from a small town, especially when things like this are a normal occurrence. I went to art/fashion school where being "normal" is actually frowned upon. The weirder you are, the more respected you are. So, naturally, I attended a lot of strange (by other peoples' standards) parties, transvestite sponsored events (like beauty pageants) by my school and generally just hung out with a lot of innovative/weird/hilarious people. 

One of the best parts of my time in New York though was living next to Lynne Koplitz in Greenwich Village. In our own little New York "meet cute", Lynne ended up becoming one of my closest friends/mom/big sister/aunt (whatever you want to call her). I would walk across my hallway and spend nights with her cackling at the top of my lungs talking shit, eating raw cookie dough and watching Desperate Housewives with her little dog, Aldo. Because the Village is the best place on Earth, Lynne always does spots at The Comedy Cellar (aka the best comedy club in the world in my opinion) and sometimes I would be lucky enough to tag along, watch her spots and sit upstairs in the cafe at the table with all the other comedians for the night eating, drinking and getting to listen to everything they had to say. I won't drop names, but if they have been to Comedy Cellar in the last few years, I probably have at least met them and know the "regulars" fairly well. Most nights, I would leave laughing so hard my stomach would physically be in knots. This was a lucky experience for me. 

But, since I've moved home, it is a lot harder to "find the funny". Recently, because of my illness, I had had a really bad fallout with a very close friend and it is hard not to be cynical all the time. But, a few days ago, someone dropped this off at my front step and literally ran away. 

Let me explain what this looked like when I had received it: neon green envelope with 1 tie-dye anklet sock, 1 piece of beef jerky scotch taped down, 4 different used chapsticks, a fake flower and underneath all that, a cut out heart that said "LOVE YOU SEXY SEXY SEXY…". On the back of the envelope it said "Meet me at Pizza Hut on August 27, 2014." and within the envelope, these pink cards that had random, miscellaneous things written on them with all different handwritings (some a little more rape-y looking than others). One of which included "Meet me at the cold de sack at 6:30." and my personal favorite "Let yo bikini body shine." My first thought was that my friend with whom I had the fallout had completely lost her mind. My dad, driven by his curiosity, went to the closest cul-de-sac at 6:30 (!!) because he wanted to see what the hell was going on. No one was there. 

I am now convinced this was not the doing of my friend, but of a love starved and probably odd preteen experiencing a summer neighborhood love type romance that I inadvertently cockblocked. And I could not stop laughing. I can't even get myself to throw it away because I love it. I am also now convinced that funny is still finding me in its own little way and I love the universe for sending me this poor kid's awkward cry for attention (even when I am in hiding and cut off from the outside world). I think the saddest part is that I genuinely cannot tell if a male or female wrote this and it is still being debated within my household. 

And, just for your (my) entertainment, a few of a favorite photos of funny and equally entertaining friends from over the years: 

I cannot stop laughing when I look at this picture. This was a "home" party. You've seen movies.

FIT's drag pageant, "Ms. FIT". This is my friend Joe. He walks better in heels than I do (and has nicer legs.)

Me and my friend Taylor at my friend Rony's (a male) quinceanera. (He was not turning 15 either.)

This was an "S&M" themed party that I unfortunately missed and will forever regret not attending. But I love this picture of my friends Sadie and Gab.

My friend Alex…being Alex at an alien (meets fashion? maybe) party at his apartment.

I think this was for Ms. FIT, but I had to wrap the caution tape around him to make him "Lady GayGay". It wouldn't have surprised me if this just happened to be any given day at FIT either. 

This party was called "Afterbirth". Not sure if I can tell you what's happening here but it is on a roof, so that's fun.

More "Afterbirth."

My brother, Alex, in Paris for Christmas with a mustache and beret. 

My last halloween in the city. I refuse to give Halloween any real thought or effort, so I usually just end up in an animal onesie (for warmth, comfort and the ability to appear low maintenance).

This was in Italy at my favorite bar with my favorite transgender Filipino cocktail waitress. Her name was Regina (which means "queen" in Italian, FYI) and we were best friends. 

Lynne and I on a random night outside the Cellar.

I'm sure there will be many more a post on humor, the emotional aspects of dealing with chronic pain and what's helped ail me in my time of need. As for now, I plan on keeping that insipid envelope forever.

If anyone wants to join me at Pizza Hut on August 27th, 2014, let me know.

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