Oh to be witty

If I’m remembering correctly, one of the theologians I read last semester actually named wit as a virtue. If so, I’m afraid I’m doomed to a lifetime of virtuelessness.

(No, it’s not a word.)

I’ve always wanted to be a funny person. I got plenty of laughs back in the day when I was under 3 feet tall simply because of my inability to shut up. And after all, kids do say the darndest things. Plus I was a bit precocious, if the old videos are any testament.

Somewhere along the line that ability apparently got lost. For shame. I didn’t really realize it til I started my freshman year of high school as an awkward part-time, part-homeschooled student, when I tried desperately to do anything to get noticed. I tried so hard to be hilarious… In retrospect, all I probably did was give the impression that I had Tourette’s and/or some other disability, with my random exclamations in class and my intentional falling off of stools or slamming of appendages in my locker on a near-daily basis. I am baffled by the people who knew me freshman year and still talk to me.

When I started trying to get involved with theater sophomore year, I became even more painfully aware of my lack of clever things to say or do. It happens when you’re surrounded by people who have a superfluity of such things. Theater people, it seems, are somehow naturally funny. All the time. I don’t know how they do it, but I admire them for it.

I quickly realized that the funniness of theater people is not something that can be learned, so I abandoned the pursuit of trying to do so. Instead, I went through a brief phase of trying to emulate the fast-talking, dry-humored characters on Gilmore Girls, then turned my attentions to the “quirky” sort of humor used by people who enjoy Wes Anderson films, who effortlessly and offhandedly spout one-liners that make you cock your head, wondering whether they’re profound or not, who listen to indie music and put together the cleverest ensembles of vintage store finds, who have more than one artsy self-portrait on Facebook, and who use capitalization and punctuation and syntax and wordsrunningtogether in a manner that would make any grammar teacher cringe, but somehow looks like poetry.

To be perfectly honest, the latter sense of humor is still what I aspire to. I find it terribly creative. But sadly, I don’t believe I’m a creative person at heart, at least not in that way.

And I can’t stand Wes Anderson.

Thus, I have resigned myself to my fate as one of the unfunny. Not to say I have the personality of a doorstop, but my sense of humor is rather dry and easily overlooked. Maybe someday I’ll grow into it. But then again, probably not. And really, I am finally okay with that. It makes it that much more worthwhile on the few occasions when I do, unintentionally, manage to make someone laugh .

Oh to be witty

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