I seem to be making all sorts of life connections with movies this week. My productivity levels regarding university work are utterly out the window, only this time because I can’t stop singing the soundtrack of the Barbara Streisand hit “Funny Girl”. As an appendage to my account of Tinderella throwing off both glass slippers at the ball and running out the door, I contemplate if being a funny girl makes “life candy and the sun a ball of butter”. Well Babs, I can’t decide if my parade is being rained all over (maybe someone will get the reference- please?). How does life in practice as the funny girl play out?
If you’ve ever seen the movie, great-it’s wonderful. If not- watch it, it’ll change your life.
A young Fanny Brice (yes Fanny, before it picked up all those lurid connotations) falls in love with Nicky Arnstein. She’s feisty and an absolute hoot who charms Nicky with her humour and brazen attitude to life. We follow her journey as she ascends from chorus girl to Broadway star. She’s certainly not a girl’s girl. She’s rough around the edges and everything she does is hysterical in some way, intentional or otherwise. I’m not the melodic diva she is nor half as attractive,but watching it I felt a lot of similarities in how I’m perceived in terms of relationships and my social life. I’ve been told on numerous occasions, “Nicole, you know what. You make me laugh when you don’t even mean to be funny” by my ladies. And from the male compadres (of a romantic nature) “Nicole, there’s no one quite like you”. And although this would seem a welcome compliment , I know that it’s a synonym for hysterical really. I’ve learnt this over time.
At first in all this I was glad someone thought I was funny. I finally had a word that could be attached officially to a description of “me”. With friends, it makes you feel secure in knowing they’ll always keep you for comedic factor, and in some capacity you’re not readily replaceable. In day-to-day life, it can be a little frustrating. The moments in class discussion where you come out with what you think is a fairly insignificant one liner, and everyone laughs. You think to yourself, am I failing to observe some basic rules of social etiquette that everyone else is in on? Am I just really funny? Do I look funny? Is something on my face? And when you move beyond situations where you’re just dying to be taken seriously like a discussion on politics (funnily enough a prerequisite for participation in my degree) you hit a totally new set of frustrations in relationships.
When you have a talent to present a constant lax attitude to life’s trials and tribulations (whilst harbouring the secret/or not so secret if you know me, that your mind runs at a 100mph), combined with an innate ability to make most grim scenarios light hearted, you’ll know when you try to express how mad you are it rarely is communicated. Especially to a partner in which you’ll get a variation of responses. “You’re so cute when you’re mad” or failing that…they’ll merely laugh. Poor Fanny knows, with how it turned out with that gambling eejit Nicky Arnstein. It really is a double edged sword being the “funny” one.
But for now if i’m keeping everyone entertained, much to my class debating detriment, I’m okay with being the funny girl.