The Unfunniest Of The Funny


I squirm a bit when I write about my insecurities. Not because I am afraid of exposing myself. I’ve proven, over and over again, that I’m willing to share some dark or personal shit. I squirm because I fear writing about my insecurities reeks of begging for validation.

When I say ‘afraid’ I mean ‘afraid tinged with shame’. The more I learn about myself and explore the reasons why I am who I am, I realize that shame has  harmed me more than any other emotion. Guilt ranks a close second.

Shame still makes me want to hide in shadows. I am trying hard to beat that bitch into submission.

That being said, I considered my ‘place’ in the world of funny bloggers.

I have no doubt that I connect with people and that I get laughs. Hell, on occasion, I even make myself laugh. Not often though.

Mostly, I don’t find what I write to be particularly funny. What I write is a dump from my brain to your eyes. These are just my thoughts and they are mostly neither funny or unfunny. I have come to recognize, however, that other people find them funny.

But I digress.

I read what other people write and they can be so goddamn hilarious. Just the kernel of the idea in so many of these posts are brilliant. I read these posts and think to myself What are you fucking doing? You are not that funny. These people. Fucking hell, these people are hilarious. 

So I decided, this morning, that I belong in the ‘unfunniest of the funny’ blogger category.

I sat outside on my deck in striped pajamas that look like a clown suit. They used to be flannel pajamas, but they are so old, that they’ve aged to a perfect soft, worn patina. Anyway, I sat there, drinking coffee and considered my place. That’s not a bad place, really. I mean, at least I’m willing to admit I’m funny. That’s a goddamn improvement.

I berated myself for feeling envious of other writers. Really? This is what you’re going to spend your energy on? Worrying about not being as funny as someone else? Perhaps you should show a touch more gratitude toward the life you have. Sure, it’s not fancy compared to many humans in the US, but world wide? You live like a queen. 

I considered the envy a Congolese woman might feel toward the woman in the next home. She only had to watch two of her three children starve to death and die. I had to watch all my children die. Why should she still get to keep a child?

I felt bad, petty, and small-minded. I felt ashamed of myself for feeling sorry for myself for such a stupid reason when there are people truly suffering on this planet.

Then I stopped.

My emotions can only be born of my experience.

I can’t funnel my emotions through the planet’s collective experience. I carry enough of the world’s weight on my shoulders. I don’t fucking need all of it.

It occurred to me that when I feel ashamed of how I feel, that I shove those feelings back in their box and ignore them. I’ve never been good with a hammer and a nail, but I excel at internal carpentry. My internal masonry work is impressive as well. I’ve been building these walls and nooks and crannies for years.

I’m never going to deal with this shit if I keep boxing it up. Instead of telling myself why I shouldn’t feel envious, I should examine why I feel envious. Perhaps, acknowledging these feelings as a part of me could help me to on work changing them.

Or maybe, I’m full of shit. I’m still working that out as well.


I’ve also been featured on The Huffington Post, they posted my ‘menses magic’ article and on Mock Mom where I am talking about the battle between knitters and crocheters. Please leave a comment if you have a second. I hate it it when there are no comments on articles that I submit elsewhere.

Randy also put a ‘like’ button on my blog. You should click it. It dispenses candy.

I’m lying about the candy.


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  • Oh, Michelle, I am not a stranger to internal masonry. It’s funny though how the emotions seep through cracks inappropriately in the most awful and unlikely situations. Go girl, let the walls come crumbling down.

  • Oh, honey! I know you said you don’t want validation…but tough shit, ’cause I’m giving you some anyway. I adore your blog! A friend of mine in Amsterdam contacted me awhile back and asked for blogs to surf during her lunch break…I gave her yours, the Bloggess and Hyperbole and a Half. That’s who I categorize you with…and that’s some fine company indeed.
    I hope one day my blog grows up and is as popular as yours is.
    Love you! Mean it!

  • Internal masonry…love it! I’m guilty of it too. Also, the comparing funny part! I feel ya sista, but we just have to keep keepin’ on the way we know how. Thanks for revealing 🙂

    • I don’t doubt that it’s full of shit and mean spirited and a pain in my ass…

      And thank you..I love the way you write, so it means so much to me for you to say that. 🙂

  • Michelle, I think you can keep developing your niche. There is writing that only you can do–so do it. Focusing on others only keeps us from working on ourselves. Thanks for sharing your feelings so honestly.

  • You just voiced what so many of us feel but don’t verbalize for fear of looking petty or small. Your writing is a gift, and you need to share it. You have validation each time you get a read or a comment, and there is not a thing wrong with that. We are all seeking it, my friend.

  • Envy is your friend.

    I know that for saying that I should have the shit beaten out of me until my insides are cleaner than factory fresh PVC pipe, but I think that just the right amount of envy is good for you. You have an innate talent for being funny–at least you’ve made me laugh so hard my coworkers gathered around my cubicle to insist I share with the rest of the class, and I like to think I know what’s funny. Anyway that envy is driving you to use your talent and prompting you to be better. And sometimes you can put it back in its box. Otherwise you’d be paralyzed.

    Keep taking it out when you need it and putting it back before it stops being useful. You can’t carry the burden of the world, but you are making the world a better place. And I hit that “Like” button. Give me some more candy.

  • a LIKE button? – oh no – you are going to be fretting over that in no time.
    Also I noticed you have 666 others in your community. 666? Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Plus I hit the like button. No candy, but hope springs eternal.

  • Internal masonry. I like that. It’s so descriptive. I know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I can’t help noticing the people who are smarter, thinner, and funnier than me. Maybe someone envies me for being smarter, thinner, or funnier than them?

  • I was promised candy…

    Personally, I love your writing. I love how honest and wry it is. I love that it can make me laugh, even when I am having ALL THE GD FEELS.
    I realize that my saying, “Don’t beat yourself up” is probably somewhat like having a random stranger on the street say, “you should smile!”
    Instead, I will just say that I check my Reader every chance I get and am *always* excited to see a RSiH post.

    Except for today. That clown picture is fucking *wrong*, Michelle.

    Clowns… ::JIBBLIES::

  • When I started my blog six years ago, I was working, taking long walks, and in pretty good shape. Now I have a stitch in one hip, arthritis, and had cataract surgery. Is this the price we pay to make others laugh? Even though hubby thinks my time would be better spent doing housework, it’s worth it.
    Now for that free candy. . .

  • The thing is…yours is not just a humor blog. You also share your feelings and process, and while those things aren’t necessarily funny, they resonate with a LOT of people. Most humor bloggers go for the funny all of the time. You aren’t one of those people, but when you do go for the funny, yours is among the most clever and hysterical out there. Your serious stuff is raw, observant and sharp. You are the best of both worlds, so stop comparing yourself to those who do either one type or the other. You rock no matter what you write. Why else would you have so many faithful readers and invitations to write for the big guys? xo

    P.S. When I pressed the like button I assumed that you would be the one getting the candy. I may be a bit dim, but at least I wasn’t disappointed.

    • Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much this means to me because I truly don’t see what other people see…I’m trying, though.

      ANd the candy was AWESOME. haha

  • You make me laugh and you have made me laugh on days when there was nothing to laugh about, so you are damn funny!

    But where’s my candy? I want my candy!

  • Envy works OK if you can manage to get inspiration from it and not bitterness. Your writing speaks for itself. If I was on Facebook, I would like the holy hell out of this, but I’m not. I once read a post of yours aloud to Briana, and she was laughing so hard that it took her three tries to ask me who it was I was reading. I think that may be what inspired her to download your videos and bring them to me. Either way, I always look forward to your posts, and I could almost swear that I commented the other day about your 666 followers being appropriate for a blog that calls itself Rubber Shoes in Hell, but maybe I dreamed it instead?

  • Not sure what happened with everyone else, but I got a Peanut Butter cup from your dispensary like button. Guess I am way too special. Or a liar. An envious liar. Gimme that damn candy you ate.

  • Well now, that was a brain dump! I’ll sip my wine while you go fetch a bum-wipe to clean yourself off – BECAUSE AT FIRST YOU KINDA DUMPED ON YOURSELF, M! Why you do that?? Because we all (ok, most of us) do the same damn thing! That’s why we read you/get you/appreciate-envy your girl-balls! (Lazy me says, “what Karen wrote, okay?”) The gist of your writing illuminates what many of us struggle with, and while we read and nod it’s kinda nice to laugh a little – or a lot. You put your thoughts out there, you establish a place. Your place. Who fucking cares who’s to your left or right? I’m just thinking about your words and how they resonate with me, not whether they’re more or less clever than anyone else’s. If they didn’t mean anything to us, we wouldn’t keep reading and commenting, right? I don’t think of you first as a writer of humor, but you make me laugh. I think it would be easier to just go for the laughs, actually. (“…beat that bitch into submission” jumped out at me. Not funny at all.)
    Wanna know a secret? Way back when some up-tight folks across the planet wanted to build a fence – no, better than a fence, something that would last a few thousand years – in a place we call China, someone thought to contact me (in an earlier incarnation) for the blueprints. Yup. True story. Damn my wine-flavoured loose lips!

    • This…this is the best comment. Thank you so much. I don’t write down everything I think, because that would be too fucking weird and mildly masochistic, but I do try to always come from a place of truth. and sometimes, the truth is goddamn hilarious.

    • I will!

      I worked on a new post for Mock Mom tonite and I like it a lot. Of course, that doesn’t mean they will, but so far, I am two for two with them and I like this one the best so far.

  • Oh, Envy – the lime green monster! I also struggle with this more than I’d like to admit. But the very fact that you talk about this shit is the reason I love you – because I can relate and it makes me feel less alone and less crazy. It is your writing that let me get to know you (since we’ve not yet met in person – which we need to rectify one day). I think the best kind of funny is the nearly unintentional funny – you are just telling the story like you’d tell the story if I was sitting next to you. You just ARE wry, witty, sarcastic, and sometimes vulnerable – you don’t have to “put on airs” or anything – you just are real. I think that is why so many people feel a connection to you.

  • I get that too – wondering if I’m funny or interesting enough. Then I worry that if I worry about that it will make me fall into the trap of writing in someone else’s voice.
    Ah, the writer/comedian’s struggle… 😉

  • Hey, you remember that time I said you were a writer and you should keep up the being of one? I’m fairly sure that you write because of the neuroses; to vent, to share, to keep pressure from building up, to try and get a laugh or to not. Regardless, you are a writer because of who you are. Part of who you are is that perfect combination of oddities and quirks that makes people like me subscribe to your blog…you know a text-based representation of you.

    I may be missing the point though.

  • I told a friend to day that we all get tripped up on the crazy fiction in our own heads that just waits to trip us up. If we don’t fight to overcome it we will never be able to achieve our dreams. In your crazy mixed up way your are a lot funny than most. There’s something to be said for honest humor.

  • My friend, you have made me laugh and you have made me cry. You are a writer who can move in the circles of all the worlds and the best thing about you? Your honesty and the fact that you are so easy to relate to. I’m always excited to see a post from you in my inbox and happy as all hell that I found you, through Beth I think. It’s been a blessing and one of these days I may actually have the privilege of meeting you in person. Keep writing. I’m going to keep reading.

By Michelle

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