I Used to be Funny... Now I'm Morphing Into an Older Southern Woman
"Remember when you used to be funny?"
The question in the title is something I am asked at least three times a day, especially when I'm posting regularly. It used to annoy me and make me not want to post, but now I shrug, thank them for reaching out, and promise them that I am still funny... I'm just not funny at someone else's expense anymore. Well, I take that back. If they're members of the Trump administration, Old Jenn runs them up the flagpole, because eff 'em. Otherwise, these days I like to make fun of myself and my life first.
A lot of you started following me because I was a snarky reality TV recapper who provided acerbic commentary on celebrity news. I began to hate it five years ago, but limped along until I totally gave it up three years ago after I relocated to Atlanta. I've already written about this, so I'm not going to resurrect an old dead horse in order to flog it some more, but the fact of the matter is, I've basically just changed too much. I tried to get into it again last year because, let's be honest, it's a damn cash cow to write things like that, but I couldn't do it anymore. I can't pick people apart for shits whether they 'deserve' it or not. I find myself watching Bravo for delicious, mindless escapism now. I live for how petty everyone is being on RHOBH this season. Maybe I see too much of myself in these people to poke fun; if you asked me to sit down and recap last night's Vanderpump Rules I would write, "A fun hour of emotionally stunted 30-something functional alcoholics making me laugh as they meander through West Hollywood. Jax looks like he needs to hydrate more. The End."
Last year I called Brittany 'big dumb Brittany' and I cringe looking back because I was big dumb Brittany giving a lout with perhaps a drinking and coke problem too many chances myself. I made fun of LeAnn Rimes and all of her staged happy family nonsense, and I was pretty much doing the same fucking thing on my Instagram projecting a happy curated narrative of a family that was hanging on by its fingernails. HAPPPYYYY FAMMMILLLEEEEE SOOO HAPPPYYYYY.
Barf. It feels gross. And I'm not judging anyone who finds that stuff funny. I listen to Watch What Crappens, and pop in on TMZ every now and then. It's just for me... my humor came from a very dark place back then. I always said you could tell I was having a terrible day, because my recaps would be hilarious and extra snappy. There's a saying that two comedians can't be in a relationship because there's no one to fix the other one.
I don't want to come off as negative or resentful of that time. In fact, I look back on it rather fondly. More good came out of it than bad. The wonderful people who came into my life, the financial boost, working with great editors who sharpened my writing skills, the purpose and distraction it gave me to get through a dark period of my life... I appreciate all of it. I'm only trying to convey that the material I wrote then was from a dark place where my world view didn't reach much past my neighborhood. A lot of life has happened since then, and I've changed. Right now I'm in a place where I want to talk about my real life stuff good and bad. A year from now I might be really into crafts or something.
Now THAT would be funny. Me, a glue gun, and a vision.
For now, I'm going to write about my life as a hustling TV/fiction writer running a boutique digital media firm, living my life as it is right now. I only write for one person reading... you. I only need to clear $32 a month to pay for website and podcast hosting fees, so there's no need to curate anything for the masses to devour. This is the blog I've always wanted to write, just you and I engaged in a conversation.
So now let me tell you about how I am morphing into an old Southern woman. I am basically a wide brimmed straw hat, a pair of white culottes, and a mint julep from the point of no return. It's getting serious, folks.
Before I begin writing about my descent into Southern culture, let me tell you what happened on Saturday afternoon when I encountered an older Southern woman in the Aldi parking lot. She was gloriously decked out in the usual uniform of culottes, a floral shirt, straw golf visor, and a full face of makeup with eyebrows that would make Joan Crawford envious.
I was fresh out of a yoga/meditation class looking like a chewed up piece of gum in athleisure. A complete Yankee disgrace.
As I'm loading up my car with groceries, I hear, "Hello, what color is your hair?!" said in a tone that was half question/half accusation and I was immediately terrified I was in trouble for something. She marched up to me and asked again, "Sweetheart, what color is your hair?!"
Well, now I've completely lost the ability to speak and think. "Uh...um...it's a color called light brown auburn."
"Step into the sun so I can get a better look at it, dear." which looks sweet on paper, but trust me, it was barked out like General Patton.
I stepped into the sun, where she further examined my hair, "Well, honey, there isn't much brown to that, it looks like a true red to me. Who is this color by?"
"I just got it done yesterday at the salon, I think it's Wella 'light brown auburn', that's what it said on the card, anyway." I think I started shaking at this point as I questioned every decision I have ever made up until this moment.
"Wellllluhhhhh, huh? Well, you can't buy that in the stores. If you want to wash some of that red out, go get yourself some Prell. Takes the color right out! Have a nice day, dear."
I'm not sure what happened in that exchange. All I know is that Southern witchcraft of the scold/compliment/critique/advice was just done to me in an Aldi parking lot. Mostly I'm amazed they still make Prell shampoo.
I haven't perfected the art of approaching total strangers, but I feel like I'm well on my way because I have found myself drawn to hideous florals this Spring. If it looks like a sofa cover made in 1922, I must have it. I am giddy with excitement that it will soon be warm enough to wear my Kelly green floral sundress. I don't faint at the sight of a Vera Bradley bag, and almost regret selling my collection (they used to be a sponsor, and I wound up with a ton of them) to an older Southern woman last year.
I bought a paisley, you read that right, a fucking paisley one piece bathing suit now that my black one is too big for me. I usually wear a baseball cap in the sun, because fair with freckles, and I'm thinking maybe a straw hat would be super cute this summer? Maybe I can tell the teens at the pool flirting to leave enough room for Jesus between them?
I actually do own a pair of chambray culottes Louis made me put in the back closet never to be seen again. But I'm kind of craving their functionality and how they keep you so cool.
If this keeps up, they're going to stage an intervention or FedEx me back up to Chicago until I get my mind right while they burn the hideous things I have purchased.
Except the chambray culottes. I'm smuggling them with me. GIVE ME COOL COMFORT OR GIVE ME DEATH.
Well, it's time to pack my tacky rose gold suitcase full of tacky floral things and hit the road. Tomorrow? Chattanooga to meet with the media company handling my projects. I think Dallas is happening next week, because there's some crossing and dotting that has to happen, first. It's Tuesday, and that's usually movie night because AMC has $5 admission (I'll always be cheap), but I think I'm going to skip movie night and get in a yoga class, instead. I haven't been able to get much in the way of skating in, because of the weather and now with my travel schedule, that's another thing that has to get worked out. Ahhhh....life... it's always something.
Here's where I run out of things to talk about. Have a lovely day, and get yourself something floral.