Monday, January 23, 2012

The Funny...not so funny...valedictorian

It was graduation day…1981.  I arrived at the event with friends and family members including my mother,  father and his sister Kate who was here from Ireland.  As we waited we chatted and then went to a room, where a bar and drinks were available.  I am still trying to figure out where this could have been; after all, we were at a college graduation.  Was the graduation at some special venue in Dobbs Ferry, Yonkers or New York?  I don’t know.

Well, the special time approached and I had a special place to be.  See, I was the class valedictorian, so I couldn’t sit with the students or with my family.

I made my way onstage for my presentation at some point…don’t remember if this was before or after we got our diplomas.  I do know I did the best I could up there and I did my little prepared speech.  So typical of all the valedictorian speeches made every year.

I got through it somehow and it was over before I knew it.  It’s always nerve racking to talk before big groups of people…and there were over a 1000 in the audience.  But, as usual, once I got up and introduced myself I warmed up and felt perfectly comfortable.

After, my father said to me, “You know, you’re not very funny.”  I think he was trying to tell me I didn’t make him laugh, so of course, I couldn’t have made anyone else laugh and he just needed to let me know that.  I don’t know why. 

Was I stupid…had I made a fool of myself?  I   probably shouldn’t try to be funny before big audiences again.  I don’t know.  But it wasn’t the kindest thing anyone said to me although far from the worst said, at least in my family.  It was pretty much something I should have expected.  My mother wasn’t too impressed either, but neither of them ever was…whatever I did was never really good enough somehow.  Oh, well, what are you going to do?

And the funny thing is...I still keep trying to be funny, I’ll make a joke about anything, mostly about myself…and then later I feel terrible because I know I’m not funny…couldn’t be…that’s what he said.

Ta da, so sad, so bad,
who cares, oh well,
such is life as I always say.

Copywrite Patabit

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