I’m Pretty Disappointing In Person

A few I Ask Advice Columns ago, I took questions and one stood out to me. Mostly because it’s like A THOUSAND questions. And I like that in a person.

Shannon of Comments from a Non-Blogger asks:

Are you this funny in person? Is it hard for you to come up with funny stuff or do weird, random things happen to you so often that you just have to write about it? Do you feel pressure to always be funny or does it just come naturally? I know you have written some pretty serious stuff here, too, but you always come back to funny (I love reading both sides of you, btw), which is cool but is it hard (especially when things aren’t going well for you at the time)?

Since I will be attending my first Richmond Social Media Club event tonight, I felt like it was only fair to warn you. I’m pretty disappointing in person.

Like not really that funny. I’m still nice and honest. And awkward. But hilarious? Nope.

Oh sure, I can throw a zinger in here or there. But you need to be funny first. Or NOT mean to be funny. You know, set me up. Like volleyball. But without the falling on the floor. Or the knee pads. Although if I wore knee pads to the SMC event, I’d probably fake fall at least once just to try them out. I wonder if I can get a knee pad sponsor. Because even in this economy you can’t skimp on knee pads. That’s just WRONG. Knees have enough of a hard time with all that extra skin and everyone is always complaining: MY KNEES HURT. OH GOD I CAN’T WALK. IT’S GOING TO RAIN. I HAVE TOO MUCH CARTILAGE. WHERE’S MY PATELLA?

But since being so disappointing also means a plethora of pathetic conversations, it’s fairly easy to blog about all the crazy, random crap that I keep ending up KNEE HIGH IN. (It’s called SEO, guys, get used to it. I’m pretty sure SEO is like She Eats Otters, the old Eskimo saying about not letting go of a joke. also references writing blogs really really late at night.) And every story I tell here is true. We really DO have an apocalyptic water supply. I often spy on my neighbors (I haven’t written that post yet but I have pictures! Of me. Spying. Not of them. Stop being creepy.) I actually didn’t realize how strange this might be until I started writing it down.

After I realized that I COULD write the funny (since I don’t consider myself hilarious in person, this was mostly surprising. To my husband. Thanks Scott.), I felt a heart-crushing pressure to be funny. Which pretty much guarantees NOT FUNNY. Unless you WRITE about the heart crushing leading to death…. death by blogging. Although death is kinda difficult to make funny. I did mix funny and cancer once. But it was in order to save the earth people. Plus it stressed me out for like a week.

When I am struggling in my life, it IS hard to be funny. I don’t want to be fake. EVER. The honesty on my blog is more important to me than funny or well-written or interesting or readers or anything. If I stop being honest, WHO CARES about the rest? It’s not real anymore. It’s not MY BLOG. It’s like the fake Alex’s blog. Early is Awesome. Written by Bizzaro Alex. Who may be really funny in person. WTH! I HATE HER!

And during those times, I’ll sit at my computer, frustrated because WHERE ARE ALL MY WORDS? And after a few days of writing and hating it and writing and hating it, I’ll realize that I have something serious to write about that’s getting all up in my funny writing’s business. (biz-NAS) So now I have to dredge up and sort through all the feelings because I don’t want to just dump a semi-coherent mess in your lap that will probably stain your shirt. It’s just rude.

But I’m pretty good at not taking myself too seriously which makes the serious writing more difficult to KEEP serious. And is why my blog is more humor than anything else.

I do, from time to time, dread hitting publish. I want to hide the post, whether funny or serious, from the world. But usually I’m peaking through my fingers hoping my friends find my words and heart and life and laughter and share it with me.

I worry that I’m too weird. Or too honest. Or too awful.

And then you and others come and tell me I’m pretty weird but you love me anyway. Or at least laugh. With me. Mostly.

And that keeps me writing. And laughing. And being grateful that my weird and awkward had made me late enough most of my life.

I was just waiting for a place to put it.

So thank you.

Or the answer is seven, Shannon.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

20 thoughts to “I’m Pretty Disappointing In Person”

  1. I find that blogging is the perfect place to put all those delicious comebacks that only occur to you AFTER the idiot has left the building.

    I’m not really this witty in real life, either. Mostly shy and disinterested.

  2. Yay! Thanks for answering my (thousand) questions, Alex! 🙂

    “If I stop being honest, WHO CARES about the rest?” – Amen, sista! Your honesty is what I love the most about you. And you are definitely weird, but not *too* weird. You’re a cute kind of weird. And you are FAR from awful. You are awesome!

    You may not be as funny in person, but I’m sure you’re not disapointing. Have fun tonight!

  3. Agree with KLZ, normality is just that – normal. And the whole being in person thing is overrated. Keep blogging hard and you’re certain to win everyone’s affection, whether you want it or not 🙂

  4. Disappointing? I’m sure you’re not. I like that our words here are distilled, concentrated. But real life, it’s better. Even if less funny or direct or whatever.

  5. I’m WAY more funny, hip, and cool here than I am in real life. I would be a disappoint to meet too, I’m sure!!

    I love your writing and your funny and your awkwardness…you’re relatable and that means you are real – and I’m sure that all comes across in person, as well.

  6. I like weird and honest and heartfelt and funny. KLZ is right, normal sucks. Your writing always seems so effortless so it’s comforting to know (not to you obviously) that you work on your writing so diligently and that you wrestle with the words.

  7. Loved reading this. I’m always curious what bloggers are like in real life. (But sometimes I like that mystery, you know? How disappointing to learn that you, in real life, actually = 7. Just kidding.) You have such a strong blogging VOICE that I can’t imagine at least some of that doesn’t translate to real life, too! But maybe that’s the curse of being a writer–people feel like they know you before they actually do.

    It’s interesting the pressures that come with writing, too. I just blogged about that, kind of. Indirectly I guess. It’s always comforting to know how others feel the same way. I know you also write poetry, and I’m curious–do you feel really different pressures in your blog-writing and poetry? Do you separate them a lot? Or does it all come from the same place for you?

    Hope the social media event went well! 🙂 That sounds so awesome. (But also kind of like my introvert self’s worst nightmare. I’m hoping you blog about it so I can indirectly experience it without having to go to something similar myself!)

    1. So a lot of people tell me that I’m exactly the same on my blog as in person. But no one says: but not as funny. Although I’m pretty sure that’s true. Because I also get a lot of, I didn’t know you were this funny, from people who knew me pre-blog.

      Blogging and writing and poetry all feel different to me. Like different genres perhaps? I couldn’t write poems daily unless I had eight uninterrupted hours and I’d probably have half a poem. I can write a blog post, add graphics and get it published in three.

      They all come from the same place and I can clearly see some of my poetry play-off my blogging. It’s why I mess with grammar and punctuation so much. To force pauses because in poetry I can just do line breaks. But I’m very sensitive to the rhythm of a post.

      But the styles are so different. Poetry is so subtle. Blogging isn’t.

      Now this is like another post! Oops!

  8. Agree, agree, like, like, follow, follow … all of the comments, and of course the post. Social media and blogging have served a wonderful purpose to bring us BACK together. The isolation I see (and have experienced) as a mom in today’s world is counter-intuitive to how far we have come technologically.

    We are all feeling our way along – awkwardly and nervously, and your honest posts are likely doing more than you know, Alex. Keep it up!!

    And keep attending social media events –

  9. I’m SO SO SO glad you linked to this post – I’ve completely falled in love with you. It turns out we might be the same person.

    I had the exact same thing when people started telling me my writing was funny and I went through a whole frick-how-are-you-funny-when-trying-to-be-funny crisis.

    Plus I pick my nose a lot.

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