I am woman, hear me laugh
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I love being a woman. There are, of course, moments when this is not entirely true. But overall I love being a woman. The pros so outweigh the cons.
I have yet to experience hot flashes, so I could stand corrected.
I love that I’ve kept at comedy even though I hear men say preposterous things like “Women aren’t funny.” This obviously is a generalization. Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Madeline Kahn are historical proof to dispute this theory.
Unfortunately I’ve heard more than one man say this in my last four years doing stand-up, both to my face and second-hand, so said conclusion has not been an isolated incident. I wish I could say men aren’t funny but the blue team has Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman and Charlie Chaplin on their team.
I’m a sucker for slapstick.
This doesn’t mean I keep at joke-telling out of spite. Although spite can be some serious motivation. Many marriages have been forged from it. I just think the funniest women of my family – on my maternal side that includes my late great-grandmother, several great-aunts, my aunt and my mother – would want that.
Growing up around these women, I mostly remember laughter. The ladies would congregate in my great-grandmother Ruth Wilson’s little kitchen in Illinois and talk about life. There were many impressions and stories about the men in their lives. Little did they know, the men were often the punch lines. Take that for funny. These ladies would have made a great reality TV series.
The Real Housewives of Effingham County.
They were traditional in their roles – most were stay-at-home moms married for decade after decade who made the best fried chicken and mashed potatoes that side of the Mississippi. They knew how to make supper for the masses, sew on buttons, care for sick kids and husbands, balance checkbooks, till a garden, grow gorgeous flowers and paint trim on the garage. Best of all, they kept a sweet sense of humor all the while they were doing it.
I know I find a lot of humor in my checkbook.
When I think about my great-grandmothers, great-aunts, grandmother, aunt and mother, I know they’ve been paving my life’s way for decades. I know that through all the marriages, births, divorces, death, and all life’s events in between, they have remained tough. And funny. I love that they were strong and committed to their families, and that they always knew best.
Even though the fathers got most of the credit for it.
I love being a woman because I know my mom always knew best, and that’s she’s passed that on to me as her daughter. Sometimes she may wonder but it’s there, Mom, I promise. I’m hoping more of my internal maternal instincts really kick in as I approach 40. I know I wouldn’t go back to being in my 20s.
Except for maybe my 20-year-old self’s jean size.
A woman isn’t required by nature’s law to have kids to have those maternal instincts. I know I have them, though, from the way I love my best friend’s kids like they’re my own to taking care of my dogs, especially my aging one who constantly reminds me that old dogs can learn new tricks.
Nowhere in those scenarios can I include changing thousands of diapers, lacking so much sleep I’ve felt like a zombie, or dealing with a super-tantrum meltdown at the grocery store. I did stay up many nights when Elwood was a puppy because he cried all night when I first brought him home. He very much wanted me to rock him to sleep at night.
I gather the potty training was much easier, too.
From motherly instincts to estrogen-charged humor, I have many reasons I love being a woman. Too many to list here. Luckily this month, as part of the Supporting Women Artists Now (SWAN) art events in Carbondale, I’ll be able to joke around this Sunday and show that women are funny, no matter what the guys say.
My instincts tell me so.
April E. Clark wishes Kendra and Dane a wonderful life of wedded bliss starting now. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@ yahoo.com.
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