We must learn to love ourselves. Self-help books tell us that, and why would their authors lie to us? Loving ourselves is a nice thing to do.
It seems to me that this idea extends to self-deprecating humor. It’s a way of controlling any jokes made at our expense by making our own jokes first, before anyone else can say anything. Making our own selves the butt of funniness is easy. We have an insider’s knowledge about our own lives. We don’t have to do any research, which makes self-deprecating humor easy. All we have to do is remember something, then exaggerate and lie about it until we have people in stitches. That’s the way to do it.
Self-deprecating humor is funny, too.
Well, a lot of it is funny. Let’s just leave it at that.
Okay. In the spirit of renewal and love of myself, I hereby resolve to give up making myself the subject of funny writing. I will treat myself with dignity. This won’t be easy. It will mean rearranging a few brain cells, and my brain cells don’t like to be moved around. They aren’t comfortable where they are, but they prefer to stay there.
There I go again! Dammit!
Let’s start again. I, Kathy Minicozzi, resolve to give myself nothing but respect and honor, and never to make jokes about myself. I have to give myself respect and honor, because if I don’t give it to myself I won’t get any. Just ask anyone sitting next to me on a subway train, especially if I have just squeezed into an empty spot on the seat and that empty spot is about half the size of my rear end. Fortunately, I don’t do this very often, because I am still alive.
AAAACCCCKKKK! Stop it, Kathy!
I can do this! I can write a whole funny piece without even once making fun of myself. I will not mention aging. I will not mention that I am fat. Nobody has to know that I spoil my cat. My cat knows me as “Mommy,” and she winds me around her little front paw. I think it’s the right front paw that I am wound around. She carries duct tape with her, just to use it on me. She cements her control over me by giving me just enough doses of purring, cuddling, nose nudges and leg rubs to give me the idea that she loves me.
Oh, I give up!
I’m going to go into the kitchen and get some comfort food.
Kathy Minicozzi is the author of “Opera For People Who Don’t Like It,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.