The Funny One

Mrs. G. mentioned in yesterday's post that she was skeptical of popularity, and she is. Maybe it's because she spent her youth on its periphery. While popularity was her desired bright lights and big city of destination, Mrs. G. resided squarely in the suburb of pretty close but no cigar. She wasn't unpopular; she was just there...involved, mostly nice, no trouble, perfectly fine. She was always invited to the party, but she didn't, you know, own it, own the party.

When she went to high school, Mrs. G. had a good time. She had plenty of friends--she ran cross country and was a successful debater. She was a brain, but an affable, social brain. It's true Mrs. G. had sensational hair, but she was short and stocky and wore glasses. She wasn't deferential. She was cute enough but not in hot hot. Mrs. G. thinks you know exactly what she means. It didn't take her long to figure out that she needed to be funny. She needed to have a great personality so that the hot hot people would occasionally invite her out with them...for entertainment purposes. She could make them laugh while they looked beautiful. She was the cute, nonthreatening and funny friend.

One of the advantages of being a girl with the good personality in high school was that Mrs. G. had no trouble getting dates. She was a guaranteed good time-gracious and grateful and drama free-ish. If there was a dance, Mrs. G. was there with one of her many guy friends. Dancing and laughing and dancing some more. Her dates were charming and funny. They gave her the most amazing gardenia corsages and helped her fluff up her hair when the humidity of the dance floor made it droop. They were kind and respectful and, Mrs. G. found out a few years later to her authentic surprise, mostly gay. She's not sure who was deeper in the closet. It never occurred to her once that maybe there was nevery any funny business because they weren't really into her business. By her sophomore year in college, Mrs. G. came to realize that she might have been... no, in fact, she was the most popular date of the gays in her high school. She often wonders if they took numbers. And while it's true that she didn't brush up against love and lust until later in college, she also didn't come home disappointed or pregnant. It wasn't a bad gig.

Mrs. G. never really felt bad that she wasn't hot hot. She is a genuine believer in the American Dream and making the most of what you've got--she didn't sit around too much wishing for longer legs or cheekbones...that is until she got a flat tire in Northeast Portland in 1986. She pulled her car over to the side of the road and hoofed it to a phone booth to call her friend Beth. Beth said she was on her way, so Mrs. G. went back, leaned against the hood of her car and watched the rush hour traffic go by-car after car after car. Beth showed up a short while later. She had barely pulled her six footed, blue eyed, creamy skinned, down-to-the-waist blonde haired body out of her car and walked six steps toward Mrs. G. before a guy in a red Jeep pulled over and jumped out to offer his assistance. Mrs. G, who had been standing on the side of the road for over thirty minutes, watched this scene unfold in slow motion and realized that there was only one thing she could do. Be funnier.

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Reader Comments (76)

OMG. I was first. FIRST! FIRST! FIRST!

Not that I'm competitive or anything, I'm really not.

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheri @ Blog This Mom!

I bet Beth doesn't get as many comments on her blog as you do. Beauty only last so long; funny is forever.


June 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheri @ Blog This Mom!

I think I'll print this out and put it in my daughters' scrapbooks.

*Have fun.
*Don't come home pregnant.

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Ah, popularity. If you got invited to the parties then I would have thought of you as popular when I was in high school. I did not go to parties. I didn't even know there were parties! I was reading while everyone else was socializing. It was so much safer.

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGinaagain

I would be third but that damn Cheri made two comments!

Not that I'm competitive or anything. I'm really not.

I was hot and now I'm not. It was fun while it lasted, but really not that big a deal. I really can't stand women that can't let the hotness go . . . in fact I've had a post idea knocking around my head about just that subject.

I think I'm now inspired to write said post. Inspired by whom you ask? Not Beth.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

I bet you were friendly-funny, lovable. I developed biting, sarcastic wit. One of my guy "friends" told me that they classified me as a "ball-buster" in the guys' locker room.

Heh. I was proud. :)

You ran cross country! That is so cool! Well, not cool cool, but, well, all the brainiacs ran cross country. Were you in marching band?

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura/CenterDownHome

Can I be the first gal in the world to be both HOT and FUNNY????

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkalurah

Well, now you are funny and hot hot. So it's win/win really.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhippyhappyhay

What a hilarious post!

I too netted most of the gay men at my school and continue to be a gay icon into my 30s for whatever reason (probably because they recognise a fellow square peg!)

I get LOADS of looks from men and used to kid myself I must be *hotter* than I thought. Now I realise to my dismay it is merely because I am quite tall and unusual looking and it takes them a full minute to make that 'would I, wouldn't I?' guy decision - which I used to confuse with unadulterated lust!

But hey, our hot personalities will endure long after the hot blondes are investing in cheek-bone bras.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Poet Laura-eate

A short story;
I was in P-town with a bunch of friends. It was a hot day and we were all hanging out by the pool. Soon, a bunch of woman joined us. One of the was super hot. So hot that I turned my chair away from her because I couldn't stop staring at her and I didn't want her to think I was an odd stocker kind of person. After awhile, me and my friends began talking to her and her friends. It took me about 15 seconds to figure out that this super hot woman was super dumb. Suddenly she was so not hot.
Mrs. G, I will take a smart and funny girl over a "hot" girl any day!

I've always thought funny was hot. It's why I married my husband-he mad me laugh. It's also his saving grace 21 years later-he still does.

Beauty-skin deep.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRudee

Cheri's right - funny is forever.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chili

Funny is SO much better than bitter!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

They had parties in high school? huh. I was soooo shy that if a guy even glanced my way, I'd just curl up and die. Sigh...I'm glad I got over that!

Beauty is only skin deep, funny is forever.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusan

We have both bases covered at my house.
I'm the funny one - he's the good looking one.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblackbird

I bet Beth also isn't getting recognized because she is a famous and hilarious blogger at oh...say... the massage therapist's office.

You and I totally could have hung out in high school. With our gay dates. I never made a connection there before. They were always great to go shopping with. I loved that!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I've always been the plain, funny gay magnet. Ironically, I thought Very David certainly had to be gay because why else would he want to hang out with me? Secretly, I imagine that he'll come out to me one of these days. And that's the day I move to the Women's Colony.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteri am very mary

Party? Never went to them in high school or Jr. High. I hung around with different kids in different schools, as we moved around a lot, but never made it anywhere near the middle. But I ended up with a great guy any way.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I was never invited to parties or any dance ... not even my senior prom. I wasn't popular or hot. So I created the "too cool for school" 'tude to cover the disappointments.

Now I see I am a total loser, even overlooked by gays!

=) Humor always trumps hot!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

oh what a wonderful post.

I think I used to be pretty hot but I didn't much like the fact given that I was not greatly into men. Women never seemed to consider me hot! But I am certainly hot no longer - luke-warm at best.

I think that a good sense of humour is the best trait you can look for in either friend or mate. I guess it's just harder to identify when you are driving past in a car!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterReluctant Blogger

I was the funny one in high school, too. This post resonated for me in so many ways!!! My husband loves funny, and over time, he's convinced me that I get better with age.

The hot girls in high school? They've already peaked. I know, because I've been to my 20 year high school reunion and left very, very happy.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermarymurtz

My sister has avoided (how many??) speeding tickets because of her big boobs. I simply don't speed.
I think your high school experience was wonderful. And a great sense of humour never sags - it can defy gravity.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Wow, you got asked to dances? I guess popularity has degrees and you are certainly one up on me. I planned our senior prom and didnt get asked. My nickname in High school was "Virg" (as in virgin) and I never had a date til after I graduated. I was somewhat more popular in college, where I finally bloomed (whatever that means, maybe the guys had better taste?) Rest assured that you were apparently not only hotter than I was but no doubt funnier too.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Grace

Bet Beth isn't funny!

I feel like I was you at college too!

Oh to have been hot!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHen

Most of the hot cheerleaders from my high school now look leathery and older than they are due to all that time they spent baking themselves in the sun's cancerous rays.

I, on the other hand, did not and I look younger than they do.

No that I'm keeping track or anything. No, that would be petty.

Funny and smart win over over good looking all the time.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenontheedge

Yeppers... You may have been close but no cigar, I was never even close.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCircus Kelli

Alas, I was also the funny girl, the girl with the "great personality" and I wanted to be the stunningly hot girl with all my heart.

But somewhere in my late 20's I figured out that "hot" really comes from someplace inside you and that being funny can be very very hot.

Now I'm tryin to figure out middle-aged and funny...

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Other Laura

I was one of the nice girls too, and never thought of myself as popular. But after I graduated, everywhere I went I would run into people that remembered me from high school and I had no clue who they were. I was some kind of band geek celebrity apparently.

I had a lot of guy friends in high school too, and most of them turned out to be gay. But I always though that was because I grew up in Palm Springs, and that's just the way things are there. Something's in the mineral water.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMemarie Lane

My mother once told me, while I was crying about not being CUTE like the popular elementary school girls, "You're not cute. You're pretty. There is a difference. You will understand when you are older."

Cute doesn't age. Hot doesn't age. Pretty ages.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstanding still

Bunches of years after I had graduated from high school, I ran into a guy who had been a good friend way back then. He told me that he owed me an apology--he had felt guilty for all those years because he didn't invite me to a big party he had. I was too smart and funny and he wanted to seem cool. Guilt is the gift that keeps giving.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdebra

I knew about the parties...I either heard of their plans on Thursday or Friday, or I heard of the outcomes on Monday; regardless, I was never invited. I was neither hot nor funny.

Wait a second here... A date without lust, and no chance of coming home pregnant? Sounds like a perfect dating plan, preferred by parents everywhere! (Have you filled your daughter in on this?)

My DH is funny, and while I think he is handsome, perhaps others do not?
Funny is definitely better, because a smile is the best thing you can put on your face!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkcinnova

Parties? What parties?

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent

Oh, you break my heart. I hope you have learned this: The older we get, the smarter we become. Smart = sexy. And there are no two ways about it, the older we become, the more attractive we become. Our experiences show on our faces, and what is more beautiful than that?

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIrish Goddess

But funnier (and sensible) is probably a lot happier in the long run.

That is funny about the gay guys, though. Wish we could make sure that happens to all our girls so they can for sure escape high school without getting pregnant!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

I was the fat girl who was voted class clown. Now, guess what? I'm 42 and I get better looking every year. I love growing older! (I have my mom to thank for that)

My pretty girlfriends, however, are having a rough time of it. Some are getting surgery to deal with ageing. I'm not judging, I'm just feeling lucky I'm a late bloomer. Super late bloomer.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

Well, funny can get you prom dates who don't impregnate you, and smart can get you a whole lifetime of happiness, but gorgeous guarantees nothing. Which is not to say Beth is not wonderful -- if she's your friend, I'm sure she is. But her beauty doesn't make her wonderful, whereas your assets do for you.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMommyTime

A great personality and sense of humor is forever - beauty is definitely NOT!

This is the point I try to reinforce to my daughters constantly.

Besides, you're looking pretty hot now and that's what matters!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

How amazing is it that so many of us were so much alike in high school and college and we have all found ourselves here!!
At our 15 year h.s. class reunion, a guy (who I had lusted after for years but for nothing!) actually asked me "Why didn't I date you in high school?"
To which I answered, "Maybe because you were stupid! I gotta go now!"~~sheesh~~
Being the fun one Always had friends, never had clique problems, and yeah, I'm looking a little older (because I AM older!), but...damn, I look good.
And as Jimmy Buffett says, "The wrinkles go where the laughs have been." I'm wearing my "laugh lines" proudly!!!!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdkuroiwa

who was more in the closet--ha, ha, ha, ha.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOk, Where Was I?

Amen on all accounts.

Like Debbie, I had the cute guys from HS asking at our reunion why we never went out...Sad for them. We're teaching our son (and daughter) better.

Funny is far better than hot. Although good cleavage doesn't hurt.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie (bad mom)

As everyone else says, funny is hot. Always has been.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor J

We totally would've been best friends.

Not only was I funny and dated the gay boys during high school, I married one.

It wasn't a bad way to have a starter marriage. I ended up with some nice shoes.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa V

Oh, high just had to bring that up, didn't you? Now I have a headache. Vague repressed memories starting to come back...NO DON'T WANT TO REMEMBER!

Thanks a ton, Mrs. G

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTina

You're in good company, I'm also in the "Funny, short girl club." Great to be friends with, not "Hot babe material." The bonus is we always know people don't just love us for our bodies:)

As a couple of people have mentioned, going to your high school reunions can be very revealing expecially after a few decades, LOL! Lots of Hots are not and lots of Nots are hot. Just seems to work that way.


June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersee you there!

My High School reunion is this summer. I wasn't going to go, but my bff (cheerleader, validictorian, tennis, gorgeous, you get the picture) not only tells me I HAVE to go so our hubbys can hang together, but we are planning it. Yep I am planning the reunion that I wasn't even going to attend. yeah me.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKD-Pie

Oh my God. Can I stop laughing more! Mrs. G, you have inspired. Great idea for today's post!

You haven't done half bad on the personality thing!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMinnesota Matron

Hm, I was pretty funny in high school, not pretty anything else though.

But I had my group of friends (most of which were gay) and we'd hang out in the theater, have our parties, and keep each other entertained.

The only thing I missed? Class. Um, as in going to. Class. Yeah, I was one of THOSE kids...

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Karen

Oh, Mrs. G you hit the nail on the head on this subject. If there's one thing this life has taught me, beauty is such a shallow beast. Truly beautiful people shine from the inside. Wow that was sappy.
BTW, I think you're super Hot now!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarla

The company of gay men is great company to keep. Not that I'm stereotyping.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheaper in Baht

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