I was talking to a close friend the other day when she mentioned my blog. She said she found it “rather amusing” and “mostly funny” but it was clear she was holding something back. As a newish blogger I really wanted to know what she was withholding so I pushed her to tell me. Turns out she wasn’t pleased with two particular posts – Robert Redford Not and No Offense Patty. She didn’t have to tell me why. I knew immediately what had annoyed her – I could almost hear the words from my recent posts in my head,
Suddenly Robert Redford wasn’t quite as hot. He certainly was not the 5′-11″ he promised in his profile. Now, generally speaking I have no problem with men shorter than myself. In this particular case I am ashamed to say I had this man, based on his photo, profile and pedigree, on a pedestal.
Was that SO bad? Was I being awful? Rude? Mean spirited? And then I thought about the second post. I cringed when I thought of my slightly chubby friend reading the snarky Patty piece. Truth be told, when I was writing the words I knew I was being harsh – maybe even mean.
You should know that most of us don’t want to envision Patty and her husband in bed in that ugly suburban cape in a bed far too small for the two large bodies (yes, I have decided Patty’s husband is also very overweight because he hasn’t been having sex with Patty he’s been frustrated and drinking Pabst by the six-pack and eating processed food including hot dogs, Wonder Bread and Cheese Whiz). And if I’m mistaken and Patty’s husband isn’t overweight (or addicted to crap) he’s probably been hanging out getting lap dances in the local strip club. I’ve got news for you, in either case, he’s most likely not interested in Patty and hasn’t been in a long, long time. There are going to be a lot of lonely women with hopes of rekindling a romance that burned out long ago because of your commercial. I think Heidi Fleiss needs to get her ass in gear and open that Stud Farm she’s been promising to in Vegas. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m judgmental (I am) I just feels like you’re setting up a lot of women for a huge disappointment.
As I tried to explain to my friend that I was still trying to find the balance in my writing I realized I sounded as If I was making excuses. I knew I hurt her personally when she read the No Offense Patty post. I wanted to disappear I felt so bad. That’s precisely when she asked, “So are you dating to find love or to collect material?” Ouch. Which was it? I said goodbye to my friend and walked home thinking about her question the entire time. Why was I going on these dates? Was I really ready to be in a loving relationship? Or was she right, was I just going through the motions to get good material? No, I wasn’t. If I wanted really good material I would go out with the twenty year olds, or the eighty year olds, or the guys with motorcycles, or four ex wives. I reminded myself that I was simply highly selective. On the other hand, maybe she was right, sometimes it was about the material.
Naturally, as a writer, I try to push my stories a little further to make them more interesting for you, my readers. If I wrote all about the perfectly lovely dates I go on and how every gentleman was so wonderful would my blog be as much fun? I think not. I tried to defend myself. I told her to keep in mind, I’m a relatively new writer. I’ve had two great and very funny writing teachers – Nelsie Spencer and Marilyn Horowitz. Both women were instrumental in helping me make my writing not only better but funnier but alas, I’ve still got a long way to go! When I have time I plan to sign up for Nelsie’s Comedy Writing class at Gotham Writer’s in NYC. Nelsie has had a radio show and even done stand up. I know there is a fine line between funny and mean. Hopefully she can help me learn the difference.
Nelsie, my fomer writing coach, is appearing at Stand Up New York on December 30th. Catch her 800 funny bits about being an empty-nester, sex over 50, and how to still be married after 30 years. Email Nelsie at email@example.com to get on the list! Stand Up New York is located at 238 West 78th Street near Broadway. Showtime is 8PM-10PM. Seating begins at 7PM sharp.