I Never Meant to Be Funny – Forward
Mothers. They teach us many wonderful things, like how to walk, talk, eat, drink and clean up. A bit later, they teach us about writing, reading, doing arithmetic, maybe even speaking foreign languages, and driving cars. Mothers try to show us things like how to be good citizens, responsible, respectful, family-oriented and caring. Ultimately, we learn from watching them.
My mother taught me all of these things. Well, not arithmetic. Oh, and certainly not foreign languages. But she did a fine job on all the others.
One of the most valuable lessons my mother taught me was how to laugh. As I was growing up, we laughed at funny stories and jokes. As I got older, we laughed at each other. No wait¾ that’s not true. I laughed at her. I didn’t like people laughing at me. And, I didn’t laugh at her alone. She laughed right along with me.
It wasn’t until later in my life that my mother provided me with the most wonderful lesson of all. My mother taught me how to laugh at myself. When she did something a bit silly, she’d make it into a story over which we could all share a laugh. And she probably laughed the loudest of us all.
Finally, the stories of my mother’s laughableness have become this book. After all, our family has told these stories over and over again to hundreds of people, until they have become legends. Other families and friends have been privy to hearing some of the stories, but even they have probably not heard all of them.
For years, I have threatened my mom, telling her that some day I was going to write a book about all the ‘mother stories’ (referred to by some as “Micki-isms”) I could remember.
My step-dad, Sam, has referred to my mom as the funniest woman alive. He feels that way because she is a riot, without ever really intending to be. I don’t know if she’s the funniest woman alive. But I guarantee you, many of these stories will make you laugh. Not just a chuckle, but full belly laughs from deep inside. You go right ahead and give it a full belly laugh, too. After all, my mom taught me it was OK to laugh at others as long as they were laughing at themselves.
To sum up my mother’s great attitude, I include this: Once, not too long ago I told her, “Ma, you’re a great sport. You do some of the craziest things and you just laugh at yourself.”
As she laughed, her response was, “What choice do I have?”
I love my mother very dearly. She is a wonderful teacher, role model, and friend. Truly a good person, she is a kind soul, full of love and energy. Everyone who knows her just loves her, but they don’t necessarily know the side of her that I want to share with you in this book. If Micki is already dear to you, then this book will enhance the feelings you have for her. If you don’t know her personally, you’ll feel like you do after you read this. This book will let you into a part of my mother’s life and will hopefully teach you, as it has taught me, the valuable lesson of learning to laugh at our own quirks, flaws, faults, zaniness, and silliness.
These stories are truthfully told (I don’t think I could make them up, even if I wanted to) to the best of my recollection. There is minimal, if any, embellishment. I have told them the way I remember them happening. Admittedly, some names have been changed to protect the innocent or partners in silliness. And, in case you think I failed in the life lesson of respectfulness, there is a chapter on heredity where I share with you that I am my mother’s daughter (and my grandmother’s granddaughter).
So why did I write I Never Meant to be Funny? Was it to fulfill a threat I made years ago? Frankly, this may have been sufficient motivation. Over the last few years, I have evolved into a much more open person. I have learned that stories about mothers, grandmothers¾even about myself¾ are funny to me and to others, and I truly feel that there is simply not enough laughter in the world today.
If this book adds a little laughter to your life, then it has served its purpose. If this book encourages you to share stories and laughter with others, then it has doubled its purpose. If I Never Meant to be Funny inspires you to record stories of your own then it has truly been worth all the effort. If I Never Meant to be Funny initiates a stronger connection between you and others, then it has facilitated enjoyment of one of life’s greatest gifts. We are all human beings, with all our various qualities¾what I like to call ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Funny’¾why not share the fun stuff?
When you’ve finished I Never Meant to be Funny, you’ll find a fun challenge awaiting you. Why not write down your stories and share them? If you’d like to share your stories with my readers, follow the guide at the back of this book that will help you send them to me, and I may include them in future editions of I Never Meant to be Funny.
Enjoy your read. It was fun to witness these stories, and still more fun writing it all down for you.