Dinner with Meghan

Originally Posted 11-25-11…

I just had dinner with a friend I met on an airplane 3 & 1/2 years ago. We were both returning to Raleigh from NYC. Bad weather kept us on the tarmac for hours before taking off. Naturally we exchanged our lives’ stories within the first 45 minutes. She was a kind, funny, smart city girl who had just moved to NC from New York. I liked her immediately. She was calmly freaking out about flying in bad weather. I don’t think we stopped talking for 4 hours. I’m usually the person that busts out the iPod, pillow & eye cover intentionally sending “leave me alone” signals because, well, I’d rather be left alone on airplanes. But the unique, scary-weather circumstances had everyone buzzing. Meghan & I quickly figured out that we were practically neighbors in Raleigh, went to the same gym, & shared a very similar mindset about diet/exercise (freaks). We talked about work, family, our jock pasts & ex-boyfriends. We related on many levels. There was one big difference, however. Meghan was only 7 years old. Hard to believe that a 7 year old could be so mature. Well, ok, she wasn’t still 7 – she was 23. I was 39. But when I was 23, she was 7! We’ve since figured out that the age difference between us is the same as the age difference between me and her parents. I’m not saying it’s weird, but…it’s kinda weird, right? Regardless, a real friendship has blossomed. To her friends I’m her “old airplane friend” and to my friends she’s my “young airplane friend.” Seriously, that’s what we say. I’m not sure if she’s exceptionally mature (recently married, built a new house, started her own business) or if I’m exceptionally immature (currently single with pipe dreams of a career in comedy and a past which consists of a lot of ultimate frisbee & snowboarding) …but we meet somewhere in the middle and it is awesome. We have a very honest, supportive, unconditional bond. 98% of the time I don’t feel an age difference when we hang out. But when I do, 1% comes from her young skin and me lecturing her about sunscreen. The other 1% comes from her affinity for Brittany Spears that I’ll never understand.

**2014 Update – As of July 2013, Meghan is a Momma to a beautiful, sweet baby girl. And in other news, I paid my car off!!

Comedy for Me

Originally Posted 12-1-10…

It never occurred to me that you could actually study comedy. Correction: It never occurred to me that I could actually study comedy. I was raised in a household where you grew up to be an accountant or an IBM’er, not an artist and certainly not a comedian (although with five kids in the house there were definitely a few comedians). Even so, comedy has always been a part of my life. I listened to Bill Cosby as a kid (snakes!), watched The Carol Burnett Show, Fat Albert, and I Love Lucy with my family. I absorbed The Muppet Show, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times, The Facts of Life, The Jeffersons, Three’s Company, MASH, Sanford and Son, Different Strokes (beginning to wonder how I had time for anything else), Mork and Mindy, WKRP in Cincinnati, etc. I sneaked in to watch SNL and movies like Stripes and Caddyshack with my older siblings. I crowded around a cassette tape with fellow summer campers and memorized Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious.” I saw Ellen DeGeneres perform in Raleigh in the 80’s, and Jamie Foxx doing stand-up at UGA during his In Living Color years (Mildred get down!) So many comedians…Steven Wright, Sam Kinison, Gilda Radner, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Jane Curtain, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Janeane Garofalo, Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kathy Griffin, Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Handler, Jim Gaffigan…the list is endless. They have all made an impression on me at some point in my life. Still, the closest I came to pursuing comedy myself was watching “Friends” in my 20’s and talking about how it would be cool to write sitcoms { much like dudes talk about playing professional golf or baseball. }

I’ve always daydreamed about doing stand-up, didn’t everyone? I have a stand-up narration constantly streaming in my head. I thought this was normal. Still, it took getting to a place in my life where my knees rebelled against my extra-curricular world of ultimate frisbee & snowboarding (no that’s not a punchline) before it occurred to me that I could or should actually pursue comedy. For the first time since I was a kid I had the time to nurture my creative side. But…a comedian? Say what? It was outlandish. Unrealistic. Unattainable. I’ve always put comedians on a pedestal. Craig Robinson said it best on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” when describing how his career started. He said, “I didn’t realize that real people did comedy until I went to a talent show…a couple people I knew got up and did it. And it blew my mind that you could actually touch somebody that did comedy. I don’t know how to explain it; you know it was like they were superheroes or something. So when I saw that, it was like, “Wow, I could actually make a go of this.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB7-gOb0wAM check out minute 5:00) I 100% relate to what Craig says. I can’t imagine a better endeavor in life than trying to make someone laugh (ok Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Firemen…yeah, yeah, they’re great too). There are so many heavy things in this world that bring us sadness and stress. We all need laughter to survive. So, I’m in…I’m studying comedy. It is inspiring, agitating in the best way, and it makes me see the world differently. It brings me joy. Regardless of where this journey takes me, I know it’s the right one. In my wildest dreams, you’ll all be along for the ride – watching, participating, and laughing with, or at me!