being the funny friend

Hi, I'm Casey, and I think that I accidentally became the "funny friend." My friends like to put me on their Snapchat stories. I make too many Monster's Inc. references, and I break my ankles in platform shoes nine times out of ten. One time, I fell off of a roof and I think I legitimately broke my ass (Is this possible? Let me know in the comments, please!) I spill Vodka-Crans on my white skirts, stay out until 10 AM the next morning, make myself Scooby Doo shaped mac and cheese, replay a video of myself teaching some poor dude at a bar or a frat how to Irish dance until I start to hate myself just a little bit. And I think, in my accidental aloofness and a general disconnect from the world around me, I have unintentionally branded myself as the designated comic relief of my friend group.

The funny friend. The friend that everyone loves, yet, no one really wants to be. You want to be the Eric, or the Jackie, or even the Hyde of your friend group before you're the Kelso. You want to be effortlessly patriarchal: the James Franco Cassanova with the smoking hot girlfriend, and never the Seth Rogan, huffing paint in his parents' basement.

I couldn't quite tell you where this seemingly lighthearted curse began, other than the fact that it just sort of... happened. And it's not that I have a poor sense of self-awareness (I have, like, a horrible case of anxiety, which would, therefore, make that impossible). I know that I am not sloppy, or dumb, or lazy or bad at social cues. Something that I will admit, however, is that I like to have an audience. And I think that's how a lot of "funny friends" initially come to be

.I'll tell you a secret. Your funny friends are engaged in a very secret plan: and that is, being admired, but from a safe, happy distance. Being a funny friend means perpetually receiving validation for a personality that is not wholly yours, beginning a cycle that is nearly impossible to shatter. The "funny friend" has a hard time grappling with seriousness, and maybe that's valid in some way. They have no problem making jokes at their own expense, as long as it makes the room feel lighter. They can turn something dark into something not-so-bad, and people like having that around, I think.

Your funny friends love you a lot. So much so, they don't mind sacrificing their own pride to make you just a little bit more comfortable, a little bit happier.

But, I turn into the "funny friend", and 75% of my personality is pushed somewhere inaccessible. And she excels at directing attention where she wants it, so everyone can have fun. She likes to crack jokes about her love life, she's horrible at dancing but doesn't care, she has no problem approaching strangers. She likes to make light of the problems that her real self is afraid to face head-on. She's never sad, or alone, or confused. She never talks about politics or gets her heart broken. She's fun, she's crazy and, most importantly, she's loveable. But she's not real, and she's probably afraid of what people will see if she stops goofing around all the time.

I know I must sound like the fucking grim reaper right now, but it needs to be said. Your "funny friend", is not your "funny friend", because no one is just that. Being theatrical and clumsy can only take you so far, as they are only a small portion of the complex equation that makes up a human being. No one can always be young, and hot, and lighthearted. We are not movie characters, we are versatile beings with lives that make no narrative sense. You can't be the funny friend in an art museum. You can't be the funny friend at a funeral- that would be kind of messed up.

As one of my favorite quotes says, "Comedy is tragedy + time." Talk to your funny friends. See how they're actually doing. I do believe that life is fun, most of the time. But don't, please don't, perpetuate the "funny friend" trope to someone that you value. They might be dying to be taken seriously at least every once in a while. So, let's try this again.

Hi, I'm Casey, and I don't really know if I want to be the "funny friend" anymore. I like to swim, and read about art history, and eat spaghetti with meatballs. I take a lot of pictures of the things around me, and I'm deathly afraid of E.T. I love nicotine and coffee and flying on planes by myself. I'm thinking about moving to California one day, and I love telling my deepest secrets to strangers on the internet. It's nice to meet you.

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