Once I wrote a fairy tale about a Princess cursed with the possession of a mirror that showed her how she appeared in other people’s eyes, and it drove her to the brink of madness. It was a reminder to myself not to care so much what people think.
It didn’t work: I still care far too much about other people’s opinions. And this last week or so, as I prepare to change jobs, I’ve had a few revelations about how people see me. I should be good at leaving, I get alot of practice (I went to 11 schools, for a start). But leaving is a disruptive change and, boy, does that disruption throw up some surprises.
But one of the things I’ve learned about myself this last week or so has nothing to do with leaving work. I have learned that I can’t write funny. After last week’s story, Responsibility, turned out so sad, I set myself the challenge of writing something funny. Of creating a feisty character and making funny stuff happen to them. I’ve written pages and pages of back story. I’ve made four or five different starts. Tina Fey’s promo tour for her new book seems to have re-opened the hoary old debate about whether women are funny or not (read the comments on John Birmingham‘s blog on the topic and weep). I tell you one thing for free: I am not. This is a big disappointment.
But, this beast demands fresh meat, so here’s that feisty character I mentioned in The Engagement Party. But it’s not fucking funny, OK?