My ex-husband used to think it was weird for people to call themselves comedians. He believed that it was up to the audience to decide if they were funny. Basically, if you were a bank teller, you could call yourself as such, but if you make people laugh for a living, you need to let other people decided if you are, in fact, a comedian.
I am a writer. I’ve always been a writer but it’s more official now that I’m on Amazon.
BTW, my book is on sale for $13 right now. I’m not exactly sure why. These things just happen.
I’m also a speaker. But much like the comedian it’s complicated.
Women are invited to speak all the time. They are speakers.
Inspirational speakers. Motivational speakers. Christian Speakers.
But if you just up and decide one day that you’re going to become a speaker, people respond kinda funny.
Like, what are you gonna say?
The first time I knew I was good at public speaking was a last-minute emcee gig for a local pageant. I was in college.
My sorority sister, Courtney looked at me. Stared me straight in the eyes and said, “What ever you do, don’t try to be funny. That’s the absolute worst.”
So when people started laughing I knew I was in trouble.
But I wasn’t trying. And I’ll never know for sure if they were laughing with me or at me.
At my book signing over Christmas, my High School creative writing teacher was referring to my book and said, in passing, she didn’t realize I had ADD.
I only mention this because I didn’t either and yet it explains so.
I’ve scheduled three speaking engagements.
The first, at my own church. I presented a proposal and they said yes.
There was controversy over my use of the phrase “what the hell?” but I can be very controversial like that.
The second engagement was my Sioux Falls church. We laughed. We cried. We worshiped.
The third engagement was supposed to be Sunday. Yesterday. When I was driving back from our family vacation.
Did I mention the undiagnosed ADD?
For the record, I let them know the second I realized my mistake and also for the record, it wasn’t really my fault.
As you know, nothing rarely is.
It goes like this:
We take a family vacation in January. The kids are with their dad all summer and family vacations are difficult.
Ya know, since it would be awkward to bring their dad along.
My step-son, in his wisdom and maturity suggested that we should take it over Christmas when everyone is already on vacation and out-of-school and while this is a very good idea, it will never happen.
I’m allergic to going places on holidays where it’s very people-y.
Usually it’s the last weekend in January but apparently the last year in January is also Lutheran school’s week and there was considerable drama over a missed spelling bee.
She will never again have the opportunity to be the 2nd grade spelling bee champion.
So when I agreed to the speaking gig, my head was remembering a vacation a week later.
Because, duh! We moved it up a week. No missed opportunities this year!
And then, because this is my life, it got moved to February.
The spelling bee.
After the event in Sioux Falls, several women came up to me and said the exact same four words.
“That was my story.”
“That was my life.”
I sat down with one woman. She was crying. I invented the ugly cry, so I can just go ahead and tell you.
It was ugly.
On her beautiful face.
I listened. I prayed. I ached.
As I was leaving, a dear friend said, “You’ve found what you’re supposed to do.”
Yes! I totally have. Like, for real.
My story. I didn’t live it to just bury it. Bottle it. Store it away. What a horrific waste! I lived it to share it.
I know there are women who need to hear it.
Who want to hear it.
Who want to hear that they are not alone.
I can’t call myself a comedian because I was married to my ex-husband for fifteen years and it just feels wrong. But I can tell you that I’ll have you laughing.
And I can’t call myself a speaker because apparently it takes more that 2 actual speaking engagements and one failed speaking engagement to make that true, but I can tell you that I’m a good story teller and bless my heart, has our dear Lord ever given me some stories to tell.
And so I will bless your heart and you will bless my heart and we’ll tell our stories and we’ll tell our truth and we won’t be quiet or proper or precious.
Well, maybe a little bit precious.
Originally, I thought I’d schedule a speaking tour to promote Pearl. What I know now is that I’m scheduling a speaking tour to promote
Here are the details:
1. I’m funny.
It’s rarely on purpose.
2. I have undiagnosed ADD so I will occasionally lose my train of thought, and that’s when you’ll get a very special, and unplanned pearl.
The kind that if my Mother were there, she’d be like “dear baby Jesus, I cannot believe she just said that.”
Like when I accidentally shared in my book that I don’t wear panties.
3. My filter is broken and I have no desire to fix it. You’ll get the truth.
4. I love Jesus.
5. I love Bill Clinton. There are people in this world that love Jesus and Bill Clinton. You need to know that.
6. I’m considering running for president. Mainly, because. Well. Why not?
7. I’m free. As in there is not cost. Which sadly reminds me of the southern term, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” which I’m fairly certain was the south-of-the-dixon-line-way of telling us not to give away.
Ya know—our milk.
And for the record, I didn’t. 🙂
Anyway, I will not be charging for my events. At least for now. At least until other people start calling me a speaker.
Until Jen Hatmaker calls and asks me to go on tour.
8. I will travel. I will travel to different states. To tiny towns. To your town. To all the towns sharing my love of Jesus and wearing my Bill Clinton for governor t-shirt. My husband will be wearing his “my wife rocks” t-shirt because.
Well. He loves me.
I’m kidding about the Bill Clinton t-shirt, although I do still have it.
I’m not kidding about the “my wife rocks” t-shirt. We waited in line for like an hour after Kirk Cameron told me all I needed to save my (already failed) marriage was to quit watching porn.
Or maybe it was the man that was watching porn. And there was a love dare and I dare you to try it and not lose your mind.
9. I will talk about marriage and divorce in and outside of the church and I’ll get on my pulpit and make sure that our sisters feel loved and supported and that the womens’ hospitality committees far and wide add “bringing casseroles to women going through divorce” to their list.
Sally J. broke her ring finger on her non-dominate hand and we had email sign-ups for days. Who can cook for Sally, the committee pleaded?
For the love. Can she not just stir with the other hand?
I am a terrible person.
10. I will tell of Him. I will sing his praises. Literally. I sing too. I know, right? This just gets better and better.
But I’m usually better if someone sings with me.
Divorce statistics are the same inside and outside the church.
We need to make marriage great again.
Sorry, that was me being terrible.
Dang it, I can’t stop.
We need to allow hurting women to tell the truth.
So. Ya know what?
That’s what I’m going to do.
To book this non-comedian, not-yet-speaker to your church, women’s event, community event, rodeo, pie-eating-contest, wait—
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or shout-out on Facebook.
And I will make this promise.
God will be glorified. Fo great things he has done.