Part 1: My Year in Comedy: From Standing up to Lying the fetal position

I was born a poor black child...

Okay, actually, I was a white middle class stay-at-home-mom, but that's doesn't garner as much empathy.

It started with loitering around the comedy club, progressed to a stand-up class and ended with me learning such terms as motor-boating and tea-bagging.  I shouldn't know those terms exist, much less be chatting about them casually.  (The first time I heard tea-bagging, I sincerely assumed it was a political term involving the Tea Party...and that's what it should be).

I'm just another mom in a minivan.  My biggest concerns should be whether I'm prompt for carline or too old for skinny jeans.  I shouldn't be trying to survive a Thursday night open mic.

And I think the tea-bagger-party is a little concerned about me.  They joked that I began as a nice mom with two kids, a dog and a decent marriage, but comedy would be the thing that unravelled it all.  Comedy would lead to my demise.  They predicted that in a few months, I'd be living out of my van, having abandoned my family, roaming from city to city in search of my next open mic fix.  I laughed with them, but told myself that they didn't know how resilient I was.  I am a mom after all.  Moms are tough.  Moms are grounded.  Moms can handle anything.

But I'm beginning to wonder.

I'm less than a year in, and I've already seen worrisome signs.  Oh sure, no one else would recognize them.  It turns out my coming unglued is nothing fit for TMZ.  No heavy drinking, no eight balls, no dancing with Molly or chasing the dragon (did I use those right?)  No, apparently, mine will be a much less dramatic downward spiral limited to much internal profanity...wearing pants too tight for my myself over to t-shirts with fun slogans...smoking 4 cigarettes a night (all 4 at the same time).

On the days I'm surviving, but in a "screw you, comedy" mode, the most discerning eyes might catch me intentionally breaking such comedy rules as flip flops on stage, "talking to the back of the room," and popping the mic back into the stand-- small acts of rebellion that say, "You may have beaten me down, comedy, you may have stretched me to limits of anxiety and humility I never thought possible, I may be in the fetal position today, but tomorrow I will rise and stand once again to tell jokes about Paula Deen and substitute teaching." 

I know.  It's a lot for a pair of flip flops to say.