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I Will Never Be Classy

A few weeks back, I did a post bemoaning my inability to write a sex scene. At the time, I considered it one of the very rare areas of difficulty for me…at least in writing. I’m mainly bad at everything else I do. Dating, parenting, parallel parking, doing that thing with your thumb where it looks like you’re taking it off but you’re really not, pretty much everything is an ‘area of opportunity for me’. Except for writing. I always thought I was ok at writing.

Then today, I had to turn down a job. Why? Because I was incapable of doing the writing required for it. The subject matter? G-rated humor.

In the past, I worked for this company that runs a clever little website. You upload a photo, it uploads a caption for the photo. They hired me before to create those captions. It was actually a really fun job. 100 snarky, mean and sarcastic one liners. As I am the queen of caustic one liners, I whipped those things off like it was nothing. They were very pleased with my work and a little frightened of me as a person.

Then, they asked me to do it again. But this time, no snark. Instead, these captions would be for parents and grandparents needing baby picture captions and whatnot.  “Sure,” I said. “I can do G-rated. How hard can it be?”

Famous last words.

Today, I spent 2 hours (not even exaggerating) staring at a photo of a cute little baby boy with a sad face. I stared and I waited for inspiration…and waited…and waited. Oh and inspiration came, but it came in the form of my true, blue-style humor. Every thought that came to me was a mean quip about how annoying children are, about drunk babies, about breast feeding, about people who breastfeed for way to long. Then I thought about how ugly this kid was getting the longer I looked at him. Nothing clean. Nothing nice. All hilarious. The things I said about that baby in my head today will haunt me to my grave…and also make me chuckle a little. Then, I pictured the horrified look on some grandmother’s face as her adorable grandson’s picture was plastered with the caption “Stupid broken condom!!!” and I chuckled even more.

I am a terrible person.

I never thought that I would run into an area so large that I was incapable of writing about. Just as I was working thought my sex scene issues, with the help of a large amount of tequila and many, many photos of Julian McMahon,  I ran into an entire genre that isn’t just difficult for me to write. It’s impossible.

Here’s the thing; I was born a cynic. When my parents took me to see E.T., two year old Essa stormed out while everyone was sobbing, declaring that it was ‘sappy bullshit’. I don’t get the warm fuzzies. I don’t believe in happy endings (unless they are the kind you get at an unlicensed massage parlor) and I flinch if someone mentions feelings. It was how I was designed. For the most part, it’s done ok for me. Then this happens.

I’d like to say I’m going to work on it, but I probably won’t, because I know it’s a futile task. I will never be classy and I will never be clean. I will always be wrapped in a hard shell of cynicism and I will never giggle over baby shoes or tell a joke suitable for a church picnic. Even if I tried, it would all ring false and it wouldn’t be funny, it would just be sad.

Some of my favorite authors are clean. I absolutely love Dave Barry, but I could never be like him. His posts are family friendly and I am the exact opposite. I’m for ‘restricted audiences’. I’m the girl you don’t invite to the wedding because she gets in a drunken fight. I’m the girl you don’t ask to come to the funeral, because crying skeeves me out. I’m the girl that doesn’t get an invitation to the baby shower, because at the last one, I gave the expectant mother a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of gin. I am not ‘family friendly’. I am ‘family enemy’ and there is really nothing I can do but embrace it.

God bless those who appreciate blue humor.

***On another note, not related to my suckish writing, I released a novella today that is wildly inappropriate, filled with profanity, but lacks the sex scene that I am not yet comfortable enough to write. You can check out my new book, The Apology, here.***

79 thoughts on “I Will Never Be Classy

  1. Write the snarky ones just for fun…then put in a sappy movie…then return for the work.

    I am tacking a family friendly script to use as a web series starring…my family. Keeping it clean is a necessity…it is a challenge.

  2. We can’t all be G-rated. This doesn’t make you a terrible person. Doesn’t make you anything but you. Nothing wrong with that at all. Celebrate, think how many people wish they had your talent.

  3. Cynics are my favorite people. I agree with Valentine Logar, though, not being able to be G-rated does not make you a terrible person.

    Also, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed =)

    • thank you. I find it at least moderately ironic that a post about my inability to write g-rated humor made it to a place where they usually put g-rated humor. :)

  4. Glad to see I’m not the only one having trouble writing sex scenes these days. And everybody writes some things better than others. My dad says because I’m a horror nut and I can pull off an occasional funny joke, I should write a zombie’s guide to college life. I just don’t know if I have the energy or the imaginative humor for that sort of stuff. A serial killer or a ghost with teeth, I can handle. But making zombies funny? I’m not so sure I can write something like that.
    Good luck with the novella. Sounds exciting!

  5. lol i laughed through the entire thing. Great stuff, I’m gonna go read some of your other posts as well.
    P.s. did you ever come up with a G-rated line for the baby?

    • nope, unfortunately, I had to pass on the job. I figured by the time I managed to write a hundred of those lines, I’d be old and grey, so it wasn’t worth the money. :)

  6. One of our proudest days as parents was when my husband and I realized that our then 6 year old really ‘got’ the idea of sarcasm. Is it going to come back and bite us in the ass? Oh, without a doubt. But he’s mean entertainment at those grown up dinner parties we drag him to….

  7. I had to say I laughed out loud at the condom comment! But then I’m sarcastic a lot of the time so I enjoy reading it lol. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration somewhere!

  8. My boyfriend would actually laugh at a photo of his son with the caption “Stupid broken condom!!!” on it! In fact he’d make a gazillion Christmas cards and send them to everybody he knows. But then we are screwed up and also don’t do the warm & fuzzies!! Life is too short to pretend to be nice! :D

  9. The baby’s caption should have just been a link to your story with the steamy sex scene in it. That way it SEEMS clean and legit. Have the link URL have something about sad babies and cookies in it to deceive the unsuspecting audience.

  10. I am not a cynic, but my humor tends to be anything but g-rated. Stuff just comes out before I can help myself. Enjoyed your post.

  11. I really loved your post, it made me laugh. I like to believe that many people can be classy or at least pretend to be but not many can be funny. I would love to have funny genuine people around me than pretentious classy ones. Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  12. Ha ha a bottle of gin and some ciggys. That’s great. I was once given some rash cream. I love inappropriate presses. I scored a (free)brand new Susan Boyle cd. It will be carefully wrapped for my 15yr old daughter. Problem is that before I wrapped it my 6yr old found it raced in to her room and cranked it up. She declared her love for Susan Boyle much to my absolute horror. I told her she wants allowed it. A full back fire.

  13. Oh this made me laugh! You are so my kind of person! :) I have huge difficulty with sex scenes too..it either sounds like puke inducing mills and boon ( which I then read and hate myself for ), scrap that decide to go hardcore and then realise I’m halfway to writing a porno….middle ground is for losers :D

  14. Being family friendly has it’s time and place, but saying “fuck” in your writing is among the most rewarding feelings sometimes. I support this mindset of being true to your humor. Love it.

  15. Glad to know I’m not the only sarcastic, caustic, inappropriate, family UN-friendly one here. I’ll take the smokes, keep the gin (my tolerance is too darn high thus drinking is futile). Don’t stress the lack of sex scene ability. That right there proves you have a bit of class hiding away. I’d rather someone have issues with writing a sex scene than have ten dozen sleazy bondage writers running around. Class comes in many forms, and in my view, you’ve got it in spades.

    P.s. Brain to mouth filters are irreparable once broken. My own repairmen told me the backlog for mine is fifty years. I told them not to bother, because by that time I’ll be geriatric and people will simply blame it on my age (much like they do now).

  16. Yeah, writing clean is harder than being cutting or crude.

    I’m a freelance cartoonist and prefer doing political cartoons where the hard hitting and exposure is the norm.

    But I also enjoy panel cartoons where I tend to avoid the crude/cutting envelope. I think it’s more attractive to potential customers.

    But if the rough end is required, and it puts beer in the refrigerator, then go for it.

    Here’s a few samples……………….

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/humorous-illustration/

    Cheers

    Mick

  17. I have the same problem writing sex scenes! Glad to know I’m not the only one. Seems like it should be so easy to do. At least the research is fun.

    And I would have laughed at the broken condom comment, too.

    • Hit the enter button by mistake. As I was saying what you lack in one area you obviously make up for in another. Your sense of humor is off the chain. I was laughing through the whole post. Keep it up, I know you’ve got a steamy erotic scene in you just waiting to be put on paper.

    • I’m getting there. In the future, I might put up my first attempt for my followers to judge before I try to put it in my books. For now, I just cut off the sex scene at the beginning and let my readers use their imaginations.

  18. I can write about sex, no problem..mostly from my own experience or imagination. (The easy way ;-) ) But also have problems with the famy friendly stuff..

  19. Congrats Essa! Yeah, with so much political correctness around… Well, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that in writing the only person I’m ever allowed to properly skewer is me. Gah. I wish I were brave enough to skewer everyone else, but alas I’m not. And so I will forever remain your G-rated opposite…

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  21. Congrats to being on freshly pressed. I enjoyed reading this post! I can be quite cynical myself but I’m an awesome person.

  22. “I will never be classy and I will never be clean. I will always be wrapped in a hard shell of cynicism and I will never giggle over baby shoes or tell a joke suitable for a church picnic.” – Straight out of my heart. Rock on. Don’t let them tamper you down. You know they are just uncomfortable because they never got out of the prudish victorian mindset anyway.
    Also, i like your trick for avoiding baby showers. I just tell everyone that their baby looks like Winston Churchill mated with the Predator, and people tend to avoid talking about that with me now – but your way seems more effective in the end.

  23. Sex scenes are notoriously tough – that’s why the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Awards exist. There’s this line between sexy and awkward and gross and it’s such a very fine line….

  24. How exactly does one land such a job? I would simply die to do something like that…

    As for baby things… If humor is okay, I’d go with that… Like. ‘She took my nose…’ or ‘They said it was an airplane. Tasted like spoon.’

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  26. Relieved to know I’m not alone in the world after all…

    Steamy sex scenes aren’t really difficult – depending on your frame of mind – and they don’t have to be ‘mushy, feely, warm fuzzies’ (yuck!) Within every cynic is at least a sliver of sadism, so perhaps if you give it free rein, you might find inspiration comes a little easier ;)

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