Frank said is being brought to you today by Frank himself. I don’t know why he doesn’t think he’s funny. I find him mostly to be hysterical. His words really are glorious. He decided not to blog so much at the old blog so he can be found here now.
Every Saturday my lovely wife posts a feature here called “ Frank Said,” which covers something amusing/random/horrifying that I’ve said during the previous week. She tells me it’s one of the more popular of the regular features on her blog, which is good because apparently I’m an endless fountain of material. Thinking before I speak has never really been my strong suit, so along with offending people on a regular basis I also come up with at least one utterance a week that my wife uses as part of “Frank Said.” When she first started the feature I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about being regularly quoted on her blog (especially since not every post portrays me in a good light) but I’ve since warmed to it because it’s important to me that others find me funny.
One thing that readers of my blog like to tell me when we meet in person is that I am not particularly funny in real life, at least not in general conversation. I am horribly slow on my feet when it comes to conversational wittiness. I think of lot of that is because I am a shy textbook introvert, and nearly every conversation with anyone who is not a close friend gives me a certain amount of anxiety. I stutter, avoid eye contact, and feel overwhelmingly self conscious. There are several people in my office that I like and find funny but I can never keep up with them in a conversation. They’ll poke fun at me or say something sarcastic and I’ll smile and mumble something and wish I could come up with a truly witty response. Then the next day when I’m in the shower I’ll come up with the perfect response but by then it’s too late. Trying to revive a spur of the moment conversation that happened days before never really works.
Me: “Hey, remember on Tuesday when you were complaining about that guy in HR who clears his throat every ten seconds?”
Me: “Uh, okay, well…I was going to say that if I spent that much time spouting bullshit I would have to clear my throat too.”
Me: “You know, because he’s in HR? Bullshit? So he clears his throat?”
Coworker: “I’m hanging up now.”
My safe haven has always been the internet, because here I have time to form my thoughts and say what I want to say without stammering. Here I don’t have to worry about eye contact (once I do look someone in the eye it’s hard to stop, so the person I’m talking to starts to think I’m a creepy guy who probably keeps a jar of human ears in his fridge). Three of my last four relationships, including my marriage, either began or were greatly improved by the internet. In college I started talking with a girl through Facebook and when it came time to meet in person I had to admit that I was very nervous:
Me: “I have to tell you something.”
Me: “I kind of suck at…you know…real life.”
Girl: “I don’t understand.”
Me: “The whole being outside thing, human interaction, you know?”
In the end things worked out just fine (until we broke up, obviously) and I had a similar conversation before I met the woman who I would eventually marry. Fortunately for me she understands my anxiety at social situations, how I hate being brought into a room of people I don’t know, and that she usually does the talking for both of us at parties. I shake hands, grin sheepishly, and look at the floor. I’m tempted to carry around business cards with the “Frank Says” URL so that people can get an idea of what I’m actually like. I’m always disappointed with myself when someone at a party says something funny and I can’t come up with a reply on the spot, but rest assured that when I’m in the shower the next day I’ll think of something crushingly clever or sarcastic.
For the record, there are no ears in our freezer.