Being a Funny Girl

by Emily Jasper on July 8, 2010

Have I ever told you that I grew up thinking that life really was a musical? People would spontaneously break out in song and dance, knowing an invisible orchestra would provide the score? Sometimes I still try to sing in public, hoping someone will join in to Annie’s “Tomorrow”…

A few years ago I finally saw the movie Funny Girl. If you live under a rock, this is one of Barbara Streisand’s most memorable performances, derived from a musical based on Fanny Brice’s life. This movie is where “Hello, gorgeous” was quoted. Fanny is a woman trying to make it on her own on the stage in 1920-30’s New York. She meets a man who, at the end of it, just can’t keep up with her. She surpasses him, and he leaves her, ashamed of his own shortcomings.

I’m afraid I am becoming this kind of funny girl.

When I think of my future, I want a man who isn’t going to compete with me. I want him to have his own goals instead of ones that can be trumped by mine. I love my last name, and unless his name is amazing, I’m not only keeping mine, but I also want him to take the name Jasper.

Even though there has been a lot of progression in the world, and women have the freedom to make choices, am I too liberal?

I’m not sure what I’ll actually believe when it comes to decision time, but I also know myself. While I might be alright with putting away professional dreams for a little while, the call will come again. Just as it did for Fanny. Why should I have to sacrifice that when so many beforehand didn’t?

I want to wear the pants and have the freedom. I know that with great freedom comes great responsibility, to modify Uncle Ben’s quote. I am willing to accept that responsibility. My own father, a Navy fighter pilot and Captain, missed a lot of my childhood. But he made every moment count when he was home. We are incredibly close, and I can’t imagine growing up any other way.

Would a man be threatened by a woman who wanted this life?

I didn’t need Funny Girl to tell me this, but it provided a real reaction that still happens to this day. I know men who are threatened by a woman wanting to pave her own way. They feel a woman who wants to follow her dreams means that they must crush a man in their wake.

That isn’t true. If anything, I want a man to still be an individual ready to take responsibility himself. We’ve bred a generation of doormat males, afraid to step up.

Two people with dreams and passions can still make a life. You need to find the complement instead of the competition. All I am hoping is that there are still a few men out there, willing to complement my passions with their own.

Praying that someone won’t walk away because he is threatened by this funny girl.