Today we’d like to introduce you to Virginia Jones.
Virginia, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist. I used to do drawing and writing and dance, and now I do comedy, and also all the other things. It was a relief to me to realize that these things are not in conflict-they’re all part of the same thing, being an artist. I am also fantastically up my own butt!
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work? I am a standup comedian and comedy writer type person. I started by accident, like it was a bucket list “I’ve always wanted to do comedy” and then that became my whole life. I hope people come away from my act with some kind of new idea or a recognition of a thing they hadn’t named. I have the extremely unfashionable opinion that comedy should communicate something or else why bother- I’ve seen people onstage that can generate laughter, but it’s like a trick? People walk out of the room exactly the same as they walked in, except full of nachos. I am the kind of pretentious little shit that wants comedy to mean something.
I think my jokes are mostly about unexamined social inconsistencies, and also about animals.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them? I think the problems of an artist today are the same as they ever were- trying to be you the best you can while the industry wants the same five people, over and over again. I think it’s a great time to be a female artist, moving from being ignored to actively reviled. That’s cool!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork? I have a record called Gothic American. I’d love it if you picked it up on Itunes, or, failing that, listened on Spotify or Pandora or Snapchat or Instagram or scanned a sticker from a banana peel that took you to it on Youtube or something. Is that something you can do? I have a website with dates and funny stuff on it. I like it when people show up to stuff. I’m very funny, I promise. I have a twitter account, but I’m bad at it.
How We Prepared Emma For The Adventure Of Marriage
Meeting The Crew
My baby sister Emma is getting married, and we meet up in New Orleans to celebrate. Her bachelorettes are a combination of big-city career women and her high-school friends, and of course her two sisters, who have already been married and divorced, but are trying to maintain a good attitude. We’ve got single people, people in long term relationships, and lots of married women. Lots of advice, lots of perspectives.
Joni got married early and dotes on her two adorable kidlets. She doesn’t always know about internet slang, memes, who’s president, or other minor trivia. She’s a busy lady.
Amanda is a corporate woman, also with two small kids, who has just relocated to the midwest with her family.
Sadie, our other sister, is divorced with a kid. She’s looking for Mr. Right and has been frustrated with the men she meets on dating sites.
I’m divorced, childless, and happy about it. I disliked being married and won’t seek it again.
Asha is desperately beautiful, partnered, and a doctor. She’s seriously intimidating.
Marie is European, never married, and sometimes seems a touch naive.
“It’s not going to be one of those embarrassing Bachelorettes” we say to one another.
“We’re not going to have penis necklaces and straws. We are sophisticated people. We went to college. We like art. We’re not going to be basic.”
When we say it, we mean it.
My sister is getting married to a lovely man. I’m very happy for her. Men she has dated before have been toxic or distant. This man is loving, handy, and seems to take real pleasure in making projects for her. He is kind and smart and I am so excited to have him in my family.
The Adventure Begins
We start the first day with a fancy breakfast and doting waitstaff. We are offered $24 bottomless mimosas, but we giggle and stick to tea. My sister is wearing all white and a veil, which she assures us she will be wearing all weekend.
Marie points out that in Europe, the bachelorette party is called a Hen Night. Because so many of us are married and divorced, I identify more with Hen Night than Bachelorette, just busty busybody chickens clucking around. Joni asks if the bachelors have a Cock Night. This is very funny of Joni until I realize she didn’t mean it to be. Marie says no, in Europe the men have Stag Night, and then, I guess, a chicken and a buck get married.
We break for after-brunch drinks. We explain to Joni that sometimes people pee on each other in bed, and that eggplants are emoji for penises. Sadie is swiping idly through her Tinder matches, explaining that her only demands are that the applicants have hair and don’t demand NSA hookups. We explain to Joni what NSA hookups are. Marie wants to stop on the pictures with taut, hairless abs, but I tell her that if a guy leads with his abs, he’ll show them to everyone. I want to swipe right on a cute artist named Will but Sadie stops me. “He doesn’t have a job and he doesn’t have a kid. I know that right now.” She dismisses him. I keep trying to tell her that, as we move into our fourth decade on earth, she might have to be flexible on hair. “Nothing doing”, Sadie says. “I’m not matching with a bald POS like my ex-husband.” She tells us that, hilariously, he blamed her for his hair loss. “Look”, he said, “I wasn’t balding when we met.” I laugh, but I’m also sad.
We have a day of bachelorette adventure. We drink terrible drinks. We dance to jazz bands. Our bride is congratulated, over and over. We beam with pride. We drink. We take a ghost tour. We drink. We see a psychic, and drink.
We compare our psychic readings. Asha has been told she’s very lustful, and not apologetic about it. She agrees 100%. She enjoys sex, and resents how her mother talked to her about sex, that it was something men always wanted and that women never wanted, but which had to occasionally be tolerated. She has a healthy sex drive but spent most of her young adulthood feeling ashamed.
Sadie was told that, after a terrible marriage and some disappointing dating, she is still too angry to successfully partner with a new person, that she is a teflon pan on which no-one can find purchase.
Emma’s reading is exciting and rosy, about her new role as wife and her new life.
My reading is mostly about career and goals, but at one moment the psychic cocks her head and asks, and you’re seeing someone? And I say yes, and she says, and it’s good, and I agree, it is. It may seem like faint praise, but it is good, and I’m grateful.
Yelling At Clowns
The second morning, we head to the famous Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. A colorfully dressed clown crows when he sees my sister’s veil and he starts making her a penis crown out of balloons. It is almost pornographic in its detail. This is not his first penis crown. We refuse it. “This,” I tell him, “is not that kind of bachelorette. We are not interested in being covered in penises.” He spreads his hands and pretends to be offended. “And besides,” I continue playfully, “all penises are pretty much the same. They don’t matter.” The clown angrily starts listing types of penises. “They can be big! Small! Curved! Straight!” We are grateful to be seated and get away from the clown yelling about penises.
I think we try to simplify down to penises because love itself is so scary and full of unknowns. People can change, their goals and life veer away from each other, they can fall in love with other people or just out of love with each other, so we like to simplify it. Penises it is. I get up to go to the bathroom and when I get back, my sister is wearing a penis crown. It has been given to her by a stranger. As we eat our beignets, we explain to Joni the concept of polyamory. “Is that”, she asks, “legal?” We assure her that it is. What she’s thinking of is polygamy. If you don’t marry everyone, we tell her, you can sleep with as many people as you want. She smiles and shakes her head.
SAME PENIS FOREVER
That afternoon, we have a lingerie shower. Suddenly, there are penis straws and a penis pinata and a sign that reads “SAME PENIS FOREVER.” Where did all the penises come from? No-one knows.
My sister opens all her fancy underwear and we laugh and clap.
I ask the room for marriage advice for Emma.
Joni offers, “always give him a blowie on his birthday.” I raise my eyebrows at the idea of an annual blowjob.
Asha protests. “What if”, she asks, “ you really like giving them?”
Joni blushes and says, “Oh, I guess you could do more! Just- not less.”
I tell Emma that you should always support each other. You should always try to give them the best of your time and attention. This, because it is not about sex, is boring the room. I also give them my Dad’s advice to me, which was never to do a chore that you don’t want to do for the rest of your life. On some level, your spouse is a roommate that you hope will never move out.
Sadie says that although Emma has been distracted by the wedding, that’s just a fun party. The thing to concentrate on is the marriage, that’s the long term project that will shape her life and her partner’s life. Emma nods and smiles but doesn’t really seem to take it in. Sadie and I laugh together because this is the best advice she got on her wedding day, but didn’t recognize until years later. Weddings are a lot of noise and dresses and expense, maybe to distract you from the profundity of sealing your life to another person.
Amanda offers that you should marry your best friend. This is simple but profound. We all nod. Beauty fades and they lose their hair, but when you really like each other, you’ll get through the hard parts.
“There is no long relationship”, I say, “Without hard work. Everyone has to work. The idea that your relationship will be good without work is the biggest lie of all.” Joni agrees and says, “it’s weird, all the movies end with the couple getting married and nobody wants to talk about what happens after that, which is the rest of your life.” “That’s true”, interjects Sadie- “if a couple is married at the beginning of the movie, they’ll either split up and get back together, or split up and meet other people, or one of them is going to get kidnapped or die. There is nothing interesting to Hollywood about a successful marriage.” After all of our deep thoughts on partnership, we’re ready to go out.
By the end of the second day, I am wearing a themed bachelorette t-shirt, a sash, and a light-up twinkly flower crown. I now understand how dogs feel when we dress them up for Halloween.
We are walking up and down Frenchman street, being congratulated by fellow celebrants. I get away from my sisters for a moment and rejoin them in a bar moments later.
“Where”, my sister asks, “is your crown?” “I don’t know”, I tell them, but I do know. It’s in the trash can outside.
We go sing karaoke, taking over a small room. We sing all the songs about what we want from marriage, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “I Will Always Love You” sung by Whitney Houston, and Joni sings “Goodbye, Earl” by the Dixie Chicks, about friends getting together to murder an abusive husband. I am not sure this is what we want for wedding wishes, but that’s what we’ve got. We go to a late night dance party hosted by one of the parade Krewes and have a great time before heading back to the hotel, picking our way through the streets strewn with beads and beer cups.
The last morning of the trip, I spend some quiet time with Sadie. We talk about what we’ve learned from our marriages, and how we wish we could give Emma everything we know. We love her and we love her intended, and that has to be enough. We separate, hugging and crying, to see each other in our matching gowns in a month.
“Cringeworthy” doesn’t begin to describe these breakups.By Brittany Wong
12/28/2018 04:20pm ET | Updated a day ago
Breakups are inherently messy and awkward. You’re ending things with someone you loved — there are bound to be hiccups. One of you is probablygoing to ugly cry.
But some breakups are next-level awkward. Below, funny people share the most cringe-inducing breakups they’ve ever experienced or seen firsthand. Read ’em and weep (and just be glad they didn’t happen to you).
1. The one with the booty calls
“One thing I have learned as a rideshare driver is that if a man is getting a car in the middle of the night, is carrying suitcases but is not going to the airport, he’s done something wrong. I picked up one such dude at 5 a.m. in Silverlake, Los Angeles, and he immediately started calling and texting girls that he had been chatting with on Tinder and asking them if they wanted to ‘hang out.’ Nobody was that interested in hanging out at five on a Wednesday morning, or in fact in talking to him at all, so eventually we had to find him a hotel to move into.” ―Virginia Jones, a comedian and actress in Los Angeles
2. The one with Kenny Loggins
“One of my friends from high school was going out with this girl but had an epiphany while driving. A certain song came on the radio, and he realized he wasn’t meant to be in a relationship. When the girl asked why he was breaking up with her, he said, ‘Sorry babe, can’t be with you. “Danger Zone” opened my eyes to where I’m at in life right now.’” — Josh Womack, a co-founder and the head writer of Laugh Staff
3. The one after the first date
“I had just hit that dating sweet spot: My last boyfriend was far enough in the past that I was having a great, guiltless, tear-free time going out with people, but not so far away that I wanted another relationship. I met this guy at a bar. We’ll call him Eric. He had a guitar, and that was it for me. I’m a total sucker for the creative type. We went on a date, had great lingering eye contact, everything was going well. I remember thinking, ‘Hell yeah, I’m gonna see this dude naked tonight.’ After dinner he walked me to my car, and we started fooling around. Right when I was about to tell him to get in his car and follow me to my place, he broke the kiss and said, ‘Hey, so I think you’re great, but I’m not looking for anything serious.’ To which I replied, ‘Yeah, man, you’re fingering me in the parking lot of a karaoke bar. I’m obviously not trying to be in a relationship.’ It got real awkward, we each retreated to our cars, and I didn’t see him again.” ― Ariel Elias, a comedian in New York City
4. The one with Taco Bell and soiled sheets
“Not too long ago, I was in a place in my life where my basic integrity could be compromised for a mean guy with a beautiful dick. My stupid ass ignored a bunch of obvious red flags like him screaming at me for not using coasters or telling me that Korean was his favorite type of Asian. One night, after a ‘come to Jesus’ moment at a Taco Bell near his house, I went over to break up with him but ended up having sex instead, due to the aforementioned dick. The whole time we were having sex, I was fantasizing about how to break up with him. But then out of nowhere, he screamed, ‘Call me daddy!!’ which shocked me so much that I pooped on his white Ralph Lauren sheets. His face contorting in blind rage, I slowly backed out of his room and out of his life, forever. I’m pretty sure that’s ghosting?” ― Peter S. Kim, a comedian in Los Angeles
5. The one with the sad sandwich
“One dude I knew used to leave for work at 6 a.m. and stop by the bodega. He’d buy himself food and leave a bacon, egg and cheese for his girl, paid off, that she could pick up when she left at 7:30 a.m. It was cute. One day, I walk into the deli, and she’s mad that the counter guy was charging her, and he had to explain that her boyfriend didn’t leave it paid off. She called him and found out that their argument/breakup last night was real. She had it on speaker phone, so we all learned about the breakup together. She cried. Then we all chipped in a paid for her sandwich.” ―Gastor Almonte, a comedian in Brooklyn
6. The one with the podcast
“I broke up with my boyfriend (and talked about all of my issues with him) on my podcast. One night after the breakup, I ran into one of his friends and had sex with him in the bathroom of a bar. It wasn’t the greatest. He even pleaded at the end, ‘I can do better,’ so I also told that story on my podcast. I started dating my boyfriend again, and he listened to my podcast. He showed up to one of my comedy shows with his friend and said, ‘We both break up with you,’ and threw a drink in my face, but we were broken up.” ―Mara Marek, host of “The Happy Never After” podcast
7. The one with the sax player
“When I was in high school, I was madly in love with the baritone sax player in a band, and since I played the oboe and we were both woodwinds, it was already a love forbidden. He was very into the sax. He wouldn’t hold my hand or hug me without moving his fingers like I was a human saxophone, which I think he thought was sexy but mostly made me feel like a saxophone. He was older than me and ended up majoring in saxophone in college (a thing that you can do) and broke up with me so he’d have ‘more time to practice.’ I was completely devastated and for years thought he had cheated on me or met someone else and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Then I saw him a few years later, long after we were both over it, and he confirmed: He actually broke up with me for the saxophone. And it had worked out. He was really good at the saxophone now. Also, he had a Foghorn Leghorn tattoo by that time but didn’t care to explain it.” ―Jamie Loftus, a comedian and cartoonist in Los Angeles
8. The one on New Year’s Day
“My 2018 started out rough. I got dumped by a girl on New Year’s Day. Apparently, her resolution was to not date me this year.” ―Joshua Morrow, a comedian in Cleveland
9. The one with the ice cream
“My boyfriend came over and surprised me with Thrifty ice cream. We sat in my living room and talked for a bit before he suggested we move to my bedroom. He kept looking deeply into my eyes, and as I got up off the couch and into my wheelchair, he rubbed my ass and told me I looked pretty. We quickly moved to the bedroom and got under the covers. I moved in to kiss him, and that’s when he broke up with me. This was two days before Christmas.” ―Danielle Perez, a comedian and actress based in Los Angeles
10. The one with the dramatic fall
“This didn’t happen to me, but my friend Paula was having a fight with her boyfriend who was visiting from France and was being a stereotypical French asshole. It was New Year’s Eve, and we were all at a huge party, and he was wearing a big puffer jacket with a detachable hood. As they were arguing, I decided to help my friend and start yelling at him too. He was fed up with the two of us, but I wasn’t done with him, so as he walked away, I grabbed him by the hood, thinking I had him. I soon felt the hood detach in slow motion, snap by snap, and I fell down a small flight of stairs, hood in hand. As Paula ran to my aid, she yelled, ‘Jen! I see your vagina. Where are your panties?’ Oh, and they never spoke again.” ―Jenny Saldaña, a comedian and actress in New York City