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Saturday, March 14, 2015

No Romance

"Sophie's mom is a comic and writes television scenes and sketches at the Fisk Building."

Greenwich Village, 1957

There’s something I'd like to write but my friends say no one would believe it. It’s based on an incident that really happened when I was at Your Show of Shows.

We were supposed to do a romantic comedy skit featuring Imogene Coca and all of a sudden everybody’s looking at me. “Well?” says our producer Max Liebman. “Well what?” says I.

“Well,” he says again, clearing his throat. “Look,” I say, “If you want me to come up with something romantic, I will.” Big sigh of relief all around the room.

“But I’ll do it because I’m a writer,” I say, “not because I’m a broad.” 

“Sure, sure,” says Max. And then I smile.

“I don’t believe in romance,” I say, and you’d think I would have suddenly grown three eyes and sprouted fifty new legs. You could have heard a pin drop, and half the room’s mouths dropped open like baby birds.

“Don’t look at me like that.”

“How should we look at you?” asked Max.

“How should I know?”

The thing is, I’ve had a lot of romancing and I can tell you how it ends. Never pretty, and usually in tears. If a young woman ever asks me about what to look for in a guy, I say, someone who’ll be nice to you. And you want him to make you laugh.

Which is why I’m going out with someone who does that. (Not anyone from any of the shows I’ve worked for, because that’s its own recipe for disaster.) But someone who appreciates a good joke and knows how to tell it. Who enjoys life in general.

Because that’s what’s going to get you through all the tough times, more than flowers, more than candles, more than sweet nothings whispered in your ear (which turn out to mean absolutely nothing too).

Of course, I did come up with something romantic for Imogene, and everything went wrong in the skit, like it’s supposed to in comedyland. But I thank my lucky stars every day I don’t believe in romance. And my guy makes me happier than I’ve ever been.