This little, dirty word is following me around a lot these days. It was first dirtily dropped when a girlfriend of mine told me that her husband said that one of the requirements for her to be his wife was that “they would have fun together.” I was stunned. Really? Fun is a requirement? Is your husband five years old? From then on I began to notice what “fun” meant to most people. Here’s what it looks like:
“We’re going to [fill in the blank natural place to participate in natural hobbies] tomorrow! We are going to have so much FUN!”
“We had so much FUN with our kids in [fill in the blank with appropriate, kid friendly space]. Little so-and-so had so much FUN.”
The word FUN is used in tandem with the word “yummy” eg, “we had so much fun making a yummy salad.”
The word fun crept into activities that should not ALWAYS be fun, such as learning. “I really liked so-and-so’s class. It was so much fun.”
So, let’s get an expert on the word “fun”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary classifies “fun” as a noun. A noun is a person, place or thing. The definition is “something that PROVIDES amusement or enjoyment.
Ahhhh. I see. We have to agree on our definition of what constitutes enjoyment. I find fun in analyzing humans. I find fun in working towards something that I desire. I find fun in people who are honest and intense. I find fun in intensity. I find fun in things most people avoid. I ENJOY getting to the heart of the matter. I enjoy knowing the root of things. I also ENJOY darkness. One of my favorite times in my life was after the breakup of my first long-term love. I found it to be revealing, painful, illuminating, and freeing. In other words, it was “fun”.
Now, I must go back to the dance. If we are trained properly in dance then it is absolutely not “fun” in the way most people think of as fun, and for that reason, it is not for wimps. You see, dance is for those whose life experience needs more communication than words. It is “fun” because getting your ass whooped in the studio, bending your body into shapes, flying through the air, and critiquing, critiquing, critiquing everything you do is really not as bad as… the other stuff that life has thrown at you. It’s saying to you, “here is an intensity more enjoyable than the one you’re used to.” That’s what REAL dance training does for the human.
Unfortunately, the pussy version of “fun” has intercepted all other forms. “Fun” is somehow related to ease, which in dance, is related to lazy. There is no fire. No FEAR. You see, it’s okay to have FEAR in class. That’s good fear! That’s actually a challenge! That promotes growth! I had a student sob to me PRIOR TO EVER TAKING my classes because she heard that I was not a “fun” teacher. She told me about a bunch of problems that she had, and she assumed that would give her a pass to be coddled. I told her my class wasn’t the class for her. To be coddled is not “fun” in my book.
I think what “fun” really means to most people is “pleasure”. They really want to say, “I want to have a “pleasing” time. I want to have “pleasure” with you. Well, my dears, pleasure is not something that should be expected of everyone and most certainly not in avenues that are about work. Furthermore, in intimate relationships “fun” cannot be had 24/7. Nor should it be expected. There are women who provide fun, comfort, pleasure, and ease but they will charge you for the service. There are also teachers of movement who provide a fun, comfortable, pleasurable experience but they are called Zumba/aerobic/Jazzercise instructors (not dance teachers).
So, to the restrictive, benign, milk toast, oppressive version of “fun” I humbly and gently say, “fuck you fun. here’s my middle finger. flipping you off is plenty fun to me.”