Doesn’t everyone want a partner who has a great sense of humor? Yes, me too. But well, I didn’t really get that. I realize that probably sounds a little mean to people who haven’t…how shall I put this…experienced my husband’s jokes. It’s not that his jokes are gross, cruel, too political, or anything like that. Rather, they are just completely incomprehensible. And not at all funny. And they confuse people. Or even alarm people, depending on the topic.
If we are sitting around a table with friends and my husband suddenly blurts out a joke (my worst social nightmare)…here’s what happens: Everyone kind of stops talking and starts looking around at everyone else. You can tell they want to ask, “What just happened? Was that a joke? Or was it a fact? Something from the news?” There is always a moment of sheer confusion, but the moment stretches out for several moments, because my husband thinks that people are just taking time to process the humor–therefore, he doesn’t say “I was joking” quickly enough to eliminate the mass confusion.
Now, I could jump in and say “he was just joking,” except that his jokes also confuse me (and often frustrate and irritate me). Also, when I do finally realize there has been “a joke,” I prefer to quickly change the topic and let people think the confusion was their own fault, rather than admit that the pandemonium was all the result of my husband’s attempt to be funny.
He also tells lots of jokes about me. Not to other people. To ME. For example, “Honey, so you like the chicken I made tonight?” It’s very difficult to replicate one of his jokes, but here’s something vaguely like what he might say: “Oh, this is chicken? I thought it was goat meat.” See–that’s not only not funny. It’s just plain confusing and frustrating. Why would you think it’s goat meat? Have you actually eaten goat meat? Are you trying to say the chicken tastes bad? If so, just say it instead of telling confusing jokes.
For 9 years, I have been asking him if he can try to make his jokes a little funnier. I don’t even think he’s trying.