Husband Tells Jokes, People Look Confused

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.

9 Responses to “Husband Tells Jokes, People Look Confused”

  1. I might be wrong but based on your comment on my site (De Culturis Mundi) about the different cultural background, I think it might be the completely different kind of humour he grew up with.
    Since I moved to Canada I have been struggling with the same: whenever I tried to “translate” an old joke (which was always understood by everybody back home in Eastern Europe) – it confuses the Anglo-Saxon world, and they are just staring at me: “What was this?”

    Perhaps, I should write a post about this 😉

  2. Hi Moshu,

    I like your site! Thank you also for your feedback on jokes.

    Yes, this is true–the standard jokes from Eastern Europe are deep and often historically or culturally-based, so outsiders totally miss the punchlines. (I lived in Moscow, Russia for a few years and traveled all around Eastern Europe. I speak Russian, but I think I only understood maybe 3 jokes during my stay there–it wasn’t due to language, as I understood the words–it was definitely the intricacy and style of the humor:)

    But, even people from Eastern Europe have this stunned and confused expression when my husband tells jokes…the next time he tells one, I will contact you, and if you have time, you can confirm whether this is cultural or just strange jokes. Hm, maybe you will think he’s funny!

  3. I appreciate your frustration…my wife does the same thing. I do not get her sense of humor, and neither does anyone else…EXCEPT HER 10 BROTHERS AND SISTERS. They all laugh at her….everyone normal just looks confused. And I am SO FUNNY…to everyone but her family, who never laugh at my jokes. Crazy Norwegians.

  4. Daddyboy,

    Oh my gosh. It’s a little painful, but also hilarious, to envision this. My husband’s family ALSO think he’s soooo funny! What’s up with that?

    It must be tough to tell a joke and 10 people (or I guess 11, including your wife) don’t laugh. I’ll ask my husband how that feels;)

  5. I am sitting here with tears running down my face… LAUGHING… READING ALOUD THIS POST to my mostly-nonfunny husband. We both are passing out here with laughter.

    I feel your pain.

  6. I actually thought the goat meat joke was pretty funny.
    Maybe I’d think your husband is hilarious, you never know.

  7. Goat meat–priceless! I’ll have to stop reading this blog at work if it gets any funnier.

Leave a Reply