Just humor me on this one, ok?By DAVE KIFFER
February 06, 2017
This is something that I was not previously aware of because I have known many women who have laughed at my jokes since time immemorial (at my current age, immemorial is anything older than 15 minutes).
Yes, yes, you are snickering to yourself with the thought that they were just humoring me. While that is possible in some cases, I just can't shake the fact that I really am funny.
No, that is not an "alternate fact."
Besides, even if they were simply "humoring" me, that would at least have to presume they have a "sense of humor." Right?
But I digress.
I'm kinda surprised about this revelation, because I have always known that some women are really funny. Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Sarah Palin, etc. Seriously funny. Bigly.
But apparently my assessment that because women are funny, they must also have a sense of humor is incorrect. At least according to one of the most respect arbiters of "what is" in America today.
Actually not just Hallmark but the whole danged greeting card industry put together.
You see I recently went in search of a birthday card for my long suffering (nearly 23 years) wife, Charlotte. Now I know that Charlotte has a sense of humor, because I have heard her occasionally laugh at things. Usually things that happen to me, to be sure, as opposed to the bits of wit that I generate, but she does laugh.
That is why I like to present her with at least a moderately humorous birthday card each year. You know the type. Always something deprecating about the hubby (me) and how I'd be a lost blubbering infantile fool without the wife (her).
Now, this, in all likelihood, is probably true, but that's the not the point here.
I always like to give funny cards because, well, I'm just not a serious guy. You know those pastel-colored cards where all the writing is in "cursive" because they - and the sentiment they are trying to portray - are supposed to elegant and serious? Well, that's soooooo not me at all.
I couldn't present one of those to someone and keep anything resembling a straight face. I would probably exhale the world's largest spit take while handing it to them.
I. Just. Can't. Be. Serious.
Just like I can't be George Clooney, although that would be my wife's favorite birthday present ever, if I could pull that off.
Rather than serious and sincere cursive, I would be more likely to present someone, anyone, with a greeting card that looks like a ransom note, and not just because my handwriting is so horrible.
Which is probably why, when I was in college, my mom complained that I had forgotten her birthday one year.
"But I sent you a card."
"Oh, was that card from you? I couldn't read the signature at all."
Hey, she was the one who gave me a typewriter in junior high and said "here, learn to use this. It will be your best friend."
And then she would tell her friends, "with his handwriting, he should have been a doctor."
But I digress again.
So I am out looking for an appropriate birthday card for Charlotte.
No, I am not out at the last minute. I am not desperately perusing the card aisle on my way home from work on her birthday.
I am not one of those husbands. I get things done early. I am perusing the card aisle the DAY BEFORE her birthday, for goodness sake!
Naturally, there are row upon row upon row of cards to choose. It's simply amazing that the greeting card industry has managed to come up with cards that cover, celebrate and charge big bucks for every facet of the human condition.
Speaking of big bucks, have you noticed how you have to take out a pay day loan now to buy a greeting card? When did they get to be more valuable than diamonds? Pretty soon, we're gonna start seeing Valentine's Day ads that announce "Show her she is the most precious thing in the world to you, buy her a card."
That's a discussion for another time.
Although recently DeBeers the Diamond Pimps released an advertisement that conflates both humor and diamonds by announcing that after you give your loved one a diamond she will start pretending to laugh at your jokes again. Go figure.
Anyway, I went in search of a funny "happy birthday" card for my wife. And the cupboard was seriously bare.
There were dozens of funny cards for husbands. All along the line of "you're a silly doofus, but I love you anyway."
Now, I get why you wouldn't want to give your wife a card saying "you're a silly doofus, but I love you anyway."
To quote Mrs. Incredible (the always awesome Elastigirl) one wouldn't "be setting the proper tone here" in that situation.
But in order to set the proper tone. it seems that the Greeting Card industry has decided that humor is "outré" on wife birthday cards. At least as far as I could tell at two different greeting card locations one day prior to Charlotte's birthday.
I finally had to settle for a gender neutral card that involved a cat, because, well because it involved a cat and I was out of options.
Cats are always funny and cute and very catlike. And Charlotte loves cats. She probably didn't even notice it was a "get well soon" card because the cat, in this case a big eyed kitten, was so stinkin' cute.
But I am still left with the sinking feeling that something has been lost. If we can't laugh with our spouses what is the point?
Fortunately, there will never be a dearth of "you're a silly doofus, but I love you anyway" cards for the husbands out there.
That will always be setting the proper tone.
Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at email@example.com
Dave Kiffer ©2016
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