I’m Offended That You’re Offended
I love a good joke. And by good joke, I mean a really bad one. One that defies all of the rules of polite society.
Inappropriate. Off color. Dark humor. I can’t believe he just said that.
I love inappropriate humor.
In fact, I’m married to it.
It’s one of my favorite things about my husband. He is horribly, wonderfully inappropriate some times. He can wiggle out of just about any argument with a well placed joke. He’s always ready with a line or a quip that has some people choking on their drinks and others gasping in horror.
Me? I’m the neurotic people pleaser. I worry about hurting feelings, offending or upsetting people. Even people I don’t necessarily like. It’s ridiculous the amount of brain power and energy and time I spend worrying about this kind of shit.
But not him. He has freedom. He just goes for the funny, self righteous uptight busy bodies be damned.
And I’m so jealous of that.
I sit here and write every day. And every day I’m analyzing every. single. word. I’m terrified of what people will think. I’m paralyzed at the thought of offending someone.
I stay away from topics that are too controversial. I avoid cursing. I hold back. I dilute it. I white-wash my writing in political (and every other kind of) correctness. I only drop in an occasional foul word if it is to express deep pain or passion and no other word will suffice. But fuuuucck. It’s exhausting. (ohmygodohmygodohmygod)
The amount of thought I put into what not to write? It’s embarrassing. And I’m sick of worrying about it. I’m sick of worrying about what you think. Of what the nice lady down the street will think. What all the people who don’t even know I blog but may one day accidentally run across it think.
Even here. On SisterWives. A place that invites, nay, encourages, real, raw, honest writing. Even here, my palms are sweaty because I just said fuck twice. (Shit, three times.)
What the hell is wrong with me?
Maybe that’s why I love inappropriate humor. Because it’s so far out of the realm of what I do and say. Because it’s a little freeing to laugh at it even if I’m not the one who said it.
I love raw humor, the kind that makes you question yourself for laughing. The kind that makes you think about the way you think. The kind that allows you to laugh at the absurd, the awful, the painful.
I love sarcasm. Hyperbole. Wit so dry my mouth turns to cotton. I love someone who can make me laugh, even when my heart is hurting.
I am in awe of people who do that freely. And I thank sweet little 7 pound 8 ounce baby Jesus for those people. (No disrespect meant to Jesus lovers.)
Those people have saved me. In my darkest moments I have been able to laugh. Sometimes it’s been my brother or sister. Sometimes my husband. Sometimes my closest friends. I have been in the depths of despair or in pain or just plain freaked out. And someone I know and love will drop in with a horribly inappropriate hilarious comment or observation and I am saved.
It’s kind of like when M’Lynn was crying hysterically at Shelby’s funeral? And Clairee shoves Weezer in front of her and tells her to punch Weezer in the face? And everyone erupts in laughter and M’Lynn goes from hysterical crying to hysterical laughter? That. That -only funnier- is what my people have done for me. (What? You’ve never seen Steele Magnolias? You’ve heard of Netflix, right? Get yerself some culture, ok?)
But then you have people that get pissed off. They find offense in someone else’s joke. They point out how that is hurtful to dogs/children//women/glutenites/religious people. Or insert any cause du jour. They have every right to not like it. To refuse to laugh. There have been plenty of jokes that have turned my stomach. But I don’t throw self righteous indignation on top of a steaming pile of shitty jokes. I walk away/ turn away/ look away.
Because there is always some topic that is too precious to laugh at. Always.I promise you. Nothing is safe from the harrumphs and the how dear theys. Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Chris Rock, Louis CK. All of them left a sea of offended horrified people in their wake. Didn’t stop them.
And thank God.
Because some of us love dark humor. Some of us see the humor in the absurd. Some of us love that a really good joke calls you out on the very same b.s. that it is seemingly promoting. I need the fearlessly funny people in my life. The sharp witted, razor tongued rogues who bring the kind of laughter that I crave. Some of us don’t get off on your average “Guy walks into a bar” joke. (and by “get off” I mean laugh. C’mon, people.)
And aren’t you (you who get offended) tired of being so easily off’d? Isn’t it exhausting being riled up by every F-bomb and every joke that doesn’t meet some strict parameters of political correctness? Is it fun living life as the arbitrator of funny? Is it fun up on that high horse? (people on high horses are the one group I have no problem offending.)
I don’t think it is. I think that deep down you want to join in. You want to laugh too. And the best kind of laughter is when you can laugh at yourself. When you can trust that most jokes come from a place of entertaining and not harm.
*Disclaimer: Laughter at jokes is quite different from laughing with intent to hurt or demean. Belittling or shaming someone is different thing altogether. Someone looking to entertain is different from someone attempting to bully.
**What kind of asshole puts a disclaimer in the middle of a blog post?
Ugh. I’m so bored with it all.
I’m bored with worrying about it.
I’m bored with thinking about every fucking word I type.
I’m bored with grown ass adults who get injured by reading the word fuck.
Fuck fuck fuck. (Call it immersion therapy.)
I’m bored with self righteous indignation over jokes. Because (and this is the crucial part) they are JOKES.
And if this pisses you off, then I’m bored with you.
Because you’re trying to suck the fun out of humor. And that offends me. Humor is subjective. One person’s funny is someone else’s yawn. One person’s Oh my gawd! Is someone else’s Oh my. It is what it is. But what it isn’t is offensive.
You may not get it. You may not find it funny. That is totally fine. But you can’t police what other people find funny. You just can’t. Policing speech or humor is a dirty twisted road you don’t want to go down. It’s never ended well. Just ask all of North Korea.
So put on your big girl panties (says a staunch feminist) and suck it up when you hear someone crack a joke that doesn’t sit well with your delicate sensibilities.
Because I can’t afford to have watered down humor.
I need the dark side of funny.
I need to laugh and gasp at the same time.
I need the ice cold shock of unholy humor to get through life.
Life is a lot more fun when you don’t take things too seriously.
Life is hard and we could all use a good laugh.
It would be a lot more fun if we could all laugh together.
And if you don’t want to laugh with the rest of us?
Then I’m going to have to try really hard to not give a fuck.