Years ago when I had to write a (stupid) paper for a (stupider) class, I asked my husband for help with the whole, "Three Greatest Strengths and Three Greatest Weaknesses" (stupidest) topic. I mean, what was this? A job interview?? We had been married probably about 3 or 4 years at that point, and he pointedly refused to help me in the "weakness" category. No matter how much I begged him, he remained silent on the subject. I even threw a few out there myself: Bossy, Impatient, Moody, Impulsive?? He wasn't going for it.
I swear it wasn't a trap. I really wanted another opinion. And who better to ask than the person who had to deal with me on a daily basis? I tried asking in a million different ways, but he wouldn't budge. (Maybe scary. Scary was my weakness.) Finally, I said, "Just tell me what your least favorite thing about me is. What bugs you the most? I promise I won't hold it against you. Promise." Begrudgingly, he oh-so-slowly answered, "Well, sometimes...you think you're funny when you're not."
I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life. Ever. I know, more than anyone, that I am a fatally flawed person. I could, at any given time, list off a ton of personality failings that I have. But thinking I'm funny when I'm not? Not even on my radar. Probably because...well, I think I'm funny! Which I guess is the point.
I am pretty sure I have held true to my promise. Technically, I have never held it against him. Does it come up frequently in conversation? Perhaps. But I'm not mad at him for saying it. I mean, I think he's wrong. But...again...probably the point. And it might be that I have spent the last decade looking for ways to prove otherwise:
Like when my 5-year-old says, "Mommy, you're funny."
I say, "Tell your dad that."
And he says, "Daddy, Mommy is funny."
And my husband says, "Yeah, but is she funny ALL of the time, or just some of the time?"
And my fiercely loyal 5-year-old responds, "All the time."
But I wouldn't say that I've held it against him. And every now and then a plan of mine, that I think is downright hilarious, backfires. And I think maybe, just maybe, he was a little bit right. MAYBE.
For instance, my parents generously paid for a vacation home in Anaheim last month so that my entire family, parents, siblings, kids & all, could have a trip to California together. (I mean, if they wouldn't have sold their house in California, we wouldn't have needed the vacation home, so some might say they owed it to us. But it was still very generous.) My family was the first to arrive, and down the street from the (beautiful) rental was this house:
I snapped a pic and texted it to my sister with the caption...Um, I think Mom & Dad might have overpaid for the rental. I sent the same picture to my parents with a similar caption. My mom promptly responded with, Are you kidding? That is NOT what it looked like online. I told her that, unfortunately, I was dead serious.
I told my sister about a fifteen minutes later that I was kidding.
I did not let my parents in on the joke. Why? Well, my kids and my sister asked me that very same question. And I told them exactly what I'll tell you: Because it's funny.
The house was still being cleaned and it wasn't time to check-in yet, so my husband, kids & I headed to Downtown Disney to walk around while we waited. (And to torture ourselves with being that close to the Magic Kingdom without going in. Like hanging outside a KFC when you're on a diet.) About an hour later I got this text from my mom, Thanks so much for the heads up. We just talked to the rental company and they have agreed to cancel our reservation. They have refunded the money for the week, and they will let us stay for one night with no charge because of the misunderstanding.
Oh crap. I tried to text her back. I tried to text my dad. I tried to call them both. No answer.
Uh, had I just ruined our entire family vacation because I was trying to be funny? It appeared that yes, yes I had. I was flipping out a little bit, to say the least. My husband, on the other hand, was wearing a decidedly smug see-what-happens-when-you-think-you're-funny look. (Apparently being right is even better than having a place to stay for the week.)
It turns out that my parents had already been to the real vacation home, after having a meltdown about the text I had sent them, and were just giving me a taste of my own humorous medicine.
(How'd it taste? Funny. In case you were wondering.)
So I guess I now have to admit, that maybe, just maybe, sometimes I think I'm funny when I'm not.
Either that or I just come from a really funny family.