Sunday, July 29, 2012

humor isn't always funny

There is a company that creates tongue and cheek e-cards; many people post them on Facebook.  I will admit, some of them are downright hilarious to me.  Sometimes, even days, weeks or months later,  I laugh at the thought of them. 

Overall, the writers seem to be very clever folks.

While humor is definitely based on opinion, there was one e-card that I saw on Facebook within the last few months that I found quite bothersome, and not at all funny.  I could see where the thought process was trying to go, but I couldn't get past the ignorance of it, and was honestly hurt by it. 

So hurt, in fact, that I almost posted it on my own Facebook wall just to lash out and make everyone feel bad who had posted it.  After a little thought, I decided it was in poor taste to post it in retaliation.  Who am I to make others feel horrible for having a sense of humor on a subject that is sensitive to me.

Instead, I have decided to write out my feelings, so that others will understand my point of view - whether it is the same, different, or otherwise as their own.

Here is the e-card:


It doesn't really get more painful than that for a bereaved parent.  I'm sure that this was just meant to be a joke, but this picture cuts so deep that I still haven't laughed at it......not even once.

I don't blame my friends for finding the humor in this.  In another time and place, I might've found humor in this picture, too.  Clearly we all have our moments in parenthood where we don't meet up to our expectations of ourselves - things rarely ever go as planned.  Frustration happens, anger happens, tantrums happen (hopefully by the children more often than the parents).

I get that parenting is hard.  I know we are all just doing the best that we can, and I am certain that sometimes it must feel like an accomplishment just to be able to say our kids survived our mistakes.


For those who have experienced the death of a child, this is "e-card" is downright cruel.  It has cut me in a way I didn't even imagine to be possible.

I feel the need to defend the reality on this...

The survival of a child does not indicate that parenting was ever good.  There are so many good parents who have lost children, and so many unfit parents who have not.

None of us is better than any other.  We are all doing the best that we can in life.  However, I feel the need to bring this up, especially as a person who jokes around a lot. 

Jokes aren't always funny; without meaning to be, some jokes can be cruel and painful. 

Perhaps this posting can serve as a reminder.  For me, the reminder is not to make so many jokes, for others, it might be the same. 

The bottom line is:  one person's funny, just might be another person's pain. 

So, if you are the jokey type (like me), then please especially try to think about your 'audience' before you deliver a punchline.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Tracy. I had never seen that particular e-card before. I understand the humor and I never would have thought of it from your perspective. But reading what you wrote has made me see it very differently. I think you were very fair in what you wrote and it was nice of you to think it through and not try to make others uncomfortable when they weren't trying to be hurtful. Just yesterday I pinned a sign on pinterest for the kitchen that says, "Many have eaten here and few have died." I thought it was funny as it was poking fun at my terrible cooking. Would that sign bother you? I'm thinking about it differently now. Love you, cousin! -Esther

  2. I agree and thought the same thing when I saw this one circulating quite a while ago.