I’m Not Sure Why It’s Funny

I like to think that I’m above a good joke about butts. I’m not. I could never have been an astronaut for several reasons but actually saying “Uranus” makes me laugh hysterically. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am a twelve year old boy. Welcome to grade six, it’s nice here. 

Today I was at my parents’ house for a bit. I was visiting with them and among other things, collecting the quilt I had as a kid. The special one that my great grandma made for me. One of the only tangibles I have left of one of my favorite people. 

While I was there, I also collected the mother/daughter journal that my mom and I started last summer. I stared it as a project to give my (someday) children. I do think it’s important for me to share generational stories and actually know my children, instead of the lip service that so often passes among other people. 

We also picked up on the conversation that never stops between us. It’s scary at how accurately we can predict what the other will say. Right down to tone and inflection.

 I am my mother. I am her speech patterns. I am “buggy” instead of “cart” and I’m “pin” for “pen”. Do not ask me what some words are. Just trust me. 

So there we were. In my parents’ kitchen. My dad was watching an episode of NCIS and I was getting ready to leave. Then it happened and I’m not sure why it’s funny. 

One of the characters said something about another being from Djibouti. Pronounced: Jah-booty. 

I looked at my mom and in my very best Lost in Space, I said “I’m from Uranus. I’ve landed on earth to take up residence in Jah-booty.” 

Now, the thing to keep in mind is, we are both silent laughers. Not the silent “this isn’t funny”. No…. The silent “I can’t breathe, move, or feel my face.” You might want to put a hand under our noses and check for air. It wasn’t until we both snorted that I believe air was taken in again. 

She looked at me: “Jah-booty!”

I looked back: “Your anus!”

My dad looked like: “You two are bonkers. Certified bonkers.”

My husband will one day be up for sainthood, as will my father. 

I’m not sure why it was so funny. But we both doubled over and had tears streaming down our cheeks. I looked like a member of The Cure. 

A few minutes later, I collected myself. I left relatively intact and made my way to work. But in the back of my mind, while facing a room full of college freshman, I kept hearing “your anus” and “Jah-booty” on replay. If I laughed out loud at random, it’s alright. The students known I’m inclined to laugh at my own jokes. But I didn’t tell them this one. 

They get enough “hey what did the noun say?” 

“What”? 

“I don’t know. I had to ask a pronoun!”

I had a moment today with my mom. It should go in our journal. Because that’s what happens when mothers and daughters have an unshakable bond of love and then of friendship. We break apart at butt jokes. We trap farts in a jar. Or not. 

We trap memories and laughter. Held together by smile lines and journal entries. These are life’s sprinkles.  

Mothers and daughters can laugh about butts. Because we should be able to laugh about everything. And I treasure these jokes. These moments. These silly “I can’t breathe” laughs. 

She’s my mom. She laughs about butts. I occasionally think I’m a robot from outer space. But don’t tell anyone. We are ladies after all. 

But at the end of the day, I could text her “your anus” at 11:00 pm. And she’d laugh, texting me back “Jah-booty.” 

This is what happens between mothers and daughters.

I don’t know why it’s funny. 

But I know it’s an essential. Like a sprinkle. Only better. 

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