Comedically Incompatible / by Dana Bergstrom

Pauly and I enjoy a lot of the same kinds of things: books and movies, as well as stockpiling alcohol, tobacco and firearms for the coming apocalypse.

Oh, I just love those three words together. Alcohol, tobacco and firearms! ATF! They just make me ridiculously happy. Sometimes I lie and spin tall tales just so I can use that fun linguistic combo. (Watch out for that, dear reader.)

Here's the truth: I would really love it if someone would send me an ATF sweatshirt.

I will happily wear it during end times in my massive underground bunker of alcohol, tobacco and firearms!!!!!

Okay, back to what Pauly and I have in common. We do enjoy the same kinds of books and movies as well as a number of hobbies like dancing, walking hand-in-hand in nature (awwww), costume parties and remodeling old houses.

Costume party photo credit goes to the ultimate costume party dude of all time: Jake Peters

Costume party photo credit goes to the ultimate costume party dude of all time: Jake Peters

However, a lot of what we find funny, entertainment-wise, could NOT be more different.

I’ll ask him to watch a certain stand up comedian or sit-com or funny movie and we'll both laugh throughout most of it. Afterwards I'll ask him how he liked it and he offers the same line every time. It's been his consistent answer for 23 years. Pauly always says, “It wasn’t that funny.”

I do not like it when he says this. I become unreasonably upset and belligerent every single time. He was laughing! I was laughing! We both have a great time until I ask him the question and he says, “It wasn’t that funny.”

That line is my cue to begin yelling. And in keeping with the redundancy of the whole 23 year long streak, I yell the same thing each time, “You laughed, Paul! You laughed a lot! Why can’t you admit that it was funny?!”

He sticks to his guns and repeats his phrase. “It wasn’t that funny.”

Then smoke starts pouring out of my ears. My eyes turn red. I can barely think. I want to hire a private investigator, videotape him, catch him laughing at all the things that I like too and then take him to court for being a boldfaced liar! I am certain I will win!

What the hell is wrong with me? Why do I care so much about this? Why am I so upset that he thinks poop humor like Eddie Murphy’s farting Klump Family is the funniest stuff ever? Pauly laughs so long and so hard that he actually cannot control his body. Whenever this kind of hoohaw comes on the screen, Pauly's muscles suddenly turn into jelly. He literally slides off the couch, rolls onto the floor and curls into a whimpering ball of tears and giggles. His unintentional slapstick routine is so much funnier than Eddie Murphy's goofball characters who fart and belch every two seconds.

For years Pauly's been asking me to watch one of those crazy Minion movies that he’s seen with kids and loved many times. Yet I cannot bring myself to do it for fear that I’ll go on a three year yelling rampage after I finish! I get all frowny and squinty eyed and fold my arms in front of my chest whenever he brings these up as film options. Who knows! Maybe they’re hilarious movies but because he loves them so much, I’m terribly suspicious. I figure there is no way that they can be good.

Any insight into my mania would be appreciated...so lets dig deeper as I type away on my laptop. Of course, I know it’s fear-based because it doesn’t feel good. My current perspective is that I am either acting out of love or fear and I can tell which one by the way I feel. And yelling at the top of my lungs at Pauly after every comedy we watch does not feel good.

Am I afraid that what I think is funny, isn’t actually funny?

No. I KNOW what’s funny to me.

Am I afraid that if Pauly and I aren’t compatible in all areas then we’re not really meant to be together?

No. We don’t have to like all of the same things. We’re good together despite our many differences.

Am I thinking that because my husband doesn't get my sense of humor I won't feel supported enough to do what I want to do with writing and comedy?

Ding ding ding! Yep, that’s it! I hit the fear button on the head. "Everything you judge you fear.”

But, hey! My husband doesn’t have to fully understand me just so I can pursue something that's really fun and meaningful to me!

It’s only taken me 23 years of yelling to figure this out, but better late than never, eh? I can still do what I want, humor-wise, and he can like his stuff. So…problem solved.

I can also just stop asking him if he enjoyed something that I enjoyed so I don’t get triggered by his usual answer. That might help too. Slow learners like me can eventually learn and if nothing else, I hope this post at least demonstrates that.

So, in conclusion, if you haven't started your own Armageddon stockpile yet, no worries! Simply send me an ATF sweatshirt and that will get you a free pass into my fabulous, secret alcohol, tobacco and firearms lair where we'll also have hoards of comedies that magically turn Pauly into a crazy giggling jello jiggler for our end of times amusement. It's gonna be a hoot.