Unequivocally Ambiguous

satirical cultural critiques

My Wife Will Kill Me One Day!

by | May 27, 2022 | Society | 0 comments

Likely over a joke.

My wife said, “The book I’m reading reminded me of you because the main character is an unsuccessful writer.”

“Ouch,” I said as I looked down and reconsidered all my life’s decisions.

She recovered well, “oh, stop that. I mean, you know how you always say writers love to write novels about struggling writers and how no one cares?”

“Ah, yes,” I said, unsure, “why do they do that?”

“Well, you know, write what you know.” She arched her eyebrows, “Like how you could write this!”

A double-fall. Brilliant.

I debated writing this because there is no possible way to write enough context and tone that doesn’t depict my wife as a jerk.

She is not. My wife is one of the funniest people I know, and unlike me, she doesn’t even try and she is super nice!

I don’t think about how she comes across much. I’m telling a story and being honest with the moment I’m describing.

Every once in a while, I will think about it because someone will bring it up.

I was asked on a Q&A panel after workshopping my monologue if my wife’s comments bothered me because they would feel hurt.

I thought about what jokes they were actually referring to, and then I said, “No, it doesn’t.”

I think the jokes are funny, and it is weird that my wife doesn’t think she is funny. Also, my wife has become a litmus test; if she shakes her head at my comment, I might be onto something with this punchline.

The first joke I made on the set was this: “typically, I jump right into my set without preamble; it is a technique known as starting in the middle of the action (or media res). Today I wanted to start by warning you that you are about to hear jokes I have on race. But they are just jokes. It’s okay if you think some of these jokes are not funny; as a matter of fact, my wife doesn’t think any of them are funny. What’s not okay is for you to get on stage and slap me in the face.”

This monologue happened the night after Will Smith’s nuclear slap, which threw me into a joke-writing frenzy.

I Have Trivialied Chris Rock’s Pain But Will Smith Slapped Me Into a Frenzy

The second joke I made was, “my wife says I talk too much about race, and I make people uncomfortable. To be fair, even if I wasn’t talking about race, I would still find ways to make people uncomfortable.”

My wife’s comments don’t upset me. She typically doesn’t find my humor uncomfortable because she doesn’t like anything that can be considered or constructed as mean towards someone. That would make humor really really hard.

Making jokes about it doesn’t worry me either.

Because they are just little lies we craft for the platforms, content monsters, and the approval gods. At the end of the day, my wife and I have a strong relationship, and what people think of us, of her or of me is irrelevant.

These platforms and their algorithms are brutal.

They are destroying us all. we debase ourselves along with our principles because we all have issues. They might not be daddy and abandonment issues like mine, but I’m sure you have your own laundry list.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, when he wrote unsuccessful limericks about divorce,

“Issues in red, 
issues in blue.
Your parents divorced; 
now you’re broken too.

Issues, issues,
there are many; 
from here on 
forever plenty”.

We say things we don’t completely mean in the search of that punchline that will make someone snort even if the call-and-answer happened asynchronously. We are all there hungry to fill the void with the approval of the like, the clap, the thumbs-up, the love, the grab-ass, and if we are lucky, maybe one day we might even get a horse .

But I never tweet, write or talk about something my wife said if I didn’t think it was funny.

She worries about it, though. She asks me, “do people think I’m a jerk?

And I reassured her, “no, you have plenty of people on your team.”

Now that I think about it must mean they think I’m a jerk.

But I tell her how people love the comment she made during pregnancy and I tweeted, “the last two months of my wife’s pregnancy, she pinned me between her belly and the mattress because, and I quote, ‘she shouldn’t be the only one who is miserable.’”

That is hilarious!

It wasn’t funny at the time when I thought I was going to die of claustrophobia before my second was born. But funnysight is 20/20.

It would make sense if you are saying to yourself, “his poor wife.”

You think my essays, my comments, my tweets upset you. My poor wife gets this chatterbox 24/7. I never shut up. I probably talk in my sleep when I’m not snoring loudly and in her ear.

I love the sound of my own voice, and if it was a soap, I’d lather my skin in it twice a day — my accent the bits of crystal that get stuck in between your cheeks and effervesce when the water finally reaches them.

My wife gets to enjoy that goodness all days against her will and will have to until death do us apart — which could lead to my early demise at her hands.

But my wife wasn’t wrong with her original comment.

I can’t stand one more story where the main character is a struggling writer; are there not any other professions in the world? Really!

Why do writers insist on writing the most inane, vapid content chasing the formula or the algorithm?

Why do they keep talking about their main characters?

Why do they keep shouting their word count?

Word count is hygienic. It’s part of what you do.

You poop, you wipe. That’s it. No one needs to know about it.

You don’t tell the world how many BMs you had in the day or how many squares of toilet paper you needed to haphazardly prevent a streak in your underwear— two and seventeen.

But really, do you care?

No.

Only Target cares (I hope) because they need to know when to send me the coupons for the expensive stuff with Aloe Vera for my sensitive hairy behind.

Why, Carlos? Aloe Vera is the snake oil of the toilet paper industry!

Because my ass has been through enough. If you don’t believe me ask my sister.

My mom was a single mother struggling to make ends meet; she sometimes would resort to buying cheap toilet paper. I’m sure the sandpaper company manufactured the toilet paper looking to diversify their product offering.

The rolls came in two strong dyes, hot pink or fluorescent blue. Not only did the paper scratch my ass, but it also made it colorful with the leftover dye and the little spot of red resulting from the aggravated assault sustained by my nascent buttcheeks.

To this day, my mom denies this ever happened. Good thing my sister was there and can confirm it. I don’t need one more thing to question my own sanity over.

Writing can be equally as frustrating as using that toilet paper.

I see the writers receiving showers of approvals after writing yet another listicle on:

  • The 27 things rich people do in five minutes.
  • How to make millions in the crypto market even if you don’t understand it is a scam.
  • How to find a portal in the time-and-space continuum to make your days be 35 hours.
  • Ways to bleach your butthole.

And I think to myself, “are there really that many people interested in bleaching their buttholes in this world?” I mean, that in itself warrants enough material to write a different essay. I’m sure Montaigne would’ve been proud of the use of this literary device.

I’m frustrated because formulas work for commercial success, but they are not that generous for exploratory or experimental writing.

I’m too stubborn not to obey the story and its spirit.

Everything I do everywhere in my life is for others. My writing is for me. So why does it upset me that I’m not more commercially successful?

I am making a conscious decision, after all.

I don’t know.

I even know I don’t do this for the money.

I wipe my ass with the thirty dollars I generate from my writing every month.

And I don’t mean that metaphorically as in the disdain exhibited by the idiom “I wipe my ass with this or that.” No.

It also doesn’t mean that I go to the bank, get a Jackson, a Lincoln, and five Washingtons and then come back to my toilet and literally wipe my ass. No.

I mean, that money is barely enough to buy a six-roll pack of the toilet paper I told you my traumatized butt cheeks need to cope with the world. Because toilet paper is expensive, especially after pandemic frenzies and inflation.

But it is still upsetting.

As much as I would want to be selected as the winner of what feels like the zero-sum game of publishing and writing, I do it to express my humanity, and in turn, I hope that some can see their humanity in it.

I write from the heart.

Just don’t tell my wife I wrote this.

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