Ladies, you know I’ve raked our men-folk over the coals in a blog or two. I guess you all liked that because it gets shared a bazillion times. Right now a wife in China is reading my posts and thinking…well, I don’t know what she’s thinking because I don’t speak Mandarin. But you’re not perfect, either. In fact, you’ve got a problem that’s really bothering me. You’re not funny. Yeah, okay, of course some women are. Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Lucille Ball, all hilarious. Are they “Gallagher” hilarious? I don’t know. I’ll leave that for the politicians in Washington to decide. I’m not talking about the legends. I’m talking about you; the woman reading this blog, the Pinterest enthusiast, the book club member. It might be too late for you, but folks, We Have To Keep Our Daughters Funny.
We Have To Keep Our Daughters Funny
My daughter is 7 and she’s funny as hell. And it’s not “Look at me! I farted!” kind of stupid, kid funny. My son has that genre locked down. She’s smart funny. She does these great voices and these horrible accents that she knows are horrible and plays off that. She can make the most bizarre faces. She bellows like an opera singer and does Hula dances. But at some point, maybe when she turns 10, maybe 13, almost certainly before 16, she’s going to transform into this dull, pop culture obsessed, bore.
Now, it might come as a surprise to you, but I’m not a female, so I don’t know when exactly this change occurs, but I do know it starts to happen the same time girls begin walking around with their arms crossed. My wife and I do a lot of things as a family and we’re around America’s youth quite a bit. I see these clusters of sullen faced teens (tweens?) pacing around the mall, the amusement park, wherever, and they look dead inside. Arms are always crossed. It’s like a secret ISIS code but instead of blowing us up, they’re going to kill us with apathy. I’ve caught my daughter doing that twice this year, so I’ll grab her arms and shake her and ask her where did she learn to walk like that? And she tells me that she learned it by watching you. No, that’s a lie. She just cries and asks Mommy why Daddy can’t walk straight and why his breath smells so “Irish”. But I know the truth.
And it doesn’t get any better with age. Luckily, I married a funny wife. Thank you, God! Thank you, sweet Lord for Chuck Norris and a wife with a sense of humor. Aside from the child abuse joke in the last paragraph, I’m a funny guy. I know you’ve laughed at some of my stuff. They love me over in China, probably. So I couldn’t be with anyone who just floated through life like a dried up leaf on a breeze. My street is a bustling hub of women; moms, wives, wonderful people, friendly people, and they are boring as shit. You listen to them talk to one another and it’s like watching two coma patients fart (I’ve got a fart joke or two in me, as well).
Our daughters deserve better humor than this. The best comedians can make fun of themselves. They can take their flaws and turn them into punchlines. That’s why politicians are horribly unfunny; they can’t get out of their own way. And we’re doing this to our girls. Everything has to be so serious. Everything has to be perfect. Why? She can’t hide her acne no matter how much makeup you let her buy. She can own all the best clothes but she’s still going to feel awkward because puberty has made her body a churning maelstrom of hormones and angst.
I can’t let this happen to my Katy Bug. At this moment she’s with her mommy in our bedroom making up funny animal sounds. The whole house is filled with weird growls and hysterical, breathless laughter. Remember when you used to laugh like that? It’s not right that our sons can grow up to crack wise about their pot bellies and poor parenting skills while our daughters have to frown and stress over eyebrow plucking and school supplies. They deserve to enjoy life more than this. Your daughter has the right to laugh at herself, to have flaws and be okay with that. Balls in your court, mom. She’s looking up to you. This world is a beautiful place and laughter is everywhere. Hiding behind every zit, around every failure, beyond every break-up is a good joke waiting to be told, but only she can tell it. Does she know that?