HenaginOpinionHey Cobbers! Guess what? It’s spring break…soon. So while all of you will be heading off to wherever Cobbers go to escape this god-forsaken hole of ice, I will be going home for a couple of days. You know, hanging out with a cat and driving through the only stoplight in town.

What I always look forward to when I go home though is the fact that I have to explain every joke I make or google every pop culture reference that flies out of my mouth. Note the heavy sarcasm, which usually doesn’t fly when I go home. My parents are not the parents that “get jokes” and believe me, I have tried. I never noticed it, especially as a kid, because your parents humor is the only humor you’re exposed to on a daily basis. My mom really only enjoys Jeff Dunham and Larry the Cable Guy, which physically pains me. My dad sticks with his guns and only laughs at old westerns or anything “redneck chic.” We are vastly different creatures, and because of that I have developed simple mechanisms. This article is a compilation of tips and tricks I have used over the past few years to avoid not only unnecessary googling but also over-explaining, me getting annoyed, them getting offended or anything else.

Blaming hipsters. While my parents may be behind on a lot of things, for some reason they know what hipsters are and they are confused. Maybe because my dad had moustache-envy or because my mom wore those vintage rompers the first time around, but my parents know what hipsters are and do not like them. So any time I make a joke about something that flies over their head, and I am strapped for time, I blame hipsters in their beanied glory, and then my parents roll their eyes and continue watching the news.

Mumbling. While I usually call out mumblers and the like, it has become a survival technique. I say something, my mom asks me to repeat, and then I mumble. I mumble like a scared junior high kid getting called on in science on the miracle of birth day. I mumble like it is an olympic sport, and I’m going for the gold. Then I usually brush it off or ask what she heard and make something up to fit that, like, yeah mom, I was totally talking about glitter shirts.

Or, if I feel like actually sharing the joke with my family, even if they don’t laugh, I explain it. Shocking right? The thing is, I can’t help that my parents live in an incredibly small town in the middle of actual nowhere, with very few people who have ever left said town. It isn’t something that shocks me when they don’t understand references that are being made on T.V. or in the news, and so, in order not to hurt them more, I try and explain. I want them to know what the Ikea Monkey is, why people think mesh tops are so funny, why the Olympics and Russia’s policies are so important, why it is funny when people say, “I can’t quit you” and why these jokes are relevant. I guess you could say it kills the mood and the joke isn’t funny, but it makes me happy when my family and I can communicate like me and my friends do when there is less of a gap. So, lucky you if you have the cool family that keeps up with the times. Share your secrets; the rest of us are still working on explaining “Avatar.”

Katelyn Henagin

Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.

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