A funny thing happened

A funny thing happened the other night. I was in a club (I don’t do clubs, but I was wearing a skirt, so everything was okay), when the man I was standing next to made a joke. Something about Jesus’s hair – I can’t remember what, but it was well funny. I let out a huge cackle, and it sliced through the background drone of cocktail glasses clinking and women in (lesser) skirts flirting, and everyone looked at me.

Although all of the people I’d been chatting to that night were lovely (even the guy who used the phrase, ‘It was all thanks to my faith. You know, in GOD’), none of them had made me laugh that hard. And suddenly, I was powerless. I was like a Watership Down bunny, or Carrie Ann trapped in the television, staring mesmerised at The Light. I can’t resist a sense of humour. So I started looking at The Man With The Jesus Joke all gooey, until his girlfriend glared at me, then swept him away to play on the quiz machine.

Until recently, I thought every woman in the world was searching for their comedy other half. The man who makes them laugh more than anyone else. When you find that person, that’s it – like ducklings who follow the first thing they lay their eyes on once they’re hatched: that’s it. You’re done.

So I was pole-axed to discover that plenty of women aren’t actually that bothered about a sense of humour in a man. After meeting someone who felt that having similar taste in music was more important than laughing, I expressed my incredulity to a friend. I almost grabbed her, screaming, ‘He could like Lee Evans, but as long as he listens to The xx, she wouldn’t even CARE!’ But my friend just shrugged and said, ‘Yeah, I’m not that bothered either. I just want someone fit who I can talk to.’ Bloody hell.

If I’m being very fussy, my criteria for a man are: ‘funny, kind, intelligent, can catch spiders, no beard.’ I’d add, ‘Must enjoy pizza,’ but that’s ridiculous. Everyone enjoys pizza. And if I strip things right back, funny’s all I need.

Nobody cruel or stupid would be able to make me laugh properly, because while clever and cutting comments might make me go, ‘heh heh,’ they never make me go ‘HAHA!’ I can catch spiders myself if you give me several hours, a baseball bat and a paper bag to hyperventilate into. And I’m sure I could live with a beard at a push, if we had sex with the lights off. For example, I’d happily do Bill Bailey purely on the basis of his song about love anthropomorphising a duck where, ‘Mr Duck’s embarrassed and the other ducks are laughing.’

And when I was in my 20s, finding someone to make me laugh was no problem. All my friends were rushing into the arms of men who knew the bouncers at Basildon’s premiere hot spot, Bas Vegas, or owned a Ford Escort, or wore more than one sovereign ring. I followed behind, happily scooping up all the sweet, nice, weird-faced men who made my stomach hurt – not with desire, but with laughter. (A sense of humour is intrinsically sexy, but properly funny men are rarely that good-looking. Handsome men are usually too busy looking at women’s willingly naked bodies to bother developing much in the way of a sense of humour.)

Take my ex (No, please, take him. Ha!). He was shorter than me when I was wearing heels, and had only ever read one book, and got me a sparkly plastic cup and a novelty icing set from Topshop for our fifth anniversary because it was all he could afford. He’d also only kissed one girl until he met me, despite being marvellous, because women are often too busy ticking imaginary boxes to realise that none of the superficial stuff matters at all – not one tiny bit – when someone can make you spray Diet Coke out of your nose with a joke about a laminating machine.

My ex is now with a girl who’s eight years younger than me, knows a good thing when she sees it, and is adorable (the cow) – although she’s also vegetarian, proving definitively that you can’t have everything. Meanwhile, I’m up against women who spent their 20s chasing unsuitable men – and probably learnt a plethora of exotic sexual techniques that remain a mystery to me along the way – and have finally caught on to the secret of a happy relationship.

All the women who were lied to and cheated on by their bad-boy other halves are suddenly ready to settle down, and after men like my ex. Men who are sweet and funny and kind – qualities that last far longer than a six pack or a chin dimple. Which means there are less of them out there for me. While they’re busy being snapped up by the women they couldn’t hope to get ten years ago, the weird girls who once championed them are now all grown up, and left on the sidelines. It makes me want to shout, ‘Fuck off! I thought of it first!’

I’m the Elisha Gray of the romance world. Bah.

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About bramblymouse

These words are mine.
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14 Responses to A funny thing happened

  1. Ellie King says:

    Love it! Full marks for making me laugh too 😉

  2. Paul Saxton says:

    This is a lovely and funny post. And it’s true.

    I had a friend who split up from her long-term boyfriend. They’d had all sorts of shit going on: infidelities, breakdowns, violence (mainly her to him) etc. The most shocking revelation was that in all their time together he’d never made her laugh. Not once. It was the thing that upset her the most too.

  3. Well. I agree with you quite fervently! I met my now-husband on New Year’s Day in 1993. I was just in the process of breaking up with one man and getting hot and heavy with another, yet Rob managed to charm me with his wit — enough that six months later, with the hot and heavy relationship coming quickly undone, I was completely swept away by a man I thought was the funniest and most entertaining I’d ever met. I still think that. I also think he’s the kindest, smartest and most interesting. And I think, as you do, that many of those things are along for the ride with a great (and compatible) sense of humor.

    (I have a bit of a crush on Bill Bailey, must admit. Partly it’s because I think he’s hilarious. And partly I think it’s because he looks a bit like Rob.)

  4. JJTyni says:

    Heeeee. This was so worthy to read!

  5. Hey chic
    Had no idea you had a blog!
    I loved that post.
    We (us women) are all are far too picky and we don’t have to be. Your mate was kinda right, a man who is fit and you can talk to is what every girl needs.
    Andy is a babe and i can talk to him about nothing ALL day long!
    He doesn’t share the same music tastes as me (it’s pretty crap) but i have learnt to like some of the stuff he does.

    I used to have a MASSIVE criteria for a man but that all goes out of the window when you really like someone. For instance i would NEVER have wanted a boyfriend who smoked. But as Andy (a smoker) was so fit and i loved chatting to him i thought i’d give him the benefit of the doubt and that turned out to be a great decision (although i’ll one day make him quit for good!!!!!) xxx

  6. Alecjj says:

    I thoroughly agree. Probably as I’m funny and not good looking.

  7. debsa says:

    My best male friend can make my stomach hurt and my eyes water with laughter. I’ve resisted fancying him, mainly because his hips and thighs are smaller than mine and those are key criteria for me in a mate 🙂

    Shit jokes are the best I find, here’s my fave:
    Two owls were playing pool. One of them did a foul shot, his opponent said, “Two hits.” The other replied, “Two hits to who?”

  8. Ha!

    You let out the secret that many of us realised so many woman didn’t know. I have my own little list and they are nothing to do with looks (but a decent ass is a bonus!).

    The best men are intelligent, funny, kind and can kiss well. Yes, the last skill can be taught but the best ones do it naturally:)

    Great post, I loved every word, especially everyone looking at you because of the ‘bray’, I know that world:)

    Lesley

  9. MelanieH says:

    Hi – great post. I think that one of the reasons laughter is sexy is that it involves a loss of control. If we (as women) can give that up to a man in laughing with him, I think that’s some of the way to giving up the facade before heading to the bedroom. Not that I want to sleep with every man who ever made me laugh you understand…

  10. glad to have found you – that @fagcasanova has so much to answer for. totally agree with where you’re coming from – took me to my late 30’s to get it and have ended up married (!) to the man I met at 20 who made me laugh so hard I fell of a stool in a fancy bar. Quite frankly when it comes to long-term romancing, take the laughs (not forgetting the occasional moan, nudge nudge, wink wink) over the looks / career / house etc any day.

  11. Kevin says:

    I think that you are wonderful Bramblymouse.
    I would take you to a kooky giftshop spend money on lovely things then share cocktails. Love on ya

  12. Bramblymouse, your peers may have caught on to your taste but you still have the age gap to exploit and both older and younger can work in your favour. How would you like a sexy young geek whose female friends have yet to wise up to his worth? And why not spare a thought for the old fellas (not the pathological, single-for-good-reason ones, of course)? RH

  13. gastrogeek says:

    you need to meet my friend Matthew Upton.

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