Page 2 of 2 [ 32 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2


Was this joke funny or cruel?
Funny 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Cruel 58%  58%  [ 14 ]
Insufficient data / it's ambiguous 33%  33%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 24

Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,714
Location: United States

25 Jun 2014, 9:47 am

Yes, I know I need to let it go by now. Which I did. I'm aware that the joke about me washing people's cars was just a thoughtless comment, not calculated cruelty. I thought that the laughing tone while saying it had to do with me looking silly washing cars with my short height, which I'd still manage, rather than the lack of seriousness of the idea. Heck, many workers look silly doing what they do, and as long as they can do the job, no one cares. The only reason I posted this on here is to get an older generation's perspective on this joke.

I think the real cruelty of this joke lies not in the false hopes, or at least not only in that, but in my family's financial situation at the time. Remember: my family's finances were such that one lousy popsicle could make or break the monthly budget, or so they made it sound. Given the virulently pervasive marketing to kids, I constantly wanted what I could never have. So imagine how happy I was to get an opportunity to earn my own money for life's little pleasures by doing simple physical work, and raise my standing in the family by helping put food on the table. It was like manna from the sky! Instead of being "some short person that others boss around for their own pleasure", I'd be bringing home the bacon, and no longer have to beg for little things. So can you blame me for crying myself to sleep when I found out it was all a big lie?!

Shortly after this joke was revealed, I went through a brief phase when I wanted to run for president when I grow up, and have the child labor laws repealed, so kids like me could work if they wanted to. Yeah yeah, I know; the pesky Congress and their lobbyists would stop me, but it's all semantics. Somehow I trusted that whatever US laws are in place would ensure that washing cars won't be anything like assembling iPads in China or sewing sweaters in Malaysia.

Come to think of it, if my family at the time were more like typical middle class (before the Great Recession killed it, that is), I would have thought more like the later posters. I'd say or think "This is a stupid joke!", and leave it at that. Still, the angst of living in poverty at a tender age of 10 never fully left me. I still buy myself little treats on the way home occasionally, usually a can of beer or a hot roller snack from 7-11; not so much because I like treats, but because no one will say no to me.

League_Girl wrote:
It was like I could never talk and I had to work on the skill to not talk or express my thoughts or he would expect it to happen soon. I hate these people
Lol! My friends learned a similar thing with me. When I was younger, we'd constantly get into misunderstandings, where they'd mention doing something or going somewhere, and I'd expect it to happen. When it didn't, I'd get upset. Even now, long after I learned not to take everything seriously, they still put "we got an idea to..." in front of something they're thinking about doing. The word "idea" acts as a warning flag of sorts for me not to take the statement at face value. Conversely, when I clarify "is this a plan or an idea?", they give me the answer.



YippySkippy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,986

25 Jun 2014, 10:14 am

Quote:
Yes, I know I need to let it go by now. Which I did.


These sentences are followed by four paragraphs about the "cruelty" of the "big lie".
I don't think you've let it go.


Quote:
The only reason I posted this on here is to get an older generation's perspective on this joke.


Um....I don't think most of us are so much older than you that we would qualify as "an older generation".
Also, calling people old is not nice.



Kiriae
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,349
Location: Kraków, Poland

25 Jun 2014, 10:30 am

The joke was not funny and not cruel. Just stupid.
I bet she didn't meant to hurt you. She said it just out of blue, considering it funny at that moment but you misunderstood her and got the message seriously. She couldn't know it.

BTW. I don't get it why you couldn't earn some money with washing cars. I know some 10 year old children getting some money by helping neighbors, collecting cans or doing some small trips, for example bringing mails from a office to the mailbox.
When I was 10 year old I was getting some additional money by doing shopping for elderly/busy neighbors, selling tadpoles to other children and collecting snails for a company(I guess they were sending them to France :D). Of course I didn't earn much this way but I got some additional money to buy my stuffs.



Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,714
Location: United States

25 Jun 2014, 10:38 am

YippySkippy wrote:
These sentences are followed by four paragraphs about the "cruelty" of the "big lie".
I don't think you've let it go.
Meh. I can do now what I couldn't do back then. The rest is semantics.

Quote:
Um....I don't think most of us are so much older than you that we would qualify as "an older generation".
Also, calling people old is not nice.
I'm at the tail end of Generation X or starting point of Millennial. (I'm leaning more toward Gen X, since I never embraced things like texting and Facebook.) Most people old enough to have kids of their own are from middle of Generation X to Baby Boomers. Which makes my statement technically correct. And in my defense, no one I know considers the term "older generation" to be disrespectful, even my grandparents; I know they'd call me out on it if it were. Sorry if you thought it was.

Either way, it was a bad joke, or at least a thoughtless statement. It never should have been made, given my family's financial situation at the time and/or my status in the family.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 25 Jun 2014, 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 24,715
Location: Pacific Northwest

25 Jun 2014, 10:43 am

YippySkippy wrote:
Quote:
Yes, I know I need to let it go by now. Which I did.


These sentences are followed by four paragraphs about the "cruelty" of the "big lie".
I don't think you've let it go.


Quote:
The only reason I posted this on here is to get an older generation's perspective on this joke.


Um....I don't think most of us are so much older than you that we would qualify as "an older generation".
Also, calling people old is not nice.



I call myself old lol and I am not even 30 yet. Looking at how technology is now and how different schools are now and education, I feel old. I know in middle school, teachers were already emailing each other and sending the attendance to the office through the computer than sending a student to bring it to the office whenever school/class started. Teens were just starting to have cell phones now around the year 2000 I remember. I remember when we still did the dial up before getting online and how forums were just message boards and old posts would be bumped off from newer posts and there were no sections on message boards like we have on forums. Also how computer monitors were not flat then and neither were TVs. I can also remember how slow internet was then, especially when I first started using it in 1996. Then when we got DSL in the year 2002, it was all lightning fast. Also looking at what laws we have now also makes me feel old.


_________________
Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


YippySkippy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,986

25 Jun 2014, 11:13 am

Quote:
I'm at the tail end of Generation X or starting point of Millennial. (I'm leaning more toward Gen X, since I never embraced things like texting and Facebook.) Most people old enough to have kids of their own are from middle of Generation X to Baby Boomers.


I am also of Generation X, which is defined by Wikipedia as being anyone born from the mid-60s to the mid-80s.
The Baby Boomers would most likely have grandchildren!



Dadenstein
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Mar 2014
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 61

25 Jun 2014, 12:00 pm

Not funny but accidentally cruel (if accidentally cruel is a difference that matters to you, otherwise just cruel).

I have to agree with another poster who thought it might have just been an off hand comment (an idea-ish thing). Also I have to think that if it wasn't an off hand comment that your sister was teasing you and that perhaps you missed a cue that she was. Which would be very frustrating and upsetting for you. Your sister was old enough to know better and should not have done it. That being said...people make mistakes. If she treats you nice now it would be better to let it go and plan on gaining a nice sister now than to hold onto being upset and keep the idea of a mean sister you no longer talk to...



Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,714
Location: United States

26 Jun 2014, 1:05 am

The joke in the first post has been water under the bridge for many many years by now. I only posted it to get outsider perspective. Having said that, my family was never very close. I see my sister about once a month, and talk slightly more often than that. We're OK, and even call each other for advice once in a blue moon. Her to me: about computers. Me to her: about medications (she's a doctor). Although I have to say that the main driving wedge was her being my parents' favorite. One (1), in the Western culture, it seems like daughters are often liked better than sons, due to their greater psychological closeness to the family and lesser tendency to get in trouble. Two (2), her NT social skills allowed her to get on the parents' good side, and to choose her words and actions strategically to get the best treatment. (Case in point: she was allowed to celebrate New Year at a friend's party when she was 16; I had a curfew until I moved out at age 24.) Three (3), my parents weren't as obsessed with her getting straight A's, as they were with me. In the end, she's a successful doctor, and I worked crappy IT jobs that had me contemplating suicide. (The differential in job success was never an issue, just the experiences growing up.)

So this thread can be allowed to fade out now. It was a thoughtless joke, and I guess with my sister having a part-time job (she was in med school at the time) and being a favorite child, it was hard to her to understand what it's like to have no income, and have to always fight for the parents' approval/love. Still, I can't help but wonder how everything would have turned out if I actually got to wash people's cars for, say, $3 per hour (a small but OK sum back in 1993, and a gold mine for me at age 10), as I was "promised". I was a kid, so below my state's minimum wage in 1993 seemed fair. It's ironic how I now (at 31) spend $40 in a single evening when I go out and really have fun.

Despite the nasty childhood I had, I picked up a really useful habit of feeding myself on a budget. During my long stint with unemployment in 2009 and a short one earlier this year, I managed to cook halfway decent meals with whatever my state's unemployment office was paying me, without having to resort to eating Ramen noodles exclusively. And I even lost weight. So I give credit where it's due.



aann
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 486

26 Jun 2014, 4:34 am

If you will allow, I have one more comment I think/hope you will find useful. I'm commenting from a NT parent point of view.

A 10 yo Aspie tends to appear inconsistent. His state of mind depends on tons of things he is sensitive to. His ability to communicate is diminished depending on those sensitivities.

So sometimes you may have been able to recognize this was an off-hand comment, and sometimes not. Your sister probably never knew what your state of mind was. I fall into this trap all the time. My son has an amazing (and very dry) sense of humor. I love to joke with him, but it backfires terribly if his sensitivities are holding is brain hostage.



BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,471
Location: PA, USA

26 Jun 2014, 7:30 am

A stupid comment that got out of hand. Not funny, probably not willfully cruel.

I remember people doing stuff like that to me, often enough. Sometimes it was crossed signals-- I did not pick up on the humor or sarcasm in their voice. Eventually I learned, after a lot of years of feeling really, really embarrassed (and a lot of years of noncommittal grunts and answering comments like that with ambiguous phrases like, "Oh-kaaaaay" while I tried to gather more information). Occasionally it would escalate and be drug out to an absurd extent while someone (usually a small group of privileged girls at school, or my cousins) basically sat there going, "Har har har, look how STUPID she is!!"

I guess it was all human nature. Kids play pranks. The level of stupid/cruel depends on how mean they are about it and how great the potential to be seriously harmed before you catch on is. Washing cars, versus, like, Carrie.

It's a learning experience. I guess looking back over it is a learning experience, too. Whether you've let it go or not-- IMO, that depends on whether you still hold it against them or want to get even or something.

Because, I don't know about an NT kid, but I know I never quite forgot or left behind that feeling of having been made a fool of-- AGAIN!!-- or feeling like/knowing that people thought of me as The Dumbest Idiot In Town.

Eventually I learned to laugh off being the Village Idiot. Life.


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


EmileMulder
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 293

26 Jun 2014, 12:27 pm

I'm with those that said it was probably meant as an innocuous glib comment. It was probably sarcastic, meant to be believed for a second at first and then laughed at as unrealistically silly. That's the same as a dad saying to his child "I'm going to put you in the zoo." Both know the dad's not serious, and so it's just a silly little interaction. The problem is, people with ASD can often take those sorts of comments way too literally. I'm assuming your sister didn't intend for that to happen, so there was no cruelty involved.

I would take it as a learning opportunity. Maybe even ask your sister to repeat it the way she said it, and then ask her to say it the way she might if she was absolutely serious. Try to detect the differences in her tone of voice, or a smirk on her face. Understanding sarcasm is a tricky and important social skill. Once you understand that, then it may save you from making the same mistake in future interactions.



League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 24,715
Location: Pacific Northwest

26 Jun 2014, 12:58 pm

I remember when my mom used to threaten to drop us off on the side of the road and walk home. For years I believed it and my mom would actually pull over sometimes and tell me to get out. One time it back fired because I planned to hitchhike my way home and that pissed her off. Then I found out it would have been illegal if she left me there because it would have been child abandonment and it's illegal to do that to your kid. So that threat stopped working because my brothers and I would tell her, "Yeah right Mom, you will just get in trouble with the police for abandoning your kids." My mom was now powerless in the car because we all knew about the law and knew it couldn't be done. I realize now it was just an empty threat and she made it look real and it worked for years until she told me she would have gone to jail if she left me there and I told my brothers because of my honesty and lack of social filter.

I remember another time when I was five, we were at the furniture store at a mall and my mom put my baby brothers in the van and closed the door and I said she forgot me and she said "You're staying here, you can walk home" and I got scared and started to cry and then she said she will give me one more chance and if I tease again, I am walking home and she will dump me off on the side of the road. I didn't say a word on the way home or do anything because I was that scared. But it worked. I know now she was just bluffing and putting on an act for me so I will shape up and be good and it worked.

I also remember the time when my mom's father threatened to throw me out in the rain if I didn't stop upsetting my brothers. I am sure he wasn't serious and he could have been joking but it scared me and I left my brothers alone for the rest of the day and didn't play with them. He did sound serious and he was talking to me in a tone of voice I didn't like. He may have said it an empty threat and it worked because I took it so seriously. I take all threats seriously. I don't know if they are joking or if it's an empty one and it baffles me how threats wouldn't work with some people because why would they want to receive that punishment? I bet if someone threatened to harm my child if I didn't have sex with them, I may have had it with them because I was protecting my children by allowing myself to get raped.


_________________
Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


Kawena
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 2 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 83

29 Jun 2014, 1:49 pm

Quote:
I don't think the joke was funny or cruel. Not intentionally cruel, anyway. Your sister probably just made a glib comment, and didn't realize you'd latch onto the idea. When you kept asking her about it, she put you off in hopes you'd eventually forget about it. When you didn't forget about it, she came clean. I don't think she meant to hurt you, and from your description it doesn't sound like she was even aware you thought of yourself as an "associate member" of the family.


This was completely my thought as well. I think she should have come clean much sooner when she realized you took it seriously, however.

As a parent, I sometimes make glib comments, which my NT children respond to as I would expect and anticipate, and my AS child takes as Bible. I have to correct myself, but at the same time, I try to help him understand what I did actually mean. I don't mean to make his life more difficult, but at the same time, I want him to be prepared because when he is dealing with other NT people, this will happen to him.

One of his current mantras is that sarcasm is lying. I understand what he means by that and agree that sarcastic comments are not the truth, but I also know he will continue to hear sarcasm from others, and I want him to be able to interpret it as such.



Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,714
Location: United States

29 Jun 2014, 10:02 pm

Kawena wrote:
As a parent, I sometimes make glib comments, which my NT children respond to as I would expect and anticipate, and my AS child takes as Bible. I have to correct myself, but at the same time, I try to help him understand what I did actually mean. I don't mean to make his life more difficult, but at the same time, I want him to be prepared because when he is dealing with other NT people, this will happen to him.

Well, I suppose what made the glib car-washing comment/joke hurtful is that it was very realistic. At age 10, I was already taller than most sedan-type cars, so the idea of washing them to earn money made perfect sense. After all, how hard is it to handle a bucket of water and/or a hose, along with things like soap, a squeegee, shop rags, etc. (I figured an adult worker would help me with washing vans and trucks.) I could have my parents drive me to the job site, or even take a city bus myself once I get a hang of its route and schedule. Then wash the cars there, dry off in the sun or in a warm room, and go home the same way I came. Maybe get off the bus one stop early, so I can get myself a hot dog at a 7-11 (which my parents always refused) before coming home to drop off my earnings. Easy peasy. In my mind, it fit together as perfectly as the relationships between living things in nature.

It would be a completely different beast if my sister or another family member said they'd get me a job, for example, washing skyscraper windows. It's a very difficult task that I knew I wouldn't be able to do at 10 years old. One (1), at at age, I had the coordination of a sack of potatoes, so I knew my family wouldn't want me standing in an open cage 1000 feet up. Two (2), I knew that it's a dangerous job that no building owner would ever hire a child for. So it'd be crystal clear that the skyscraper window washer job was a joke, even though I liked skyscrapers. If anything, I'd make at attempt to joke back, like asking what to do if I'll have to go to the bathroom while on the job, then laugh uproariously if they say to just whiz from the washers' cage. (Like most boys, I liked bathroom humor.)

Even now, at the ripe of age of 31, I prefer outlandish or absurd jokes over realistic ones, and "are you serious?" is still one of the most common phrases I use.



Ettina
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,494

02 Jul 2014, 8:37 pm

Quote:
BTW. I don't get it why you couldn't earn some money with washing cars. I know some 10 year old children getting some money by helping neighbors, collecting cans or doing some small trips, for example bringing mails from a office to the mailbox.


Yeah, there's a couple of kids who come around and mow our lawn sometimes for $20. They look to be around 10 or so. Doing odd jobs for pay when they feel like it doesn't fall under child labour laws - only having a regular job with a boss and so forth.

Quote:
I remember when my mom used to threaten to drop us off on the side of the road and walk home. For years I believed it and my mom would actually pull over sometimes and tell me to get out. One time it back fired because I planned to hitchhike my way home and that pissed her off. Then I found out it would have been illegal if she left me there because it would have been child abandonment and it's illegal to do that to your kid. So that threat stopped working because my brothers and I would tell her, "Yeah right Mom, you will just get in trouble with the police for abandoning your kids." My mom was now powerless in the car because we all knew about the law and knew it couldn't be done. I realize now it was just an empty threat and she made it look real and it worked for years until she told me she would have gone to jail if she left me there and I told my brothers because of my honesty and lack of social filter.


A good lesson for parents - don't make threats you won't carry out!

My Dad's approach to car-ride misbehaviour was to pull over and deal with it, and refuse to get back on the road unless we promised to behave. It gets really boring sitting in a car on the side of the road. Other times, he dealt with it by telling us we wouldn't get a treat if we misbehaved (usually, every visit to a store involves getting a treat as well as whatever we're actually there to get).



Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,714
Location: United States

04 Jul 2014, 1:24 pm

Ettina wrote:
Yeah, there's a couple of kids who come around and mow our lawn sometimes for $20. They look to be around 10 or so. Doing odd jobs for pay when they feel like it doesn't fall under child labour laws - only having a regular job with a boss and so forth.

That's what I kind of thought. Otherwise, how would 12-year-old girls get babysitting jobs? (Heck, the characters in the "Babysitters' Club" book series are all in middle school.) But in my case, I was seemingly promised an actual car-washing job, although the exact nature of it (W2, 1099, or ad hoc) was never made clear. I was very jealous of my classmates, who frequently ate junk food and got new toys, so I wanted a piece of the action. But since my family was poor, begging got me nowhere. So who can blame me for wanting to earn my own money.