Friday, June 22, 2012

Why is that Funny?

The night "The Avengers" opened in the theater, we were there with the boys.  They were excited for this movie.  All those super heroes sharing the same screen, defeating evil, saving the world.  For Mikias and Jemberu, movies don't get any better than this.  As we gathered our trash and took off our 3-D glasses both boys declared it the best movie they had EVER seen.

I am not a big fan of action movies, but this one was pretty entertaining.  There was just one problem for me.  I kept telling myself that it was no big deal.  Yet, it has been over a month since we saw the film and I am still thinking about it.

The problem was this 'joke':

Thor:  Loki is beyond reason, but he's of Asgard and he's my brother.
Black Widow: He killed 80 people in two days.
Thor: He's adopted

It was a cheap joke.  Not very clever.  It was told at the expense of adoptees.  But that's not the thing that stung.  The joke isn't what I keep thinking about.  I keep thinking about the laughter.  The theater erupted in laughter.  That stupid joke got a huge laugh.

While the audience was laughing, I stole a glance at Kurt and the boys.  No laughing going on in my family.  Kurt grimaced and glanced my way.  Mikias and Jemberu continued eating their popcorn.  They weren't laughing but they didn't look upset.

We talked about the movie on the way home.  The joke didn't come up.  The boys loved the movie.  I decided I should just let it go.  I don't need to bring up every stinking, stupid adoption thing.  If the boys were cool, I was cool.

Except I wasn't and I am unable to let anything go.

About a week later,  I finally came out with it:

Me:  "So...The Avengers...totally awesome, right?"

Jemberu: "DUH!"

Mikias:  "Probably the best movie of all time."

Me:  "Agree, so great.  Except one part has really been bugging me.  I think it is because I was adopted."

Jemberu: "You are white and adopted.  That is SO weird, right Mikias?"

(Note to self; this is another conversation we need to have.)

Mikias: "That not weird Jem.   What part made you feel bad, Mom?"

Me:  "Remember when Thor defended Loki as his brother and then when Black Widow talked about him killing people, Thor said 'he's adopted'.  I didn't like that part."

Mikias: "I feel sorry for Loki.  He couldn't become king because he wasn't his father's real, real son.  I am sorry to say that to you mom,  I am not trying to make you feel bad."

Me:  "Do you get that you two are our REAL, REAL sons?  Dad and I don't love Devyn and Maddy any more than we love you."  Do you understand that?

Jemberu:  "All I just heard was you don't love Devyn and Maddy any more.  Hahaha, I am going to tell them you said that!  Can I call them?"

Mikias:  "Stop it Jem!  Mom really got her feelings hurt by The Avengers.  You are making her feel worse!"

Me:  "That not it!  I want make sure that you understand that what Thor said about Loki wasn't right.  It wasn't funny."

Mikias: "But everyone laughed."

Jemberu:  "Yeah, I didn't get that.  They are brothers.  Loki was adopted."

Mikias:  "Yeah.  Why is that funny?"

Me: "It's not funny."

Mikias: "Then why did everyone laugh?"

I wish I had an answer for that.


  1. I saw the movie too and knew exactly what your post was about as soon as I saw it! Bad joke!

    1. Really bad! Did your theater bust out laughing too? Did that surprise you, like it did me?


    2. Everyone laughed including the mother of the family we were with. My boys went along with it until they saw the look on my face. I told them right there that it was a bad joke. It was hard for them to understand but I know my reaction made the other mother think! I am just amazed in todays world that a joke about adoption would be made like it was! Very poor taste!

  2. I felt the same way.

    Randomly, I was invited to a press junket at which the actor playing Thor mentioned how big a laugh that line gone. I still don't get it.

    1. I know! I guess as long as people keep laughing the adoption "jokes" will keep coming.


  3. My husband and I went to see it and hardly anyone laughter at that line - I was glad.

  4. I just can't believe such a cheap shot would be approved by writers, producers, directors, and everyone else who had to approve a script. It's just such a cheap shot.

    1. Cheap Shot! What a perfect description of that "joke". You are right, why didn't someone along the way say, 'Hey, this is offensive.' Apparently, it is still okay to make fun of adoption.


  5. i was glad my adopted son was not with us when we saw it. good post.

  6. Just came across your blog recently. My husband and I are beginning the domestic adoption process (via the path of infertility). I just want to let you know how encouraging I'm finding your posts to be. Thank you for doing the work of recording your thoughts and experiences in order to share them with others. I look forward to reading more!

    1. Sorry to be so slow in telling you how much your comment means to me! Thank you so much for reading and for this encouraging comment.