Antonia Hoyle admits to having a sense of humour failure
In this week's Grazia, writer Antonia Hoyle broke the ultimate taboo... and admitted that she has no sense of humour. Here, she explains why she wrote about her NSOH and asks, surely there's more to life than finding things funny?
My husband rolled his eyes. He was intent on watching an episode of Fresh Meat. But I wasn’t getting it. At all. Why was the posh bloke making him laugh? And at 35 shouldn’t we be past infantile student gags? “Why don’t you ever find anything funny?” he asked in exasperation.
That was when I decided to write about my lack of sense of humour. I’m all too aware this sounds funny in itself. But it’s true - anything that’s supposed to be amusing in film or television goes straight over my head.
It’s not only entertainment I don’t understand. I flounder when in the middle of “funny” conversations between friends and colleagues. I can’t contribute towards jokes because I’m terrified they’ll fall flat and I’ll make a fool out of myself. As a result I often feel excluded. Friends who have read my piece in this week's issue of Grazia tell me I’m funny but they are missing the point: they are laughing at me rather than with me.
It’s hardly surprising having NSOH affects my life. A recent survey of men ranked a sense of humour as the most important attribute a woman can have, and with the likes of Caitlin Moran et al on Twitter there’s more pressure on women of our generation to be funny than ever before.
And for all my social ineptitude, I don’t believe I’m the only one to suffer from sense of humour failure – I just think I’m one of the few honest enough to admit it. I hope that by writing about the issue I can reassure others who have felt the same that there is more to life than finding things funny.
Photos: David Yeo