Jokes at a friend’s expense can be the best part of having friends.
There is something about those sorts of friendly digs that demonstrate just how much the strength of the relationship can be trusted.
But one Redditor recently discovered that not every joke is air tight. As he explained in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit, sometimes those jokes lead to complications.
The Original Poster (OP), known as throwconvo1379 on the site, offered a glimpse into the incident with the post’s title:
“AITA for ‘insulting’ my friend’s infertile wife?”
The problems began at a recent boys night.
“I (28-year-old male) been friends with a bunch of guys since college and we do weekly meetings to play video games and talk about our issues.”
“Last week we gathered at my brother ‘Jim’s’ place and one of the guys started talking about issues he’s facing with a certain brand of condoms, most of the guys shared their own stories with different issues with condoms including me.”
Then OP tried his hand at a joke.
“Now here’s where I might be the ah: I have a friend named ‘Michael’ who’s wife is infertile.”
“I turned to him and made a comment saying that he must be at least relieved from the issues my friends and I deal with regarding condoms since he probably doesn’t need them nor worry about getting them.”
Michael didn’t love that.
“He got extremely offended asking if I was implying that he was lucky his wife is unable to get pregnant…”
“…I told him no it wasn’t like that but he lashed out at me angrily calling me an insensitive piece of sh** for insulting his infertile wife like that.”
“I insisted this wasn’t my intention since I care about his feelings and I’d never try to do such thing but he insisted that I just did.”
Then everybody weighed in.
“Jim said let’s pretend it was a bad joke but word for word we got into an argument.”
“The guys got split, some tried to calm the situation down and some joined Michael in berating me and calling me obnoxious for the comment I made.”
“Jim eventually told Michael to leave after telling him he was flying off the handle for no reason but some of the other dudes sided with Michael and said I overstepped with my comment and that I should’ve kept my mouth shut.”
OP was left enduring the fallout.
“I felt horrible because I thought they were overreacting. Jim cancelled the game night and told everyone to go home.”
“I went home and I recieved a nasty text from one of the guys saying what I told Michael was fu**ed up and I should apologize fot hurting his feelings and insulting his wife because that what comment did…”
“…but I replied that Michael really overreacted as I was trying to cheer him up and didn’t think he’d blow up like that.”
The whole thing left OP uncertain.
“Yet, I’m told this was Michael’s private business and I had no right to comment nomatter what my intentions were but I haven’t apologized to him yet.
“AITA for this?”
Most Redditors criticized OP and his joke.
“YTA, holy sh** man. That was beyond insensitive. I’m stunned that you didn’t apologize immediately and still haven’t done so. Grow up and effing apologize already.” — Temporary_Badger
“YTA – what you said was insensitive. Your friend probably doesn’t see not needing to use condoms as a ‘pro’ to his wife’s emotionally devastating infertility because he cares more about the emotional distress it causes them than how his di** feels.” — Hefty_Candidate_4902
“Would you tell a woman who had a double mastectomy she is lucky for not needing to wear a bra? WTF bro, how is this even up for debate? YTA and big time” — Ijustwanttouseaita
“YTA. You don’t joke about someone’s issues with fertility. What is wrong with you? It may not have been your intention, but it 100% is nothing to joke about, nor funny, nor in any way could it not be interpreted at you taking a jab at that.”
“Your comment was unwarranted and lacked any sort of tact. At this point, just apologize and don’t go down the ‘it was just a joke, bruh!’ route, because your joke was incredibly hurtful.”
“How do you think their inability to have kids is going to CHEER HIM UP? Why HAVEN’T you apologized yet? He likely WISHES he had to worry about this and there seems to have been zero incentive to say what you said.” — ILikeSealsALot
“YTA. What the heck is wrong with you? Obviously you don’t really consider Michael your friend because if you did you wouldn’t say something so disgusting to him” — ArmadilloComplex1758
Others spoke from experience.
“YTA. My husband and I are an infertile couple. There’s nothing you can say jokingly that is not going to be taken personally by the couple experiencing it. It’s something you experience as a couple even if it only directly affects your partner.”
“He took it personally because it is a very personal matter.” — Throw–it–awayy
“YTA Somebody failed in teaching you some social graces, and you need to apologize. Never make infertility jokes unless you’re ten thousand percent sure they’re okay with it.”
“I’m infertile but I never wanted kids so it’s not a sore spot for me, but my husband’s best friend had a hard time getting pregnant and they were SUPER sensitive about it. If you’re not sure in the future, about any subject, err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself.” — AllarysDanyaela
“YTA. There’s nothing ‘lucky’ about not being able to have a baby when you’re actually ready to have one. Infertility causes a kind of grief, only what you’re grieving isn’t a person you’ve lost, but a person who might never exist.”
“I hope you never find out what that feels like, because I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone.” — AccessibleBeige
With his friends and seemingly all of Reddit in agreement, OP may begin to rethink the joke.