Armenian Mother-In- Law Joke

Joke: There is a funeral for a woman. Someone at the funeral asks the son-in-law how his mother-in-law died. He says that she died from poisoning. The other person then asks why she had so many bruises. The son-in-law states that this is because she did not want to eat.

The point of the joke is that the son-in-law had forcefully poisoned his mother-in-law, alluding to a tumultuous and strained relationship between son and mother in law.

Background Information: Armenian Joke. Not necessarily exclusive to Armenian culture as it is a pretty common topic which shows the often rocky relationship people have with their in-laws.

Context: I was told this joke during a dinner in which we were sharing common jokes within our communities. This was the first joke that came to his mind. He was a little adamant when it came to telling the joke because of its morose content. I assured him that it didn’t matter to me. He told me that this joke was told to him by a few of his male friends at a house gathering.

Thoughts: I believe that this is a joke that looks at the sometimes difficult relationship with parents-in law. This idea has been explored through many cultures, including American culture with films such as Monster-In-Law and Meet The Fockers. It is often difficult to connect and have a good relationship with your in-laws. I think jokes, like this one, are used as a coping mechanism and as a way to make light of a difficult situation/relationship. I find it interesting that this joke was brought up at a house gathering in which a group of males felt comfortable telling this joke, but when it came to telling it to other people such as women, the informant felt uncomfortable. I think this shows that this topic is an uncomfortable one and is meant for very specific groups that will be able to understand and relate to the topic matter.