Here's a question that I suppose I'll have to posit to the arbiter of the week, AJ: what if one person's hackneyed joke is another person's (presumably) endearing in-joke? For one: Peter and I do this thing where he puts on a sequined vest and Irish steps his way into the bathroom, then I hunt for the One Ring in...wait, wrong thing. We do this thing where he'll say something like, "Hey, can you bring that bucket upstairs?" And I'll respond, "I'll bring YOUR bucket upstairs" in a threatening tone. Occasionally it turns out funny, but most of the time it's just talking to talk. I probably do it more than he does, and swear when I die he'll miss it, just like he'll miss my nipple-tweaking and secret money-spending, and he'll every night he'll cry, "Oh god, if only SOMEone were here to threaten me nonsensically, I would feel so much better. And this clothespin on my left nipple just isn't the same." Still, to me at least, it's one of those things we do as a couple that is part of our Us. It's an in-joke, in other words. And I imagine that to AJ, it's less a relationship quirk and more a Mom-thinks-she's-funny thing, so he finds it annoying. This is the sort of thing I'm having a hard time stuffing, because it's just part of my patter now.
I could make AJ feel guilty by pointing out that one of the things I miss most about my dad is his Dad jokes -- the cheesy one-liners that we could rely on his busting out right on cue. You know, like telling a skinny kid to turn to the side when she's standing in front of the TV so there'll be just a line down the middle of the screen, or when she asks to watch TV he says she can, but not to turn it on, or asks where you got that new dress, from Omar the tent maker? Yeah. I never thought about whether I'd miss that stuff, but I do. So now it's got to be me making the jokes, I guess.