Sarcasm. (If you don’t know the word, google it first.)
One of a difficulties in my whole life is to get the joke in a conversation. I am always suffering from it. And especially, sarcasm is one of my new problems that I have found after I came to Spain. I think that people I met here use ironic jokes much more frequently and naturally than my Japanese friends. (It doesn’t mean that my friends here are too ironic or sarcastic and they are breaking my pure heart every single day. They are all cool, and my heart is even shit.) I don’t think the reason why I can’t get the ironic joke easily is not because of a lack of my language skill or cultural difference, because even in Japan I have same difficulty sometimes. Well, personally I am not just good at getting the joke, and especially, ironic one.
Some of my classmates in my Spanish language school like to use sarcasm in their conversation, and they quickly get the real meaning behind that ironic expression and laugh and enjoy it. Meanwhile, I am always asking them, “What? That’s horrible what you said. Do you mean blah blah blah?” Then they laugh and say, “Nah, come on Rumi! Don’t get it serious, it’s just a joke. Sarcasm!” Then I feel I’m dumb, like I am a stupid kid which always asks adults “Why? What do you mean?” for everything. Actually it takes me a little bit more seconds than other people to understand such a little joke, and unfortunately sometimes it takes me even 3 days for realizing which my friends said before was actually a joke. (Yeah, it’s a real story. Once I remembered suddenly, “Wait, was it a joke which they said 3 days ago in the class? I think I get it now finally. Oh great, for these 3 fucking days I have been dumb.”)
Let me tell you an example: One day, I was in a shopping mall with my friend. She was looking for a shirt, and found a good one so she saw its price tag. It was over 100€ but seemed like something which we could also find in H&M. Then she said, “Oh wow, 100€, what a cheap.” I was shocked and I couldn’t believe what she said because 100€ for an ordinary shirt is too expensive for me, and also she is not a super rich person like a celebrity. I immediately said “What did you just say? It’s not cheap at all!” Then she laughed and said, “Come on, it’s a sarcasm. You didn’t get it? I mean it is expensive.” That moment I had an epic facepalm in my head and told myself, “Oh snap, you couldn’t get it again…” She also told me that people who are not good at getting the joke are usually very intelligent because they think about everything seriously. Well, thank you very much for your kind comfort but I think I am not that one…
So when I talk with my friends, especially with people who are not from Japan, I try to prepare for their sudden sarcasm-attack in some corner of my mind. (Oh hi, another attack in my life?) But sometimes it doesn’t even work well, because if I doubt everything which my friends say, I just make myself confused, like: “Wait, what she just said is a joke? But it sounds like real, but if she said it in super ironic way, it could be a joke. Should I ask if it’s a joke or not? But it sounds like I am super dum…oh they are already talking about other thing. Great.”
I am trying hard to catch up with their ironic jokes, because for me it seems very cool and witty if you hear something and then quickly realize the real intention and humor behind their sharp tongue. But I always miss it and I don’t even notice that till the moment my friends tell me, “Come on Rumi, it’s a sarcasm!”