My friend and her husband just celebrated their eighteenth wedding anniversary. I would say they are lucky, but anyone who has been married for a significant amount of time knows this isn’t true. They worked hard, they compromised, they sacrificed and they drove each other to the edge of sanity, and they made the choice to do it together, side by side. They earned those years. I love celebrating this kind of love. It makes me grateful that I married my best friend.
One of the things that I noticed about this couple is that they laugh together. I think that is the most important part of a relationship. I grew up in a house where there was a lot of laughter. We expressed love through laughter more than anything else. Of course we hugged and kissed and told each other that we loved one another, but how I knew my parents really loved me was that they made me laugh. From the time I was born, they wanted to make me laugh. They wanted me to be happy. My Mom says that I laughed all the way from my toes. My daughter laughs the same way. They worked hard to get those laughs. I know this because I now do the same thing on a lot of occasions. Much of the laughter in our house came from making fun of ourselves and each other. Which in turn came to be a way to show affection. When my Dad teases me about something it’s like getting a hug from him. So of course when I grew up I fell in love with a man who flirted with me by annoying the crap out of me and teasing me relentlessly.
My husband and I still share the kind of humor where we tease each other. A lot of our jokes also end in “that’s what she said!” I really do have the sense of humor of a fourteen year old boy. This is one of the many little threads that connects us and makes me feel safe. Even when I am upset with him for whatever little wrenches life throws at us and we handle differently, he is still the first person I want to call when I see the eighty year old man in a Lincoln with the custom license plate that says “HOTTIE”. Because somehow in his saying “That old guy stole my Christmas gift idea”, I know that we are still choosing to stay on this journey together, side by side.