My wife and I like to play a game where we try to squeeze every last drop of toothpaste out of the tube.
OK, I like to play this game. I’ll straighten out the tube and push from the end, pressing my finger along the tube to get that last bit of minty freshness onto a toothbrush before discarding it.
The game my wife and I play is who will finally acknowledge the tube is empty. A few days ago, I opened our drawer to grab the toothpaste, only to find a fresh tube and a note: “You win!” with a smiley face on it.
It’s little moments like that, as Brad Paisley sang back in 2003, that make me love my wife a little more every day. We're celebrating our anniversary this week. It’s not one of those big, round numbers, but it’s still worth celebrating the moment my life turned around for the better.
So much of our relationship is about humor, ranging from juvenile stuff to deep jokes, with plenty of puns in between.
Some who know us might find that hard to believe. We can both be a little dry and methodical when you first meet us. The beauty of finding the right spouse is finding someone who helps you become the best version of yourself.
Sometimes that means the comfort to, ahem, pass gas. When the alarm goes off in the morning, we’ll hit the snooze a few times. Once one of us rips that first morning fart, we’ll joke now that we’re really up now. It’s time to start the day.
Perhaps a bubbly beverage will build up in her stomach. When that finally erupts in a burp, we recite an old beer commercial. I’ll ask her, “Tastes great?” She always responds, “Less filling!”
We enjoy gallows humor too. It’s a relationship hazard for those working in a newsroom, since we see and hear some pretty awful stuff. Her work life has a similar grimness. One way to relieve that is to joke about it. We can break the tension of a serious day with a pun or a ridiculous observation.
I think that’s why we can laugh while watching the true-crime dramas she enjoys on television, ranging from “Snapped” to “Dateline” to “48 Hours.” We’ll talk at the characters involved in someone’s murder the same way people do while watching a horror movie.
Given her love of that form of storytelling, we’ll also quip about her methods to kill me to get on one of those shows. It comes up every time we’re carrying furniture up or down stairs, when I’ll ask if this is how I die. Similarly, we’ll laugh about which one of my friends she’ll marry her after she kills me.
It’s all in good fun. We both have intense careers that can take every moment of your day if you let them. The biggest motivator for me to get home isn’t our children, although I do love them dearly. No, it’s the unexpected quip or observation of hers that relieves all my anxieties and makes me realize just how good I have it.
At least once a day, she’ll tell me, “I love you.” I’ll respond, “I love you more,” to which she says, “Not possible!”
As long as we strive for an infinite amount of love and laughter, I think we’ll be OK.