So my husband and I were having a…discussion the other day about my apparent need to tease him. Now, I don’t go out of my way to mock him. I don’t get sarcastically mean or tear him down in front of other people, nothing like that. But I do like to point out his…idiosyncracies.
For example, Hubby despises mayonnaise. He tells everyone he’s allergic to it. (We all know this is not possible.) He also despises when I defrost frozen meat in the microwave and then cook it. (He claims he can taste the difference.) These are little things, but they are the little wacky things that make him…my Hubby and not someone else’s. I am endeared by his charming quirks.
That’s exactly why I joke around with him about it. I notice these things because I love him. And how do I show affection to people I love? I make fun of then. Or rather, I make fun WITH them. It’s a long, storied family tradition. Joking around and affectionate teasing go all the way back to my grandmother on my father’s side. One of my relative’s on that side is a professional clown, for God’s sake.
Whenever I get together with my family, we all joke around, teasing each other, making fun of ourselves (we can dish it AND take it), but mostly, laughing. A lot. Of course, like a lot of people, we’ve had struggles: cancer, unemployment, marital distress, financial trouble. But we as a family have always used humor to keep us on track. To keep us sane. To make life fun no matter how dark the world may be. That’s when we all need a little lightness.
Last night, as my husband fended me off from joking about his hunt-and-peck method of typing, I told him the truth: I love you, therefore I tease you. I only reserve my joking and kidding for people I really, really care about. If I didn’t love him, I explain, I would never laugh at him OR with him. But mostly, I am trying to create that connection with him that is ingrained in me from The Family Way: when you love someone, you laugh with them. Sometimes at them, but mostly with them.
So this Valentine’s Day–Hallmark holiday that it is–make laughter with someone you love today.