Conversation with My Wife (118)
The couple that teases mutually pleases?
While heading out on Saturday we were listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! (“the NPR news quiz”) on the radio.
SAGAL: Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week’s news. Helen, a new study shows that one key to a healthy relationship involves partners consistently doing what to each other?
SAGAL: Teasing and ridiculing each other.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
HONG: Oh, my God. I’m so good at that, and I can’t stay in a relationship to save my life.
HONG: Wait, so you make fun of each other, and that helps you stay in the relationship?
SAGAL: New studies show that couples who make fun of each other are more likely to be satisfied with their relationship and sex life versus couples who love and respect one another. They’re miserable.
And Deb and I are looking at each other with “Well, sure!” looks on our faces.
Because the night before, somebody (who had not had her OTC sleep aid, and was perhaps just a little bit perky after climbing in bed¹) was razzing her significant other. We were cuddled together in our usual formation, me on my back and Deb on her right side, nestled under my left arm with her head on my shoulder. I should mention that most nights we would cuddle and talk until somebody (HINT: OTC sleep aid) drifted off; then I, master of exfiltration that I am, would stealthily remove my left arm from under her before necrosis set in, perhaps after a gentle brush of my lips on her forehead. Sometimes in the process she might get into a drowsy state where we would kiss, I would wish her happy dreams, she would mumble something vaguely coherent (ME: Happy dreams, my love! DEB: Sammy toe, humvee.²), and we would both drift off to sleep.
Some self-images are meant to be brutally destroyed, it turns out. I had just gently adjusted my left arm for better circulation when —
DEB: Wait. Are you trying to escape?
DEB: You know! Where you <wiggles one arm like a wounded vulture> and slobber on my forehead before you dump my head on the pillow and escape.
DEB: Oh, you thought you were all so subtle and smooth and were able to escape without me noticing?
So after that, if I so much as wiggled a finger on my left hand…
DEB: <turning her head abruptly to face me like I was trying to get away with something> Ah HA! Caught you! <then she’d giggle like a demented woman>
This went on for some amount of time, during which I wondered if the accidental death & dismemberment rider on my disability insurance policy covered loss of limb due to giddy spouse. Finally she gave me a big kiss and a nose-to-nose rub and a big kiss (our signature good night gesture) and a hug.
DEB: Do you wish you’d married somebody normal, honey?
ME: No, honey, I’m MUCH happier being married to YOU! Happy dreams, my love!
DEB: Same to you, honey!
And we rolled to our respective sides of the bed.
We have since restocked our OTC sleep aids, if you were wondering.
¹We’re in our 60s. Not that kind of perky.
²You’re thinking, “Autocorrect at work?” Nope. Transcript.
Copyright ©2018 by Jack Herlocker. All rights reserved, but my lefts may be even more reserved because I’m afraid to move them.