I married the fella knowing full well that he loves to tell the kind of jokes that are designed to make me roll my eyes and swat him on the arm. Whenever I do, he starts giggling like a little boy, and his shoulders do this shrug-thing that boys do when they are oh-so-happy.
Part of me wants to follow my mother’s grade-school advice: “Ignore them, and they’ll stop.” But it gives him so much pleasure, I’m not sure what’s worse: the fatigue of swatting him on the arm 17 times a day, or the strain of ignoring his ribald humor.
Example: I can’t say the word “balls” at any time without incurring said ribaldry. Soccer balls, tracker balls, pinball machines, ball bearings, fancy-dress balls, ball-and-socket joints... Can’t say it without him talking about his own. I am pretty sure he holds back at work, and I get a double-dose at all other times. He loves it.
Or another example: Yesterday he asked how much an article I’m writing will pay. “I’m not sure,” I said. “They do it by column inches.”
Maybe you have the imagination to figure out what he said next.
So I was talking to my parents on the phone the other night, and my dad made a comment that I am so not going to repeat here, but I can tell you he wouldn’t have made that comment if my mom hadn’t been on the phone. And that little sigh of resignation she gave after? Yeah. He freakin’ loved it.
Last weekend, the fella and I drove to Mississippi to visit my grandparents. At dinner on Saturday night, the fella made a joke at my expense. Not exactly gross humor, and not mean-spirited. But at my expense. My grandmother rolled her eyes.
My grandfather smiled at the fella with the biggest, most beatific smile.
This is the magnolia tree in my grandparents' front yard. Its branches have been summited by many a cousin.