Thursday, February 12, 2015

In Praise of Funny Men

I laugh every time I see this picture*.  My husband of forty-four years will pose anywhere I tell him to, even in the Badlands on a hot June afternoon.  One of my grown sons was with us on this road trip (we drive the 3000 miles from Rhode Island to Idaho every summer) and he just shook his head and groaned as I shooed him out of the way, but he was laughing, too.  The caption:  Deserted due to poor fashion choices.

I am often asked how we stayed married for so many years.  Now that I have stopped dyeing my hair and have let it go completely gray, I am often mistaken for someone with great wisdom.  It's kind of fun!  Anyway, my answer is always, "You have to have a sense of humor."

Years ago my husband gave similar advice to a young man debating about whether the woman he was dating was the right one:  "It's a long life if she doesn't think you're funny."

How true.  I've often told him, when he has done something totally irritating and stupid, "You're lucky I think you're funny.  Otherwise you'd be in real trouble."

There are other moments when I've stomped off, steam coming out of my ears, waving my hand in the air, to prevent him from trying to tease me out of it.

 In the past forty four years many an argument has been diffused by a hilarious observation, many stressful times relieved by a subtle, dry comment.  Life is pretty damn hard, so if there's a choice of whether to laugh or cry, I'll choose to laugh almost every time.

So the heroes in my books may be men with a lot on their minds.  They may be immersed in conflicts and work and all sorts of manly-man projects, but as heroes they can sometimes see the humor of a situation filter through the chaos and embarrassment and frustration.  I say sometimes because my own live-in hero has never, ever thought plumbing problems or broken lawnmowers were funny.  Not ever.  Though the rest of the family has been known to double over in silent laughter as a dented lawnmower goes sailing through the air.

 My heroes won't realize just how funny they are.  Their misguided attempts to understand and romance the women in their lives often result in disaster, but they keep trying.  Heroes gamely trying to deal with children and animals always tickle me.  Take a hero out of his comfort zone and see how he handles himself.  Will this fictional guy take himself too seriously or will he approach the challenge with humor and grace?

Men--the good ones-- make me laugh.  I can't help it!  What about you?

*For those of you who watch The Bachelor, you saw this week's episode with Kelsey and Ashley in the Badlands with Chris (the shy farmer from Iowa).  I have retitled this picture:  He didn't get a rose.


15 comments:

  1. Kristine, To stay married for many years both parties have to have a sense of humor I believe. It's also fun to look back on times you probably wouldn't tackle today---those long drives with stops at every national monument. Those can be funny. Just keep on keeping on.

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    1. We still love our long, long, LONG road trips. Started crossing the country in 1971 and every June we're as excited as little kids when we pull out of the driveway and head west. My husband loves to stop at obscure points of historical interest, especially in 100 degree heat. Last year we stopped at John Wayne's birthplace (my idea!) and I am now the proud owner of a John Wayne travel mug.

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  2. Humor is what I enjoy in a person as well as a book. Make me laugh and you've captured my interest.

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  3. Kristine, it sound like we lead similar lives with regard to marriage. My husband makes me laugh every day and sometimes I'll warn him when I know an awkward situation might be arising or if I'm irritated...."Don't you make me laugh right now!" It never works. I don't know why I still say it because he just takes it as an invitation or a challenge. I adore the humor in your books and your heroes--especially the Hove brothers. Jake and Aurora's story was just...perfect. Any chance a previously unknown or illegitimate Hove brother or cousin could make his way to Willing?

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    1. Awww.....thank you, Carol. You made my day as I sit here agonizing over every word in the latest WIP. I never thought of a mysterious Hove relation arriving in Willing, but it's an interesting idea....

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  4. Kristine, this is hysterical - and so spot on! Ron was once teaching me to drive (he never succeeded) I turned too late at a junction in the road, went over a small embankment and hit something low and strange-looking. The magnetic St. Christopher on the dash fell over and when we shuddered to a stop, I expected Ron to yell. Instead, he said, "Oh, look. Even St. Christopher ducked." That's why I love that man. (What did I hit? Not sure what it's called, but the lights were out on the south side of Boise, Idaho for several hours.)

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    1. Muriel, this is hilarious, too!

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    2. Muriel, that is really funny! Are you a better driver now?

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    3. I never did learn. Long story. Hopefully, I'll get to tell you all about when RWA is in San Diego.

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  5. I love this. We'll have 44 years in May, and we've been laughing all the way, too. I truly love the caption on the picture!

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  6. So true! Humor is a must! That picture caption is too funny :).

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    1. He loves that horrible floral shirt. I tell him he looks 99 years old and as if he's escaped from a nursing home, but he doesn't believe me. Sigh.

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  7. Without humor no marriage can survive...well, they might survive but I wouldn't want to be there. lol Great post.

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  8. My husband teases incessantly, and even though I'm constantly rolling my eyes at him, there's no denying he makes me smile. He keeps me from taking myself too seriously and makes me laugh at myself, too. No doubt, humor is good for a marriage. Love all the stories you've shared in the comments, ladies!

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  9. Dristine,
    So true, so true. I loved the flying lawn mower. We've seen those at my house.

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