I love to laugh. I look at life through a sarcastic lens, but it’s just because it makes me laugh. If you can laugh, you can survive. I can also cry at the drop of a hat, but I’m pretty sure those two abilities are only separated by circumstances. If you’ve got emotions, then tears and laughter are your best friends. Don’t let anybody put you down for either one of them.
My husband is one of my favorite laughers. If he gets tickled by something, it’s all over—he loses his breath, turns red in the face and practically passes out. I learned CPR just to resuscitate him during funny movies. As a matter of fact, he’s taking me to the show of my choice tomorrow night. But since he’s just getting over the worst case of bronchitis ever seen on planet earth—my professional opinion—I can’t risk choosing a comedy. It could kill him.
He loves to joke around, but his favorite thing to laugh at is himself. For example. A few years ago I woke up in the middle of the night thinking there had been an earthquake in our next-door-neighbor state, California. The mattress was shaking the way it does when we’re getting somebody’s leftover aftershocks. That happens here in Arizona sometimes, but not this night. I realized Rob was sitting straight up in bed—laughing. Unable to talk. Not even breathing much. Just laughing.
“What’s going on?” I asked in sleepy confusion. But he couldn’t get the story out. Every time he calmed down, caught his breath, and tried to tell me what happened, he broke up again.
“You got out of bed and went where?” I asked, coaching him through staccato sentences and sign language.
Finally after a good ten minutes, I pieced the whole story together and he started breathing again. During the night he got up feeling itchy on his back and stomach. He didn’t want the bathroom light to wake me up, so he pumped the hand lotion bottle a few times and rubbed the moisturizer all around his itchy midsection. Too late, he realized he’d grabbed the liquid soap by mistake. He took a 2 a.m. shower to wash it off and by the time he got back into bed, he’d been laughing for fifteen minutes. To this day if he starts to tell that story, he can’t get through it. I usually finish it for him while doing chest compressions.
Another night, in the deepest sleep-induced coma of my life, I was once again jolted awake by commotion in our bed. But this time, my life was being threatened by a powerful force. Growling sounds in my ears accompanied by pain in my head jerked me out of pleasant dreams and face to face with my worst nightmare.
“What are you DOING?” I yelled at my husband, whose forehead was pressed hard against mine as he tried to push me out of bed, bulldozer-style.
“Huh?” he answered, like the human he was instead of the gorilla he’d been imitating. It was ten minutes before he could stop laughing long enough to tell me he’d been dreaming that he was defending himself against a murderous taxi driver. It was another week before the bruise on my forehead disappeared.
I dunno. Maybe they had the right idea in the 50’s when Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds. It’s downright dangerous sleeping with Rob sometimes. Then again, he could be getting back at me for throwing that roach on his bare back that time.
If he keeps it up, though, I just might have to let that CPR certification lapse. Fair warning.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/camsinlux/3175933277/