So there we sat around the table, tears rolling down our flushed faces. I was somewhere in the middle of a story on missed calls and misunderstandings. Night clubs, odd hours of the morning and my husband were central players in the plot. Unlikely as it may sound, that combination of elements did not disqualify my story as nonfiction. And in the retelling, actions that had once resulted in dreaded silence were now retold to the tune of laughter.
So we held hands over fondue and red wine, across the table from the dearest of friends, trying to beat each other to the next part of the story. Interrupting to make our case, interjecting to save face. My husband and I.
And as is the case for many marriages, a point of contention healed into a scar and somehow became a story. The kind of story told over dinner with good friends for a laugh so deep and so real you’re almost glad the incident ever happened in the first place.
Looking back days later, I can’t help but wonder at the joy in marriage. The impossibly ironic gift of two people messing up and misunderstanding and making up because it’s worth it. And because the lumps are short lived, but the stories and the scars, but mostly the smiles, live on forever.
I’m thankful to have a husband who understands the value in both forgiving and being forgiven. We all need both in marriage. What’s more, I’m thankful to have a husband who understands that laughter is life’s medicine, especially when directed to stories that are our own.
While it may sound easy and cliché and even a little corny, laughter may be likened to marriage’s ammunition. It levels bitterness before bitterness builds barriers. It wards off spite before spite turns to silence. Despite what we might think, laughter isn’t always the easy choice. In fact, it isn’t often the easy choice. Sulkiness and separation are.