97: You Gotta Laugh

97: You Gotta Laugh

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

You Gotta Laugh

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

~Victor Borge

Every evening my husband Neal and I spend an hour or so talking over our day. We like to call it downloading. During this time we solve the world’s problems, work on our own, plan and dream. However the best times during our downloading are when we laugh together.

Over the years I’ve come to believe the glue that holds relationships together is communication liberally sprinkled with laughter. Just the other day we enjoyed one of those moments.

To begin with, Neal and I are proof that opposites attract. He is rational, logical, orderly, and loves lists. Me? I’m creative, messy, and forgetful. One Saturday he decided to run errands. Thirty minutes after he left he called me to say he’d forgotten to get the address of one of the businesses he had on his list and asked me to find it and get back to him asap! Did I mention he is also extremely time conscious?

I did as he asked and called him right back. No answer. That was odd. I called back. This time he answered in a rather brusque tone, “Hey, I can’t talk now, I’ll call you back.”

Miffed, I hung up the phone. How rude. After all, I did exactly as he asked. A few minutes later he called back and in a more patient voice apologized before getting the information he needed.

That evening on the front porch, he looked at me with a sheepish expression. “I have a confession to make about this afternoon.”


“You know when you called the first time?”


“I had stopped at a fast food place and gotten an ice cream cone. Well, while pulling out of the parking lot onto the road I held the cone in my left hand while trying to steer, and with my right hand I held my phone while trying to shift gears.”

“Yeah?” He never was a good multitasker.

“So when the phone rang, I answered the cone.”

“You what?”

“I stuck my ice cream cone in my ear!” He grinned.

Images of my near perfect husband with an ear full of ice cream made me erupt in a fit of laughter. He caught my mirth and started laughing just as hard. Tears ran down our faces as we gulped enough air to accommodate the next burst of guffaws. Finally we were able to control ourselves. Exhausted we leaned back in our chairs and smiled at each other.

There is a Yiddish proverb that says, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” If that is the case, our souls were sparkling clean. Before we went back into the house, Neal said, “I suppose you are going to tell everyone about this.”

I smiled. “Only a few million of my closest friends.”

There’s another proverb that claims a merry heart is like a medicine. I can attest to its truth. Laughter is the prescription that keeps our marriage healthy and has for over thirty-four years!


~Linda Apple

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