Love and Funny: In Himself’s Words

A number of readers have remarked on the fact that Himself often comments on the blog. Although it is often to disagree with me, which of course is totally inappropriate, it is also often funny.  He’s actually funny with fair regularity. And when someone suggested a guest post, I tossed the idea out there. He grabbed it. So without further ado…here’s a guest post from Himself. And all the times where calls me “lovely,” I TOTALLY didn’t have to make him. How great is that?

“It just has to be funny.”  This is the only guidance I’ve received.  Not, “it just HAS to be funny,” or “it JUST has to be funny,” but rather, “it just has to be FUNNY.”  They are all the same words, but carry different meanings.  In any case, I don’t really think of myself as funny, though things I say or do often make people – my lovely wife in particular – laugh.  But I attribute that to silliness.  Silly is different than funny, and I would agree with the notion that I am silly. 

 My wife, on the other hand, is funny – deeply, genuinely funny.  She makes me – and our children – and you, her loyal readers – laugh every day.  This, I firmly believe (and modern medical science backs me up on this) lowers my cholesterol, reduces toxins in my bloodstream, strengthens my immune system, and makes my skin glow and my fingernails grow stronger.  (Oddly, it’s done virtually nothing to reverse my receding hairline male pattern baldness alopecia totalis.)  And since she and I share a home and a bed, she makes me chuckle, snicker, guffaw, and belly-laugh in quantities vastly exceeding the Federal minimum RDA guidelines (currently calculated at the equivalent of 17.2 chortles per day for a man my age and weight).

 Of this I am also convinced: marriages can sink or swim based on laughter.  The laughs went out of my first marriage about halfway through.  And when what were perceptible but tolerable issues at its outset became, years later, much larger problems that could not be ignored, that lack of humor in the relationship left no hand-holds to grab as our marriage teetered over the cliff.  There’s a doctoral thesis in sociology just waiting for some grad student who wants to study the correlation between divorce rates and frequency of laughter in a relationship.  (It’s probably already been written.)

I grew up in a laughter-filled household – my mother in particular was, and remains, a firm believer in the healing power of a good snort of milk – outward, through the nostrils.  Here is my all-time-favorite picture of my mother, sisters, and me, in uncontrollable hysterics as my sister’s friend (nephew of a very, very famous actor) regaled us with his brilliant humor: 

My father also loved to laugh, and it was from him I received – albeit in a tangential way – perhaps the most important component of my sense of humor: the ability to see and laugh at the absurdity in the human condition, and at myself.  I think it is called humility.  (I’ve long since forgotten all those 7th grade lessons on Latin roots, but there’s got to be a reason why ‘human,’ ‘humility,’ and ‘humor’ all share a common syllable.)  I am deeply ridiculous so frequently, and so consistently, and it is my incredible luck and joy that I have this amazingly funny wife who sees me being ridiculous – over, and over, and over again – and who is able, in the moment, to come up with the most perfect, erudite, spot-on, dead-pan comment that serves as a mirror so I can see my reflection and laugh at it.

She has taught me so much about being funny.  I have learned from her that some numbers are funnier than others.  17 is a funny number.  It is much funnier than 3.  As in, “it takes 17 ingredients to make me a cup of coffee.”  I still laugh when I remember her telling her best friend this truthy factoid.  (The delivery was in her typical pitch-perfect cadence.)  In point of fact, it only takes three (in very exacting proportions).  But 17 is much funnier than 3.  Child A has still not fully absorbed this lesson, though he’s improving.  Just a couple years ago, his version would be, “it takes fourteen hundred million six thousand ninety-eight billion twenty seven hundred sixty eight thousand and four ingredients to make my mom a cup of coffee.”  Today, it’s “it takes three hundred and fifty eight ingredients to make my mom a cup of coffee.”  He’s almost there – he’s just 341 away from funny.

She also taught me that Nebraska is the funniest state – hands down.  (At least if you don’t live there.  I wonder which state is the funniest if you’re a Nebraskan.)  As in, “Child B, would you do me a favor and go get the cat off the kitchen counter and ship her to Nebraska?”  The list goes on…

I am not funny – I am silly.  But there is something funny about me.  I spend the bulk of my weekdays alone in a lab ‘playing’ with a laser that puts out pulses of light brighter than the surface of the sun.  That such a light source exists at all from the hands of man is hard to comprehend.  That I am left unattended with this power at my control is frightening.  That I am paid good money for this work is hilarious!


  1. Nope, you’re not as funny as Lori, but I bet you’re the funniest husband she’s ever had.

    I imagine that the two of you have a pretty playful banter that would make being around the two of you fun. I love that picture of your family.

      1. Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, the caffeine is my ace in the hole. If I ever stop making my lovely wife laugh, I am banking on her keeping me around to make her coffee every morning.

  2. As a Nebraskan I can say Nebraska is a funny state…I dunno about the funniest. Especially since the example doesn’t do much for us!

    1. Please share some more funny things about your wonderfully funny state. And if we ever do ship our cats to Nebraska, you can be comforted by the knowledge that they have absolutely no capacity whatsoever to hurt anything other than eachother – and the finish on fine furniture and leather goods….

  3. I think you are right on about the importance of laughter in a marriage. My husband and I still can just sit and talk and crack each other up. We laugh over the silliest things and funny comments said at just the right time with just the right delivery. After 22 yrs of marriage and being together a total of almost 30 yrs (since high school and that’s no joke), we still just love hanging out, having fun and laughing. Maybe, maybe it’s not the laughter that is important but rather SLPs make great wives (I’m one too.) Someone should research that too. You did a great guest post. Now, let’s see how your follow-up comments are. She did mention that’s part of it, right?

    1. Wow – that’s high praise – thank you! Congratulations on maintaining your relationship for three decades. I don’t think it’s possible to live with ANYONE that long without a sense of humor!!

  4. I really did love that coffee post.

    However, I refuse to believe that Nebraska is the funniest state. Top 5, sure. But Alabama? Utah?Delaware? I mean what do we even HAVE Delaware for?

    1. I checked into it for you – Delaware is home to DuPont, so apparently we have Delaware for Teflon and Spandex. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’d want to live in a world without Spandex….

  5. Yay! Himself as guest poster! I got my wish!

    Great job, himself. I think your comments about marriage, and of course, your fab wife, are spot on. I hope Lori makes you a regular feature. On the blog, of course. I’m sure you’re a regular feature, you know….elsewhere. :)

    1. Hopefully I’m the MAIN feature… the HOUSE BAND… the.. the.. umm… er… elsewhere! (With erudition like that I’m not certain Lori will ever let me guest blog again!)

  6. Laughter is the key to a happy person, happy life and a happy marriage. Thanks to my kids and husband I lead a pretty happy life.

    I also read that the more you laugh, the longer you’ll live. According to my son, I’m going to live till I’m 125 years old. Right now, his “age” is right around 95, but he’s catching up fast. ; )

    Thanks for this post!

    1. Keep laughin’ – you and your son are well on your way to be the oldest – and happiest – people on Earth!

  7. I don’t know…the thought of a child using fourteen hundred million six thousand ninety-eight billion twenty seven hundred sixty eight thousand and four ingredients to make my mom a cup of coffee sounds pretty damn funny! But that’s just me.

  8. Child A and my daughter A would get along fabulously, at least in their preference of big numbers…
    Laughter IS important! It would be pretty quiet in our house without it.
    Thanks for this great post!

    1. You are very welcome! Thanks a million billion three hundred seventy five quadrillion and four for your kind comment!

  9. I have a degree in sociology that has done absolutely nothing for me professionally, but it did give me the brains to be able to agree with you on the correlation of happy relationships and laughter. My hubs makes me laugh at least 87 times per day and we are super happy. So thank you Himself for allowing me to finally use my degree.

    PS, 87 is my funny number. As in “I spent 87 bazillion dollars on my private school edumacation and I just got to use it.” See? Funny, right?

  10. Forty-hundred is my number of choice. It just does the trick when I’m trying to exaggerate my point. Which is often. Like…”Okay, seriously? I’ve done forty-hundred loads of laundry today and you’re just now getting to giving me your dirty underwear? Nice.” I wholeheartedly agree that laughter makes a marriage. You and Lori seem to be in complete harmony there! :)

    1. Excellent – only one suggestion to fine-tune this. Instead of, “Okay, seriously?” you might want to try leading with, “Really… REALLY????” ;-)

    1. As do I – sort of like salt and pepper, or mustard and ketchup. They compliment eachother nicely, but they are not the same thing! (You wouldn’t put mustard on french fries, would you? Really… REALLY?? ;-)

  11. I can’t believe that Himself responded to every one of the comments. I hope he responds to mine too.
    I love, love, love this post. I have asked my ex husband to contribute to my blog (on peaceful divorce) and he is still contemplating it.
    I agree with you say about the power of laughter. And it’s relation to divorce. We became so humorless at the end of our marriage. And we have found a sense of humor again now that we aren’t living together and that has been one of the keys to our new harmonious relationship as exes, co-parents, and friends.
    I love the laughter pic. I put a photo like that on my site of my sis and me. It gives me joy to look at it.

    1. How wonderful that you and your ex have rediscovered humor – and through it a harmonious relationship – post-divorce. Sadly, I fear you are the exception – and an enviable exception to be sure – rather than the rule. And that’s a great photo of you and your sister – unforced, natural smiles always leap out from a photo as they do in this one! How could I not have responded to all the comments?? That would be like borrowing a friend’s car with a full tank of gas and returning it empty; like staying as a guest in someone’s home and not straightening up the guest room before leaving; like having friends help you move and not providing lunch and beers; like…. I think perhaps I’ve made my point…. I’m going back to my lab now and play with my laser…..

  12. I felt a little weird reading your post Mr.Himself; as though I came for a cup of tea and only you were home, but “Lori was just popping out for a few minutes so why don’t I just come in.” kind of awkward what do I do now kind of visit. You were a wonderful host, but I feel as though The Agronomist wouldn’t like me hanging out with another goateed, funny guy. Let me say though, I like Lori even more, due to her taste in second husbands. It would seem her taste in men, has finally become as particular as her criteria for her prepared morning coffee. Smooth and sweet with a silly spill here and there. I look forward to the stirring up of many more years.
    I know, I know… heavy on the coffee analogy… I think its because I haven’t had my morning Jo yet and its all I can think of after reading your post.
    Dana (verbosity is my nickname)

    1. It was lovely meeting you here, Dana – truly. I’m so glad you dropped by, and I’ll be sure to let Lori know you popped in while she was out. And I do hope The Agronomist won’t be upset by our time together; be sure to remind him I am NOT funny, just silly. (There’s a post about that at In Pursuit of Martha Points you should read sometime.) That should de-fuse any potentially unpleasant feelings. Silly is far less threatening to a man than funny. You might also let him know that I am already madly, desperately, head-over-heels in love with another woman – a very, very funny (and beautiful, and creative, and sexy, and smart, and wonderfully sweet) woman.

  13. yes your wife is innately funny.
    every time I have spent time with her I have laughed so hard I’ve cried or had to hold my belly.

    she tells great stories.

    I think the thing that adds the funny to your silly is your intelligence. When you speak people believe you, because we think you’re smart you have the perfect straight face to deliver silliness so it doubles the funny.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Laura. And for teaching me the Law of Funny, which I had not known before: Silly Intelligent = 2•Funny

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