“You’re kissing me on purpose.” Laughter, the key to a happy marriage and life

Smooching is something we’re reeeaaalll good at as evidenced in this
engagement pic by the PHENOMENAL Beth Baugher of True Love Photo.

So I’m smooching Mr. T goodnight and he says (This is verbatim. A direct quote. His actual words.): “You’re being annoying. You’re kissing me on purpose, longer* than normal.” After I quieted my laughter (it took a couple minutes) and properly indignated (it’s a verb in our house), I posted his words online. I can’t keep these gems to myself, you know.

Over coffee this morning, T was desperately trying to remember why our “You’re kissing me too long” conversation seemed so familiar. As it happens, the roles were reversed just last week when T over-smooched me goodbye at the garage door. He did it on purpose because he knew I needed to get back to work and as playful “punishment” as I’m always stealing kisses whenever possible. You want kisses? FINE, I’ll give you kisses! Muah muah muah. Muah muah muah muaaaaah. Yeah, something like that.

These moments got me to thinking about how much we laugh on a daily basis. I chuckle when T sings me a goofy made-up tune or plays me the Boogie Boogie Hedgehog** song. He chortles when I dork out playing with Goliath or while executing my very sexy dance moves (think Elaine from Seinfeld). We crack up using our “monster”*** voices, making fun of Little C on “So You Think You Can Dance” and at the hundred humorous videos that T finds online. I’m telling you, we laugh a lot.

Always campaigning for cutest couple. Yeah, we totally
used this photo for our wedding invitations. Still cracks me up.

And you know what? It helps our marriage. Not only do I actively think about how fun we are together, I’ve noticed how humor helps us during the tight spots. Just this week, we were um, having words… of the un-funny variety. You know the tense kind that involve punctuated silences and temporary cold shoulders? At some point, one of us inserted a little hyperbole into the discussion (a perennial favorite) that made the argument seem so utterly ridiculous, we couldn’t help but laugh. Although the funny bits don’t work all the time, they certainly decrease the amount of tension we experience during the day-to-day.

Some fantastic news? Laughter has a load of positive health benefits, too, from increasing immune function to improving mood via the release of endorphins to the ability to better cope with anxiety, chronic pain and even cancer. I could go on, but read more here and here. The good news doesn’t stop there. Research**** suggests positive emotions broaden our ability to think creatively, build important relationships and may help reverse the effects of negative emotion. Over time negative emotions (such as anger, burnout, anxiety, etc.) can generate cardiovascular reactivity which puts us at risk for heart attack and stroke. Positive emotions can help undo those adverse effects. Pretty remarkable!

So, go, be funny. Watch something goofy online (might I suggest a hedgehog?), read some comics, dance a ridiculous jig, tell jokes, tickle, chase your dog. Married or not, your health will be better for it!

xoxo,
Shawna

P/S Any funny stories to share??

*He wasn’t lying and I have no doubt I was being annoying as I interrupted a work project with a little extended lip action. Of course, I wasn’t actually annoyed, I’m definitely not kiss deprive!

** T even made it my ring tone. Every time he calls me… Boogie Hedgehog!

***I’m not sure if the monster voices started before or after seeing “The House Bunny,” but they sound just like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWYsekCJdac Last week, I believe Mr. T said grace using the monster voice. I’m certain God appreciated it. ha!

**** I’m referencing Barbara Fredrickson’s work: Fredrickson, B.L. (1998) What good are positive  emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-319 and Fredrickson, et al. (2000) The undoing effect of positive emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 24, 230-257.

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