Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keeping a Straight Face

My husband is a master at pulling people's chains. He can totally pull off a joke without cracking a smile. I'm always laughing so hard in the background I tend to tip off the others to his little ruses.

The first year he was in the family, we were getting ready to go to my sister and brother-in-law's house for Christmas. When I came out dressed and ready, D was hidden behind the newspaper "reading". When he lowered the paper, I shrieked when I saw he had on a black turtleneck dickey under a thin white stretch sweater. He was a perfect imitation of cousin Eddie from our favorite Griswald movie, "Christmas Vacation." I couldn't wait to see the relatives tentative (and scared) smiles as they sized up this situation to see if he was serious or kidding with this newest fashion trend. We let them sweat for quite a while.

The summer we went on our first blended-family vacation, all the children were in elementary school. They had wanted to go to Six Flags, and we were staying at a nearby hotel so we could be there early. Dave was the first dressed. He had chosen his outfit weeks ago. He was wearing a 1980s running outfit that quit fitting in 1990. And this was 1997. The three girls were horrified that he would even think of wearing the outfit in public in the same hemisphere. C, the only boy, was so anxious to go he actually let me photograph him next to D in all his seam-busting glory. The girls declared they would never go to Six Flags if D was going to wear THAT. C was overjoyed to seemingly be the only one getting to go to Six Flags (more money for souvenirs!). The irony was that no one "got it" until we explained it was a visual joke. Preteens can be so huffy about some things.

I thought he had reformed until recently. I was speaking at a dinner and needed to look nice. What should I wear, I asked him, the red or the blue top? His enthusiasm for insisting on the red should have tipped me off. When I came out dressed and ready for this semi-dressy evening, this is what D was wearing:

We matched long enough to laugh loud and hard, take a "Facebook-type" picture to post and embarrass our now-adult children, and appreciate the sweetness of laughter.

And to be thankful that life goes on.

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