170 LOL-Worthy Jokes About Marriage That Are Perfect For a Wedding
Whether you’re the best man, maid of honour, or master of ceremonies, it never hurts to kick off your wedding speech with a knee-slapper. Choose from our best-ever marriage jokes to roast the happy couple before you toast them!
Speaking at a Wedding? Try Opening With These Jokes About Marriage!
Q: Why does a man twist his wedding ring on his finger?
A: He’s trying to figure out the combination.
One and Only
During a heartfelt chat with her friend about relationships, my wife sighed and said, “You know, if something happened to Lloyd, I don’t think I could ever marry again.”
Her friend nodded sympathetically. “I know what you mean,” she said. “Once is enough.”
I identify with football players because I know what it’s like to spend your whole life training for a large, jewel-encrusted ring.
Love and Learning
Overheard at my garden-club meeting: “I never knew what compost was until I met my husband.”
For the Mrs?
Even though there was a blizzard raging outside, I made it the half-mile to the bakery, where I asked the owner for six rolls.
“Your wife must like rolls,” he said.
“How do you know these are for my wife?” I asked.
“Because your mother wouldn’t send you out in weather like this.”
The Right Diagnosis
A man tells his doctor that he’s incapable of doing all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination is over, he says, “Okay, Doctor. In plain English—what’s wrong with me?”
“Well, in plain English,” says the doctor, “you’re just lazy.”
The man nods. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”
What’s That Smell?
For a romantic touch, I washed our sheets with lavender-scented detergent. When my husband got into bed, he sniffed. “What’s this?” he asked.
“Guess,” I said coyly.
“I have no idea,” he said. “It smells like the stuff you use to line the hamster’s cage.”
Years of Romance
Shortly before our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband sent 25 long-stemmed yellow roses to me at my office. A few days later, I plucked all the petals and dried them. On the night of our anniversary, I spread the petals over the bed and lay on top of them, wearing only a negligee.
As I’d hoped, I got a reaction from my husband.
When he saw me, he shouted, “Are those potato chips?”
Sailing vs. Shopping
After we had lunch with another couple, the women went shopping, and the men opted to go sailing. Bad decision—a storm blew in while we men were out on the water.
Making matters worse, the tide had gone out, grounding the boat. We had to climb overboard and shove it back into deep water.
As my friend stood there—ankles deep in muck, muscles straining against the weight of the boat, and rain pelting his face—he grinned broadly and with unmistakable sincerity said, “Sure beats shopping!”
It may have been the most romantic statement ever uttered in our courthouse. In between hearings, a wedding was performed. As the newlyweds left the courtroom, the bride nestled up to the groom and cooed, “Isn’t it nice to be here when we’re not being convicted of something?”
After Adam stayed out late a few nights, Eve became suspicious.
“You’re running around with another woman— admit it!” she demanded.
“What other woman?” Adam shot back. “You’re it!”
That night, Adam was fast asleep when he was awakened by Eve poking him in the chest.
“What are you doing?”
“Counting your ribs.”
Reporting for Duty
A soldier in my National Guard platoon became concerned when the Army insisted that he sign up for direct deposit.
“It’s not going to work for me,” he said, panicked.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because I use my Guard pay for spending money.”
“For the past ten years, I’ve been telling my wife that I serve for free!”
The Birthday Present
On his birthday, my husband was stuck driving our six rambunctious children around. As usual, they were yelling, punching, and annoying one another. Joel finally had had enough.
“Kids,” he said over the din, “if you would behave and be kind to each other, that would be a very nice birthday present for me.”
Our six-year-old shot back: “Too late, I already got you another present.”
I’d noticed that my 60-year-old father seemed to be losing his hearing, so I mentioned it to my mother.
“Things haven’t changed that much,” she said. “Only difference is, before, he didn’t listen. Now, he can’t.”
Jack wakes up with a horrible hangover and a throbbing black eye. The first thing he sees is a single rose on the side table and a note from his wife: “Dear, breakfast is made. I’ve gone shopping to make you your favourite dinner tonight. I love you!”
He stumbles to the kitchen and, sure enough, there’s breakfast. “Joe,” he says to his son, “what happened last night?”
“You came home soused and got that black eye tripping over a chair.”
“So, why the rose, breakfast, and sweet note from your mother?”
“Oh, that. Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take off your clothes, you screamed, ‘Leave me alone, I’m married!’”
As I performed a simple medical procedure on my patient, I warned her, “After this, you can’t have sex for at least three days.”
“Did you hear that?” she asked her husband. “No sex for three days.”
“I heard,” he said. “But she was speaking to you.”
Scene: My checkout line at the supermarket.
Me: Paper or plastic?
Customer: I’d like double-bagged paper, and I’d like you to make each bag as heavy as possible.
Customer: In case you’re wondering, I had a fight with my wife, and it’s my turn to pick up the groceries.
Customer: It’s also her turn to unload the car.
A Woman Shoots Her Husband For Stepping On The Clean Floor…
A police officer jumps into his squad car and calls the station.
“I have an interesting case here,” he says. “A woman shot her husband for stepping on the floor she just mopped.”
“Have you arrested her?” asks the sergeant.
“No, not yet. The floor’s still wet.”
Rose Mattix, Decatur, Illinois
Bonnie McFarlane On The Key To A Good Marriage
I once gave my husband the
silent treatment for an entire week, at the end of which he declared, “Hey, we’re getting along pretty great lately!”
Bonnie McFarlane, from You’re Better Than Me
A Real Gut-Buster
A woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale, sucking in his stomach. “Ha! That’s not going to help,” she said.
“Sure, it does,” he said. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”
Modelled On Confusion
The photographer was positioning my new husband and me for
our wedding photos when he asked, “Have you ever modelled?”
My cheeks instantly turned red. “No, I haven’t,” I said. “But I always thought …”
The photographer interrupted me: “I meant him.”
Joanne Noffke, Oak Forest, Illinois
Wearing Husband Goggles
The party’s host paid me a great compliment. “You are a good-looking woman,” he said. “Honest—I’ve had only one beer.”
My glow was only slightly dimmed when my husband interjected, “Imagine how great she’ll look after two.”
Rosemary Tomy, Tucson, Arizona
Why You Should Make Love Once A Year
A therapist has a theory that couples who make love once a day are the happiest. So he tests it at a seminar by asking those assembled, “How many people here make love once a day?” Half the people raise their hands, each of them grinning widely. “Once a week?” A third of
the audience members raise their hands, their grins a bit less vibrant. “Once a month?” A few hands tepidly go up. Then he asks, “OK, how about once a year?”
One man in the back jumps up and down, jubilantly waving his hands. The therapist is shocked—this disproves his theory. “If you make love only once a year,” he asks, “why are you so happy?”
The man yells, “Today’s the day!”
When Siri Slips
After i-messaging back and forth with my wife, I jokingly commanded Siri to pass along this message: “You need to get back to work now; you have a husband to support.”
Here’s what Siri sent: “You need to get back to work now; you have a has-been to support.”
John Brown, Jenks, Oklahoma
Groucho Marx on Make Outs
it necking is a poor judge of anatomy.
Misreading the Signals
My fiancé and I went to a counsellor to work on our communication issues. Using herself as an example, the counsellor crossed her legs and her arms and exhaled loudly. I was about to say she was showing signs of frustration, but my fiancé beat me to it, yelling, “I’ve got it! You’re constipated!”
Tracy Vance, Ocala, Florida
After finishing our Chinese food, my husband and I cracked open our fortune cookies. Mine read, “Be quiet for a little while.” His read, “Talk while you have a chance.”
Carol Burks, Providence, Rhode Island
Bad Things to Tell Your Wife
A commercial boasted that its product could help people live
pain-free in their golden years.
“Am I in my golden years?” my wife, 63, asked.
“Not at all,” I assured her. “But you are yellowing fast.”
Dennis McClanahan, Buckner, Missouri
Might Be The Wine Talking…
A couple are sitting in their living room, sipping wine. Out of
the blue, the wife says, “I love you.”
“Is that you or the wine talking?” asks the husband.
“It’s me,” says the wife. “Talking to the wine.”
Marvin Keeler, Salina, Kansas
Will You Still Love Me?
Ah, marriage. I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror one evening admiring my reflection, when I posed this question to my wife of 30 years: “Will you still love me when I’m old, fat, and balding?”
She answered, “I do.”
Michael Jordan, Moss Point, Mississippi
• Never try to tell everything you know. It may take too short a time. Norman Ford
• Never trust a man when he’s in love, drunk, or running for office. Shirley Maclaine
• Never be in a hurry to terminate a marriage. You may need this person to finish a sentence. Erma Bombeck
• Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level; it’s cheaper. Quentin Crisp
Sock it to Me
On the first night of their
honeymoon, the husband isn’t sure how to tell his bride about his stinky feet and smelly socks, while the wife is wondering how to break the news to him about her awful breath, which so far, she’s been able to cover up. After some soul-searching, the
husband gathers his nerve and says, “I have a confession.”
She draws closer, peers into his eyes, and says, “Darling, so do I.”
Recoiling, he says, “Don’t tell me—you’ve eaten my socks.”
Justin Ezzi, Wilmington, California
Confessions of a Military Wife
My husband is infantry, and
he said the most wonderful things
to convince me to marry him:
• The closets could all be mine since he wears the same thing every day.
• I could have as many babies as I want because giving birth is free.
• He would never get on my nerves, because he would always be gone.
Mollie Gross (molliegross.com) is the author of Confessions of a Military Wife, published by Savas Beatie.
All Dolled Up
A husband and wife had been married for 60 years and had no
secrets except for one: The woman kept in her closet a shoe box that
she forbade her husband from ever opening. But when she was on her deathbed—and with her blessing—he opened the box and found a
crocheted doll and $95,000 in cash.
“My mother told me that the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue,” she explained. “Instead, I should keep quiet and crochet a doll.”
Her husband was touched. Only one doll was in the box—that meant she’d been angry with him only once in 60 years. “But what about all this money?” he asked.
“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”
Every Marriage Needs A Spin Doctor…
My wife told me that I twist everything she says to my
advantage. I take that as a compliment.
After 12 years in prison, a man finally breaks out. When he gets home, filthy and exhausted, his wife says, “Where have you been? You escaped eight hours ago!”
Father of The Bribe
When I announced that I was getting married, my excited mother said, “You have to have the rehearsal dinner someplace opulent, where there’s dancing.”
My father, seeing where this was heading, said, “I’ll pay you a thousand dollars to elope.”
“And you have to have a breakfast, for the people who are coming from out of town.”
“We’ll need a photographer. Oh, and what colours do you want for the reception?”
We eloped to Spain.
Mary Nichols, Arlington, Virginia
Kids Marry The Darnedest Things
My young son declared, “When
I grow up, I’m going to marry you, Mommy.”
“You can’t marry your own mother,” said his older sister.
“Then I’ll marry you.”
“You can’t marry me either.”
He looked confused, so I explained, “You can’t marry someone in your own family.”
“You mean I have to marry a total stranger?!” he cried.
Phyllis Showers, San Diego, California
A Familiar Patient
A weeping woman bursts into her hypnotherapist’s office and declares, “Doctor, I have been faithful to my husband for 15 years, but yesterday
I broke that trust and had an affair! The guilt is killing me. I just want to forget that it ever happened!”
The hypnotherapist shakes his head. “Not again…”
Alan Lynch, Ithaca, New York
A Home Affair
My client buys many rental properties, not always with the
enthusiastic support of his wife. Recently, I was showing him a home when his wife called. I could hear her ask what he was doing. “The real estate agent and I are having an affair,” he answered.
“Oh, thank God,” she said. “I thought she was selling you another house.”
Patti Simkins, Columbus, Georgia
Realistic Romantic Comedies
• “When Harry Met Sally and
Discovered She Looks Nothing Like Her eHarmony Photos”
• “Love Handles, Actually”
• “Runaway Bridal Expenses”
My husband and I couldn’t decide which jacket to buy our granddaughter, so we asked the young salesman.
“If you were buying a jacket for your girlfriend,” I said, “what would you get?”
“A bulletproof one,” he said. “I’m married.”
John Canuteson, Liberty, Missouri
What About the Other Half?
As the music swelled during a recent wedding reception, my hopelessly romantic husband squeezed my hand, leaned in, and said, “You are better looking than half the women here.”
Marlene Bambrick, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Why Marriage is Difficult
Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings… and lawyers.
A Culinary Adventure
I asked my wife, “Where do you want to go for our anniversary?”
She said, “Somewhere I have never been!”
I told her, “How about the kitchen?”
The Three Week Diet
A man says to a friend, “My wife is on a three-week diet.”
“Oh, yeah? How much has she lost so far?” asks his pal.
He replies, “Two weeks.”
Funny in Canada Survey
Tweeter’s Digest: Just Chill
When my wife gets a little upset, sometimes a simple “Calm down” in a soothing voice is all it takes to get her a lot upset.
A man, shocked by how his buddy is dressed, asks him, “How long have you been wearing that bra?”
The friend replies, “Ever since my wife found it in the glove compartment.”
In Your Dreams
On the morning of her birthday, a woman told her husband, “I just dreamed that you gave me
a diamond necklace. What do you think it means?”
“Maybe you’ll find out tonight,” he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. She ripped off the wrapping paper and found a book titled The Meaning of Dreams.
As I stepped out of the shower, I heard someone in my kitchen downstairs. Knowing that my wife was out, I grabbed my 1903 heirloom rifle—which no longer works—and crept downstairs, forgetting the fact that I was in my birthday suit.
I came around the corner with the gun raised, only to find my wife loading the dishwasher.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I thought I heard an intruder. I came down to scare him.”
Scanning the contours of my doughy, naked body, she mumbled, “You didn’t need the gun.”
Kurt Epps, Perth Amboy, New Jersey
How I Met Your Father
Studying our wedding photos, my six-year-old asked, “Did you marry Dad because he was good-looking?”
“Not really,” I replied.
“Did you marry him for his money?”
“Definitely not,” I laughed. “He didn’t have any.”
“So,” he said, “you just felt sorry for him.”
Linda Watson, Edinburgh, Scotland
My ex and I had a very amicable divorce. I know this because when I wrote the Facebook status “I’m getting a divorce,” he was the first one to click Like.
Working it Out
One friend complained to another, “All my husband and I do anymore is fight. I’ve been so upset, I’ve lost 20 pounds.”
“If it’s that bad, why don’t you just leave him?” asked the second friend.
“I’d like to lose another 15 pounds first.”
Pick Me Up
I was a mess. My career as an artist was going nowhere, my horseback riding was no longer fulfilling, and in general I felt unattractive. My husband did his best to be supportive: “You’re a great artist,” “You’re a wonderful equestrian,” “You’re the most beautiful woman I know.”
One day, after another bad ride, I told him my horse seemed depressed. “How do I cheer up a horse?” I asked.
He shared his secret: “Tell her she’s good at stuff and that she looks beautiful.”
A Wrong Answer
While doing a crossword puzzle, I asked for my husband’s help.
“The word is eight letters long and starts with m, and the clue is ‘tiresome sameness.’”
“Monogamy,” he answered.
Here To Stay
A customer at a coffee shop was clearly peeved by the text message he’d just received. “You ever have that ex-girlfriend who just won’t go away?” he asked his friend.
“Yeah,” came the reply. “My wife.”
For Richer and For Poorer
“When I married Donna, I could get both hands around her waist,” said my husband’s grandfather. Pointing at his full-figured wife, he boasted, “Now look how much I got. That’s what I call an investment!”
A fourth marriage meant yet another name change for me. I didn’t realize the upheaval it had caused until I asked my father why I hadn’t heard from him in a while.
“I forgot your phone number,” he said.
“You could’ve looked it up in the phone book.”
“I didn’t know what name to look under.”
Q: How many divorced men does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Who cares? They never get the house anyway.
Every night, Harry goes out drinking. And every night, his wife, Louise, yells at him. One day, one of Louise’s friends suggests that she try a different tack. “Welcome him home with a kiss and some loving words,” she says. “He might change his ways.”
That night, Harry stumbles back home as usual. But instead of berating him, Louise helps him into an easy chair, puts his feet up on the ottoman, removes his shoes, and gently massages his neck.
“It’s late,” she whispers. “I think we should go upstairs to bed now, don’t you?”
“Might as well,” says Harry. “I’ll get in trouble if I go home.”
My husband and I attended a bridal fair trying to drum up work for his fledgling wedding photography business. One vendor assumed we were engaged and asked when the big day was.
“Oh, we’ve been married ten years,” I said.
“Really?” she asked. “But you look so happy.”
Doing Something Wrong
As I picked out flowers for my mother, I noticed a man next to me juggling three boxes of candy and a large bouquet.
“What did you do wrong?” I said with a laugh.
He mumbled back, “I got married.”
Reason for Visit
Suspecting he had a serious medical condition, I nagged my husband until he agreed to see a doctor. Once there, he was handed a mountain of forms to fill out. Next to “Reason for visit?” he wrote, “My wife made me.”
My grandmother told me how she ended up marrying Grandpa. She was in her 20s, and the man she was dating left for war. “We were in love,” she recalled, “and wrote to each other every week. It was during that time that I discovered how wonderful your grandfather was.”
“Did you marry Grandpa when he came home from the war?” I asked.
“Oh, I didn’t marry the man who wrote the letters. Your grandfather was the mailman.”
Too Many Cooks
A wife is scrambling eggs when her husband bursts into the kitchen.
“Careful,” he cries. “Careful! You’re cooking too many at once. Too many! Scramble them! Now! We need more butter. They’re going to stick! Careful! Now scramble them again! Hurry up! Are you crazy? Don’t forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. Use the salt! The salt!”
The wife turns and asks, “What is wrong with you?”
Her husband calmly replies, “I wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.”
As my sister relaxed on the couch, her head comfortably leaning against the crook of her husband’s arm, her cell phone beeped. It was a text message from her husband: “Move.”
It took me forever to wake up one of my nursing home patients. But after much poking, prodding, and wrangling, he finally sat up and fixed his twinkling blue eyes on my face. “My, you’re pretty!” he said. “Have I asked you to marry me yet?”
“No, you haven’t,” I gushed.
“Good. Because I couldn’t put up with this every morning.”
The Romance of Travel
When my petite mother found her seat on the airplane, she was crushed between my 200-plus-pound father and another large man.
“I bet you wish you’d married a smaller man,” my father said.
My mother mumbled, “I did.”
Clearly, my husband and I need to brush up on our flirting. The other night, after I crawled into bed next to him, he wrapped his large arms around me, drew a deep breath, and whispered, “Mmm … that Vicks smells good.”
The Best Sleep
I returned home from my ninth business trip of the year with a severe bout of jet lag–induced foot-in-mouth disease. As we prepared to go to sleep that night, I wrapped my arms around my better half, gave her a kiss, and announced, “It’s good to be in my own bed, with my own wife!”
Scene: A conversation between two of my friends.
Friend #1: Are you visiting us tomorrow? Do you need directions?
Friend #2: I’m all set. I have the address, a GPS, and a GPS override.
Friend #1: What’s a GPS override?
Friend #2: My wife.
Before leaving for Officer Candidates School, I half-jokingly mentioned to my family that I was going to learn how to eat, sleep, shower, and shave all over again. My brother, in the throes of planning his wedding, muttered, “Me too.”
I turned to my father one night and said, “It’s amazing—50 years and you never once had an affair. How do you account for that?” He replied, “I can’t drive.”
A Second Opinion Joke
My friend was at the beauty parlour when she overheard another woman rattle on to the manicurist about the sad state of her marriage. “Things have gotten so bad,” she said, “I think I might ask for a divorce. What do you think?”
“That’s a serious matter,” came the reply. “I think you should consult another manicurist.”
I was leafing through one of my hunting catalogs when I found something that made me laugh. “Look,” I said to my wife. “What I’ve always wanted: a camouflage toilet seat.”
“Get it,” she said. “Then you’ll have an excuse for when you miss.”
The Pearly Gates
The burial service for the elderly woman climaxed with a massive clap of thunder, followed by a bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder. “Well,” said her husband to the shaken pastor when it ended, “she’s there.”
My husband is a car nut. That’s why I could appreciate the card he gave me on our fifth wedding anniversary. It read “The last 72,000 miles of my life have been the best ever!”
My granddaughter asked why I called my husband Hon.
“It’s a term of endearment,” I explained.
My husband mumbled, “After more than 40 years, it’s a term of endurement.”
Once in a Lifetime
Last June, my friend told me about her plans for our upcoming prom. “I’m renting a stretch limo and spending $1,000 on a new dress, and I’ve reserved a table at the most expensive restaurant in town,” she said.
Our teacher overheard her and shook her head. “I didn’t spend that much on my wedding.”
My friend answered, “I can have three or four weddings. But a prom you do only once.”
Subject to Approval
An item on Craigslist: “Antique sewing table refinished by my wife, $30. If she’s home, $100.”
Halfway through a romantic dinner, my husband smiled and said, “You look so beautiful under these lights.” I was falling in love all over again when he added, “We gotta get some of these lights.”
The wheel of my grocery cart was making a horrible scraping sound as I rolled it through the supermarket. Nevertheless, when I finished my shopping and saw a cartless woman, I offered it up, explaining, “It makes an awful noise, but it works.”
“That’s okay,” she said, taking it. “I have a husband at home like that.”
The Order of Things
How come married women are heavier than single women?
A single woman goes home, sees what’s in the fridge, and goes to bed. A married woman sees what’s in bed and goes to the fridge.
When I asked a friend the secret to his 52 years of marriage, he replied, “We never go to sleep angry.”
“That’s a great philosophy,” I noted.
“Yes. And the longest we’ve been awake so far is five days.”
‘If I were to die first, would you remarry?” the wife asks.
“Well,” says the husband, “I’m in good health, so why not?”
“Would she live in my house?”
“It’s all paid up, so yes.”
“Would she drive my car?”
“It’s new, so yes.”
“Would she use my golf clubs?”
“No. She’s left-handed.”
Review and Repeat
When my husband pointed out my tendency to retell the same stories over and over, I reminded him that he was just as guilty.
“Allow me to clarify,” he said in response. “I review. You repeat.”
It’s All Relative
En route to Atlanta, my stepfather spotted some mules by the side of the road. “Relatives?” he asked my mother.
Not taking the bait, she responded, “Yeah, through marriage.”
Feeling listless, I bought some expensive “brain-stimulating” pills at the health food store. But it wasn’t until I got home that I read the label.
“This is just rosemary extract,” I complained to my husband. “I can’t believe I spent all that money for something that I have growing like wild in the yard!”
“See?” he said. “You’re smarter already.”
Following a funeral service, the pallbearers are carrying the casket out of the church when they accidentally bump into a wall. From inside the coffin they hear a faint moan. Opening the lid, they find the man inside alive! He leaps out, performs a little jig, and lives another ten years before eventually keeling over.
Once again, a ceremony is conducted, and at the end, the pallbearers carry out the casket. As they head toward the doors of the church, the wife of the deceased leaps to her feet and shouts, “Watch the wall!”
Lost the Keys
I was cleaning a hotel room when the previous occupant came in, looking for her husband’s keys. We searched high and low without luck. I finally peeked underneath the bed closest to the wall.
“Don’t bother—that was my bed,” she said. “He wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it.”
There are women whose thoughtful husbands buy them flowers for no reason. And then there’s me. One day I couldn’t stand it any longer. “Why don’t you ever bring me flowers?” I asked.
“What’s the point?” my husband said. “They die after about a week.”
“So could you,” I shot back, “but I still like having you around.”
Rear Window Love
My cell phone quit as I tried to let my wife know that I was caught in freeway gridlock and would be late for our anniversary dinner. I wrote a message on my laptop asking other motorists to call her, printed it on a portable inkjet and taped it to my rear windshield.
When I finally arrived home, my wife gave me the longest kiss ever. “I really think you love me,” she said. “At least 70 people called and told me so.”
My wife and I were having a very hypothetical discussion: In the unlikely event that Hollywood made a movie based on our lives, we wondered what stars would play us.
“Who would you pick to portray you?” she asked me.
I thought about it for a minute, then answered, “Dennis Quaid.”
“In that case,” she said, “I’ll play myself.”
Can of Peaches
An elderly couple had been shopping at a grocery store, and the wife decided to steal a can of peaches. The inevitable happened and she was caught. Upon her court date, the judge asked her what she had stolen.
“Your Honour, I stole a can of peaches.”
The judge replied, “How many peaches were in the can?”
She said, “Six.”
The judge then said, “I will sentence you to six days in jail.”
Her husband stood up behind her and replied, “Your Honour, she also stole a can of peas.”
When we finished a personality assessment at work, I asked my friend Dan if he would share the results with his wife. “That would require me to go home and say, ‘Hi, honey. I just paid someone $400 to tell me what’s wrong with me,’ ” he said. “And based on that, considering we’ve been married 23 years, she’d hand me a bill for $798,000.”
Say It With Flowers
On the first day of our marriage retreat, the instructor talked about the importance of knowing what matters to each other.
“For example,” he began, pointing to my husband, David, “do you know your wife’s favourite flower?”
David answered, “Pillsbury All Purpose.”
Though the vocabulary words we were learning in my second-grade class sort of sounded the same, they had very different meanings.
This concept was not lost on one bright boy who knew what those differences were:
“When people marry more than once, it’s called polygamy. But when people marry only once, it’s called monotony.”
My husband and I had been trying to have a third child for a while. Unfortunately, the day I was to take a home pregnancy test, he was called out of town on business. I had told our young daughters about the test, and they were excited. We decided if it was positive, we would buy a baby outfit to surprise their father when he got home. The three of us stood in the bathroom eagerly waiting for the telltale line to appear.
When it did not, my thoughtful seven-year-old gave me a hug. “It’s okay, Mom,” she said. “The next time Daddy goes out of town, you can try and get pregnant again.”
Last Minute Gift
A man rushed to the jewelry counter in the store where I work soon after the doors opened one morning and said he needed a pair of diamond earrings. I showed him a wide selection, and quickly he picked out a pair.
When I asked him if he wanted the earrings gift-wrapped, he said, “That’d be great. But can you make it quick? I forgot today was my anniversary, and my wife thinks I’m taking out the trash.”
Room For Two
For our honeymoon my fiancée and I chose a fashionable hotel known for its luxurious suites. When I called to make reservations, the desk clerk inquired, “Is this for a special occasion?”
“Yes,” I replied. “It’s our honeymoon.”
“And how many adults will there be?” she asked.
Missing the Groom
Nancy was Catholic, but her fiancé, Chris, was not. Since my friends were planning to be married in the Catholic Church, Chris made sure to listen carefully throughout their prenuptial sessions. At one meeting the priest turned to Chris and told him, “Since you are not Catholic, we shall have the ceremony without Eucharist.”
Later that day, Chris was noticeably upset, so Nancy asked what was wrong. “I don’t understand,” he said. “How can we have the ceremony without me?”
One of my customers at the department of motor vehicles wanted a personalized license plate with his wedding anniversary on it. As we completed the paperwork he explained, “This way I can’t forget the date.”
A few hours later, I recognized the same young man waiting in my line. When his turn came, he said somewhat sheepishly, “I need to change the numbers on that plate application.”
One night when I dropped in at the police station on my news beat, a large, efficient-looking woman in uniform who packed a service revolver at her waist was behind the sergeant’s desk. After checking the blotter, I returned to the car, where my wife was waiting for me.
“You should see the new woman on the force,” I said. “She’s tremendous, and wearing a .38.”
I didn’t notice the silence until my wife broke it icily with, “I wear a 38.”
Two convicts are working on a chain gang. “I heard the warden’s daughter up and married a guy down on cellblock D,” the first con says to the other. “The warden’s mighty upset about it too.”
“Why?” asks the second prisoner. “Because she married a con?”
“No. Because they eloped.”
At a clearance sale, the wife of a federal district-court judge found the perfect green tie to match one of her husband’s sport jackets. Soon after, while the couple was relaxing at a resort complex to get his mind off a complicated cocaine-conspiracy case, he noticed a small, round disc sewn into the tie. The judge showed it to a local FBI agent, who was equally suspicious that it might be a “bug” planted by the conspiracy defendants.
The agent sent the device to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., for analysis. Two weeks later, the judge phoned Washington to find out the results of their tests.
“We’re not sure where the disc came from,” the FBI told him, “but we discovered that when you press it, it plays ‘Jingle Bells.’”
Any time the alarm goes off after-hours at the municipal office where I work, the security company calls me at home and I have to go back and reset it. Late at night I got one of those calls. As I was getting ready to head out the door, my husband groggily said, “You’re not going down there by yourself at this hour.”
Just as I was thinking, How thoughtful of him, he added, “Better take the dog with you.”
Getting Rid of Something
The lawyer I work for specializes in divorce cases, so I was a little surprised to get a call from a prisoner serving life for murdering his wife. My boss was surprised too.
“What does he need me for?” he asked. “He appears to have solved all his marital problems by himself.”
Enclosed with the heartworm pills my friend received from a veterinarian was a sheet of red heart stickers to place on a calendar as a reminder to give her pet the medication. She attached these stickers to her kitchen calendar, marking the first Saturday of every month. When her husband noticed the hearts, he grinned from ear to ear, turned to his wife and asked, “Do you have something special in mind for these days?”
I work for a security company that transports cash, and part of my job is to work with police if a crew is robbed. One afternoon my wife and I were packing to move, when I received a call to report to a crime scene.
“I have to go,” I told my wife. “Two of our guards have been held up at gunpoint at a superstore.”
As I dashed out the door, she called, “While you’re there, pick up some big cardboard boxes.”
My granddaughter’s wedding, the DJ polled the guests to see who had been married the longest. Since it turned out to be my husband and me, the DJ asked us, “What advice would you give to the newly married couple?”
I said, “The three most important words in a marriage are, ‘You’re probably right.’”
Everyone then looked expectantly at my husband. “She’s probably right,” he said.
Asking for Assistance
A couple we know were in Lamaze class, where they had an activity requiring the husband to wear a bag of sand—to give him an idea of what it feels like to be pregnant. The husband stood up and shrugged, saying, “This doesn’t feel so bad.”
The teacher then dropped a pen and asked him to pick it up.
“You want me to pick up the pen as if I were pregnant?” he asked.
“Exactly,” replied the instructor.
To the delight of the other husbands, he turned to his wife and said, “Honey, pick up that pen for me.”
I was bending over to wipe up a spill on the kitchen floor when my wife walked into the room behind me. “See anything you like?” I asked suggestively.
“Yeah,” she said. “You doing housework.”
While a woman is keeping vigil beside her husband’s deathbed, he says to her, “Before I die, I have something to confess to you.”
“Shh, not now,” she replies.
“But I need to tell you: I cheated on you,” he admits.
“Yes, I know,” she replies.
“I need to clear my conscience before I die… ”
“Shh,” she counters. “Just lie back and let the poison work.”
My husband is wonderful with our baby daughter, but often turns to me for advice. Recently I was in the shower when he poked his head in to ask, “What should I feed Lily for lunch?”
“That’s up to you,” I replied. “There’s all kinds of food. Why don’t you pretend I’m not home?”
A few minutes later, my cell phone rang. I answered it to hear my husband saying, “Yeah, hi, honey. Uh…what should I feed Lily for lunch?”
To our shock and horror, my sister-in-law and I realized we had each been married nearly 50 years. “That’s a long time,” I observed.
“A long, long time,” she agreed. Then she smiled. “Something just occurred to me.”
“If I had killed your brother the first time I felt like it, I’d be out of jail by now.”
Once my divorce was final, I went to the local Department of Motor Vehicles and asked to have my maiden name reinstated on my driver’s license. “Will there be any change of address?” the clerk inquired. “No,” I replied.
“Oh, good,” she said, clearly delighted. “You got the house.”
A member of a diet club bemoaned her lack of will-power. She’d made her family’s favourite cake over the weekend, she explained, and they’d eaten half of it. The next day, however, the uneaten half beckoned. She cut herself a slice. Then another, and another. By the time she’d polished off the cake, she knew her husband would be disappointed.
“What did he say when he found out?” one club member asked.
“He never found out,” she said. “I made another cake and ate half.”
My husband bought an exercise machine to help him shed a few pounds. He set it up in the basement but didn’t use it much, so he moved it to the bedroom. It gathered dust there, too, so he put it in the living room.
Weeks later I asked how it was going. “I was right,” he said. “I do get more exercise now. Every time I close the drapes, I have to walk around the machine.”
Although I was only a few pounds overweight, my wife was harping on me to diet. One evening we took a brisk walk downtown, and I surprised her by jumping over a parking meter, leapfrog style.
Pleased with myself, I said, “How many fat men do you know who can do that?”
“One,” she retorted.
From Two Different Worlds
In Nevada, my husband and I attended the wedding of a man and woman of different faiths. A Protestant minister and a Catholic priest performed an ecumenical marriage ceremony. In unison they proclaimed the couple husband and wife.
Afterward, a man was overheard congratulating the father of the bride. “Fifty years ago this could not have happened.”
“No,” replied the father. “Religion has come a long way.”
“Religion! Who’s talking about religion? I mean a cattleman’s daughter marrying a sheepman’s son.”
“I think my wife’s going deaf,” Joe told their doctor.
“Try to test her hearing at home and let me know how severe her problem is before you bring her in for treatment,” the doctor said.
So that evening, when his wife was preparing dinner, Joe stood 15 feet behind her and said, “What’s for dinner, honey?”
He moved to ten feet behind her and asked again.
Then he stood five feet in back of her and tried again but still got no answer. Finally, he stood directly behind her and asked, “Honey, what’s for supper?”
She turned around. “For the fourth time—I said chicken!”
Just Say No
Recently engaged, my brother-in-law Jeff brought his fiancée home to meet the family. When asked if she was enjoying herself, she politely replied yes. “She would say that,” Jeff interjected. “She’s not the type to say no.”
“I see,” my husband said after a brief silence. “And that explains the engagement.”
I was about to leave the house on an errand, and my husband was getting ready for a dental appointment. “I wish we could trade places,” I said, knowing how much he dreaded the coming ordeal.
He watched as I gathered our newborn onto my left arm and picked up a package with that hand. I flung a diaper bag and my purse over my right shoulder, grabbed our two-year-old with my free hand and wrestled the car keys from him.
My husband shook his head. “No, thanks,” he said. “At least where I’m going they give you anesthesia.”
Needing to shed a few pounds, my husband and I went on a diet that had specific recipes for each meal of the day. I followed the instructions closely, dividing the finished recipe in half for our individual plates. We felt terrific and thought the diet was wonderful—we never felt hungry!
But when we realized we were gaining weight, not losing it, I checked the recipes again. There, in fine print, was “Serves 6.”
Last One Out
For our 20th anniversary my husband and I vacationed in Hawaii, where we went snorkelling. After an hour in the water everyone got back on the boat, except for me and one handsome young man. As I continued my underwater exploring, I noticed that everywhere I swam, he swam. I snorkelled for another 40 minutes. So did he. I climbed back in the boat; so did he.
I felt very flattered and, as I took off my fins, asked him coyly why he had stayed in the water for so long. “I’m the lifeguard,” he replied matter-of-factly. “I couldn’t get out until you did.”
One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”
“It depends,” I replied. “What does it say on your shirt?”
“University of Oklahoma,” he yelled back.
Mapping it Out
For my fourth Caesarian section I opted for a bikini incision, which, along with the previous scars, would form an arrow on my tummy. “Honey,” my husband joked when I told him, “after 13 years and 4 kids, I hardly need directions.”
Mysterious Hotel Guest
A Connecticut chap, an incorrigible practical joker, often makes his long-suffering wife the butt of his painful pranks. But last fall she finally got her chance to even the score. The couple were spending the weekend in a New York hotel. It was a hot night, and when they got back to their room after the theatre, the husband peeled off his clothes and stretched out on the bed to cool off. By the time his wife was ready for bed, he was fast asleep and she decided not to disturb him.
Some hours later, he woke up and groped his way in the dark toward the bathroom. By mistake he opened the outside door and, still groggy, was halfway down the hall before he became aware of his predicament. He turned back hastily. Then, to his horror, he realized that he was not only locked out but had forgotten his room number.
Frantic, he rushed to the elevator bank, pressed the button and hid around the corner. When the elevator arrived, he thrust out his arm and beckoned wildly. The operator took one look, slammed the elevator door and went for the house detective.
When the detective arrived, he found the unfortunate guest cowering in a corner. He gave him a sheet from the linen closet, called the desk to check his assertion that he was registered at the hotel with his wife and escorted him to his room.
Pounding on the door until the wife opened it, the detective said, “This man claims to be your husband. Is he?”
For a moment she stared at the sheet-draped figure; then she said icily, “I’ve never seen him before in my life.”
One Loud Trip
Pregnant with our second child, I was determined to ride my exercise bike at least two miles a day. Late one night, having put it off all day, I climbed aboard the noisy contraption in our bedroom, where my husband was reading a book.
After about 20 minutes of listening to the squeaky machine, he glanced up, somewhat annoyed. “Don’t you think it’s time you turned around and headed for home?” he asked.
One Stop Cleanup
My friend’s husband is always telling her that housekeeping would be a snap if only she would organize her time better. Recently he had a chance to put his theory into practice while his wife was away.
When I popped in one evening to see how he was managing, he crowed, “I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath.”
I was about to concede that perhaps he was a better manager than his wife, when he added sheepishly, “When I was making the chocolate frosting, I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl, so I had to do all the rest.”
Opposite in Nature
My mother and I were having a mother-daughter talk about the qualities to look for in a husband. She stressed that husband and wife should be as much alike as possible in interests and backgrounds. I brought up the point that opposites often attract.
“Diane,” she said emphatically, “just being man and woman is opposite enough.”
As we left the gym after our first real workout in years, my husband and I both felt energized. “Let’s renew our commitment to do it three times a week,” I said.
“Absolutely,” my husband agreed, “three times as a minimum.”
“And no whining,” I said. “No excuses.”
“No, we’ll do it with energy and enthusiasm.”
“And on my late night, we can just meet here at the gym.”
“The gym?” my husband said, crestfallen. “I thought we were talking about sex!”
Paying For It
A friend and her husband were participating in a blood drive, and as part of the prescreening process, an elderly volunteer was asking some questions. “Have you ever paid for sex?” the woman asked my friend’s husband sweetly.
Glancing wearily over at his wife, trying to calm a new baby and tend to several other children milling around her, he sighed, “Every time.”
I was in my ninth month of pregnancy and feeling very uncomfortable. On top of everything, my pleas for sympathy seemed to go unnoticed by my husband.
One day I told him, “I hope in your next life you get to be pregnant!”
He replied, “I hope in your next life you get to be married to someone who’s pregnant!”
At the airport check-in counter, I overheard a woman ask for window seats for her and her husband. The clerk pointed out that this would prevent them from sitting together.
“Sweetie,” the woman replied. “I just spent ten days of quality time in a compact rental car with this man. I know what I’m requesting.”
Sink or Swim
While at a marine-supply store stocking up on equipment for my boat, I also purchased an inflatable life preserver. “It was my wife’s idea,” I explained to the grizzled salesman at the counter. “She’s buying it for me as a gift.”
“Lucky you,” he said as he started to write up the order. “My wife got me a length of chain and a cement block.”
A hairdressing client of mine told me of her husband’s recovery after having double bypass heart surgery. She had recounted the doctor’s orders to her husband, saying, “In six weeks you’ll be able to walk up two flights of stairs, lift 20 pounds, and you can resume normal sexual activity.”
Her husband responded, “If I’d known about the sex, I would’ve had the surgery a long time ago!”
A husband-and-wife photography team we know shoot their pictures together, do their developing and printing together—in fact, they’re together 24 hours of the day. We wondered how they managed to keep up such good working relations.
“Well, frankly,” the wife said, “it wouldn’t work out if one of us didn’t have a good disposition.”
“Which one?” we asked.
“Oh,” she laughed, “we take turns.”
After noticing how trim my husband had become, a friend asked me how I had persuaded him to diet. It was then I shared my dark secret: “I put our teenage son’s shorts in his underwear drawer.”
During an attack of laryngitis I lost my voice completely for two days. To help me communicate with him, my husband devised a system of taps.
One tap meant “Give me a kiss.” Two taps meant “No.” Three taps meant “Yes”—and 95 taps meant “Take out the garbage.”
The Missing Shoe
One evening my husband’s golfing buddy drove his secretary home after she had imbibed a little too much at an office reception. Although this was an innocent gesture, he decided not to mention it to his wife, who tended to get jealous easily.
Later that night my husband’s friend and his wife were driving to a restaurant. Suddenly he looked down and spotted a high-heel shoe half hidden under the passenger seat. Not wanting to be conspicuous, he waited until his wife was looking out her window before he scooped up the shoe and tossed it out of the car. With a sigh of relief, he pulled into the restaurant parking lot. That’s when he noticed his wife squirming around in her seat.
“Honey,” she asked, “have you seen my other shoe?”
The Right Marriage
My wife and I were comparing notes the other day. “I have a higher IQ, did better on my SATs and make more money than you,” she pointed out.
“Yeah, but when you step back and look at the big picture, I’m still ahead,” I said.
She looked mystified. “How do you figure?”
“I married better,” I replied.
Third Times a Charm
Some newly married friends were visiting us when the topic of children came up. The bride said she wanted three children, while the young husband demurred, saying two would be enough for him. They discussed this discrepancy for a few minutes until the husband thought he’d put an end to things, saying boldly, “After our second child, I’ll just have a vasectomy.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, the bride retorted, “Well, I hope you’ll love the third one like it’s your own!”
Throwing Your Money Away
Neighbours of ours had a terrible disagreement over a patio they wanted for their backyard. The wife had rather grand ideas, while the husband wanted costs kept to a minimum. The wife won out, and the construction bill climbed higher and higher.
I dropped by one day, when the patio was near completion, and was surprised to find the husband smiling from ear to ear as the workmen smoothed over the surface. I remarked how nice it was to see a grin replace the frown he had been wearing lately.
“You see where they’re smoothing that cement?” he replied. “I just threw my wife’s credit cards in there.”
Til’ Death Do Us Part
Soon after we were married, my husband, Paul, stopped wearing his wedding band.
“Why don’t you ever wear your ring?” I asked.
“It cuts off my circulation,” Paul replied.
“I know,” I said. “It’s supposed to.”
As I was stepping into the shower after an afternoon of yard work, my wife walked into the bathroom. “What do you think the neighbours would say if I cut the grass dressed like this?” I asked.
Giving me a casual glance, she replied, “They’d say I married you for your money.”
When my wife had to rush to the hospital unexpectedly, she asked me to bring her a few items from home. One item on the list was “comfortable underwear.” Worried I’d make the wrong choice, I asked, “How will I know which ones to pick?”
“Hold them up and imagine them on me,” she said. “If you smile, put them back.”
Hoping to lose some weight, my wife told me she wanted to get an exercise bicycle. I reminded her that she had a very nice and rather expensive bike in the garage. She explained that she wanted a stationary one.
“Your bicycle has been stationary,” I remarked. “That’s why you need to lose ten pounds.”
After ten years of widowhood, I remarried. Leaving work one wintry evening, I told a colleague that it was very gratifying to once again have someone worry about me if the roads were icy. My new husband would be awaiting my arrival, I said, and would hurry out to meet me at the car.
I couldn’t have been more right. As I pulled into the driveway, my husband burst out the door and came up to me. Rubbing our new car, he anxiously queried, “Did you get salt on it?”
My mother, a meticulous housekeeper, often lectured my father about tracking dirt into the house. One day he came in to find her furiously scrubbing away at a spot on the floor and launching into a lecture. “I don’t know what you’ve brought in,” she said, “but I can’t seem to get this out.”
He studied the situation for a moment and, without a word, moved a figurine on the window-sill where the sun was streaming in. The spot immediately disappeared.
My husband, Mike, and I had several stressful months of financial difficulties. So one evening I was touched to see him gazing at the diamond wedding ring that symbolized our marriage.
“With this ring…” I began romantically.
“We could pay off Visa,” he responded.
My husband is a big Atlanta Braves fan. When I saw an ad on television for a baseball autographed by one of his favourite players that cost $42, I rushed out and bought it for him as a gift.
That evening as we were watching television, the same commercial came on. Slyly I glanced over at my husband just as he commented, “What kind of idiot would pay $42 for a baseball?”
Getting the Blues
My sister went shopping for blue jeans with her husband, Steve. She chose a few pairs to try on and went into the fitting room, while Steve waited outside. A minute later he heard her crying softly. Concerned, Steve said through the door, “Honey, really, it doesn’t matter if you’ve gone up a size or two.”
Soon she came out, limping slightly and pretty upset. The problem wasn’t the size of her pants; she had stubbed her toe in the dressing room.
While in the checkout line at my local hardware store I overheard one man say to another, “My wife has been after me to paint our shed. But I let it go for so long she got mad and did it herself.”
His friend nodded. “I like women who get mad like that.”
When my younger brother and his wife celebrated their first anniversary, they invited the rest of the family to join them for dinner. The conversation focused on the newlyweds and how they happened to meet. Caught up in the romance of the story, one by one the men related how we had met our wives. Eventually everyone had told his story except for my youngest brother.
All eyes were on him when he said, “Oh, Cindy and I met in college. We were matched up by a computer according to compatibility.”
“That’s the whole story?” my wife asked incredulously.
“Oh, no,” he replied with a grin. “They’ve fixed the computer since then.”
No Going Back
My wife-to-be and I were at the county clerk’s office for our marriage license. After recording the vital information—names, dates of birth, etc.— the clerk handed me our license and deadpanned, “No refunds, no exchanges, no warranties.”
One Big Mess
After his marriage broke up, my manager became very philosophical. “I guess it was in our stars,” he sighed.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Her astrological sign is the one for earth. Mine is the one for water. Together we made mud.”
Both my fiancé and I are in our 40s. I thought it was both amusing and touching when he assumed the classic position to propose to me—down on one bended knee.
“Are you serious?” I asked, laughing.
“Of course I’m serious,” he said. “I’m on my bad knee.”
When a woman in my office became engaged, a colleague offered her some advice. “The first ten years are the hardest,” she said.
“How long have you been married?” I asked.
“Ten years,” she replied.
After my husband and I had a huge argument, we ended up not talking to each other for days. Finally, on the third day, he asked where one of his shirts was. “Oh,” I said, “now you’re speaking to me.”
He looked confused. ‘What are you talking about?”
“Haven’t you noticed I haven’t spoken to you for three days?” I challenged.
“No,” he said. “I just thought we were getting along.”
I realized that the ups and downs of the stock market had become too big a part of our life one night as my husband and I prepared for bed. As we slid beneath the covers, I snuggled up to him and told him I loved him.
Drifting off to sleep, he drowsily whispered back, “Your dividend growth fund went up three days this week.”
Surprising Birthday Present
After the birth of my son, a woman from the records department stopped by my hospital room to get information for his birth certificate. “Father’s date of birth?” she asked. When I told her, she said, “Do you realize that his birthday is exactly nine months before your son’s birth?”
“No, I hadn’t thought about it,” I responded, “but now that you mention it, I have a daughter who turned two a couple days before the same date.”
After she finished taking down all the data, she patted my hand and said, “Maybe you should start buying your husband a tie for his birthday.”
The Mysterious Sender
One morning a customer entered my flower shop and ordered a bouquet for his wife. “No card is necessary,” he instructed us. “She’ll know who sent them.”
The delivery truck hadn’t even returned to the store when the phone rang. It was the customer’s wife. “Who sent the flowers?” she asked.
After explaining that the customer had requested that no card be included, I considered the matter closed—but not so. A bit later, she came rushing in the front door. “You’ve got to tell me who sent the flowers,” she demanded, “before my husband gets home.”
My wife and I get along just great—except she’s a back-seat driver second to none. On my way home from work one day, my cell phone rang as I merged onto a freeway bypass. It was my wife. By chance, she had entered the bypass right behind me.
“Honey,” she said, “your turn signal is still on. And put your lights on—it’s starting to rain.”
Hot Off the Press
As I stripped off my sweatshirt at the breakfast table one warm morning, my T-shirt started to come off too.
My husband let out a low whistle. I took it as a compliment until he said, from behind his newspaper, “Can you believe the price of bananas?”
Farm and Family
A man and his wife were taking an afternoon drive through the countryside. They had just had a big argument and were not talking to one another. Finally the husband decided to break the silence and say something sarcastic to his wife: “Look at all the cows and pigs in the pasture. Don’t they remind you of your relatives?”
The wife replied, “Yes, they do. They remind me of my in-laws.”
Sleepless in Suburbia
Though I have always been a sound sleeper, I am frequently up at 4 a.m. This is around the time that my husband, Ed, having woken up at 3, will generally crawl back into bed. Ed goes downstairs to watch TV so that his tossing and turning doesn’t wake me up. This is very considerate, except that when he returns, he likes to chat about what he’s been watching. The other night, Ed had been watching an infomercial for something called the Steam Shark. I have a distinct memory of surfacing from the depths of sleep directly into the sentence “You can steam-clean around the base of the toilet.”
Last night it was “Honey, Bo Schembechler died.”
Schembechler, Ed explained to my inert self, was a beloved University of Michigan football coach. There is little difference between talking to me about college football when I’m asleep and talking to me about it when I’m awake. Eyelid position, basically, is the difference. Ed kept going: “He was the voice of the Wolverines.”
I was partly awake at this point, and for some reason, the sentence struck me as the funniest thing I’d heard in a very long time. Different rules apply between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m., I find. Things that would ordinarily not even qualify as mildly amusing will often, at 3 a.m., strike the ear as high comedy.
Worries are similarly warped.
I recently spent the hour from 4 to 5 a.m. worrying about the placement of two shrubs we had planted in our yard that day. Ed came in from downstairs, and I unloaded my fears about the overly close positioning of the shrubbery. I made him promise that first thing the next day, we would dig one up and move it, lest they crowd each other’s roots. In the morning, we went out to look at the plants. If anything, they looked a little lonesome there at 17 inches apart, just as the label had recommended. I am now known far and wide as the Nervous Gardener.
Anyway, once the laughter sets in, we’re both up. The topic of wolverines led to savage animals in general, and from there to a game called African Veldt. We frequently make up mindless games to wile away the time until the sandman agrees to take over the proceedings again.
“First person to run out of animals is the loser,” I said. Ed pointed out that since I had been to Africa, the game was rigged in my favour. He made me name three animals for every one of his.
“Fine. Leopard, zebra, elephant.”
“Lion,” said Ed with great confidence.
“Warthog, wildebeest, springbok.”
A long time went by. The shrubbery roots were closing in upon each other. Finally, and with great hesitancy, Ed said, “Giraffe?”
“Eland, gnu, ostrich.”
“You can’t do birds.”
“Birds are animals.”
“Okay, ant,” said Ed, and then he rolled over. He took his bottom pillow and put it on top of his head. This is known as the Ed sandwich: pillow, Ed’s head, pillow. He does this because he can’t sleep if there’s noise in the room. There isn’t now, but there will be. I make noises while I sleep, and Ed has had many hours to devote to cataloging them. Common varietals include the Click, the Tommy gun and the Darth Vader.
Light is also a problem for my husband. There can be no light in the bedroom, not even the light from the digital clock, which is hidden away on the bottom shelf of Ed’s nightstand, broadcasting the time to toddlers and gnomes. The room across the hall must also be dark. We can’t just close our bedroom door to block the light from that room, because this will make the bedroom too stuffy for Ed to sleep. That room must also have its curtains drawn. If he could, Ed would draw the curtains on the windows of our neighbours across the driveway, and on down the street, all the way to the horizon.