advice for my daughters

Dan and I met and started dating in 1996. We were 17. We made it through high school graduation, four years of college, an apartment, three years of graduate school, two houses, seven jobs, and two kids.

And I think the main thing getting us through it all?


There has never been anyone else who can make me laugh so hard I seriously fear I may stop breathing. Dan isn’t anti-social or a wallflower, but he’s not really the clown of the party, either. He tends to be mostly quiet in a conversation and then suddenly say something that sends me into a giggling fit. He’s clever and quick and HILARIOUS. And he seems to know JUST WHEN I need to laugh. Usually it’s over stupid stuff. And it usually works.

The other day, we were giving the girls’ baths. He had Audrey in her baby tub, and I was manning the big tub where Princess Maggie was bathing. I don’t even know how the word came up, but one of us said ‘torso’.

“What’s ‘torso’?” Maggie asked.

I explained that a torso is the middle part of our bodies- above our legs but below our necks.

“Huh.” Maggie said. Then went back to playing with her Ariel Mermaid Barbie.

Then Dan, completely and totally serious. “It comes from the Greek god ‘Torseus’, who was born without limbs.”

Cut to me, HYPERVENTILATING, with tears and laughs and OMG. And Maggie staring at me because I was basically crying and she had no idea why, because she didn’t get the joke. (She still thinks her Daddy is (mostly) a genius about every subject.)

I don’t really know why it struck me as so hilarious. I think partly because until he got to the part about no limbs? I TOTALLY THOUGHT HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

After I collected myself and wiped my tears and my face and throat stopped hurting from the giggles, I told Maggie, “Make sure you marry someone who can make you laugh.”

Because it makes EVERYTHING better. Honestly.


  1. Torrie

    January 31, 2011 2:49 pm

    I totally agree. The husband and I have been together for almost 14 years, and we always laugh together. I always say that he could make me laugh at a funeral. I will give Willa the same advice- find someone who makes you laugh.

  2. Irene

    January 31, 2011 6:27 pm

    OH this is SOOO true!!! My husband is such a goof and we laugh all the time. Sometimes I have to admit it almost borders on annoying ;) Almost. And the phrase “you are such an idiot” (in the nicest tone possible) is used at least daily, usually more often.

    But I definitely wouldn’t want it any other way. And yes I hope my girls marry someone just like their dad.

  3. bessie.viola

    February 1, 2011 1:45 pm

    I love this post. That’s awesome advice for your daughters, but the best part is that you’ll hardly have to say it because they already know from watching you two together. I think that a happy marriage is just about the best gift you can give your children.

  4. the grumbles

    February 1, 2011 2:26 pm

    yes, exactly. if we didn’t have so much fun and make each other laugh so hard I’m not sure life would be nearly as good. a good partner really makes the world a different place. we’re on year ten this month, with very much laughing.

    • Jen

      February 1, 2011 5:02 pm

      Happy Year Ten! And laughter really IS the best medicine- especially when you become parents. There is no better way to cope with the ridiculousness that is Having A Baby than to laugh about it at times :)

  5. Melissa

    February 1, 2011 9:42 pm

    This is so true! I think being able to laugh together is important for surviving both marriage and parenthood. I think there’s something about being at the same speed too. You & Dan BOTH have that superquick wit, whereas George and I… are on a bit of a delay, lol. But we definitely *appreciate* those with quicker wit–I told him about the Torseus thing and we were both cracking up!

  6. Erica

    February 2, 2011 11:25 pm

    What!? So there is no Torseus. Dang. And yes. Definitely. Good advice.

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