Marriage Medicine: Laughing With Your Spouse

One of the things that I love about my husband, Dale, is that he makes me laugh.

Just a giggle at times. All out belly laughing with tears streaming out of my eyes at other times.

He not only makes me laugh with funny things that he says. He has an incredibly quick wit that always keeps me on my toes. Sometimes we will be listening to a song on the radio and he will start singing lyrics that the songwriter clearly did not plan on being in their song.

There is a song by Bruno Mars called “Grenade” which has the lyrics “I’d step in front of a blade for you.” However, my husband will change the lyrics and instead, sing “I’d sip lemonade for you” or “I’d march in a parade for you” or “I’d wear a beret for you.”

Something that makes absolutely no sense with the rest of the song.

But something that makes me laugh uncontrollably.

And then there’s the dancing. When Dale starts dancing I will giggle for the rest of the day thinking about it.

There’s not a song in the world, or a reason for that matter, that he won’t start dancing to. There’s the “I’m-done-with-work-for-the-day” dance, and the “Hey-is-dinner-ready?” dance. My favorite is his “Super Productive” line of dances – when he’s gotten a lot of work done. They vary from day to day, but here’s how they go…

His dances always crack me up because it’s usually a cross between someone doing the robot and someone roller skating back in 1974. He’s definitely got some groove.

My point is, you have to have fun with your spouse. You have to be able to laugh together, about each other and about other things.

Which brings me to one of my favorite pictures. We were on our honeymoon and were on our way to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. I had been driving but started getting a little drowsy so I asked Dale to switch places with me.

He’s 6’2”. I’m 5’2” so I had the drivers seat as close to the steering wheel as I could get.

And this is what happened when he got in the seat to drive.photo(59)

My dearest friend saw the photo after we returned home.

“How did you even get a girl like Dana?” she said.

We laughed, because Dale got a girl like me, for the same reason that he got a girl that makes a face like this:
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And we still laugh about it.

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RUDE!!!

There’s one thing in this world that I absolutely will not tolerate…and that is rude people.

When I say hello to someone, is it really all that difficult to say hello back? If I smile, or say good morning, or just compliment someone, is it too hard to reply?

Or am I just overreacting?

We were leaving a store one afternoon when a gentleman and his wife were also coming out. He held the door for me so I said “Thank you!”

He looked at his wife, smiled, and said to me “That’s what I love about the South. We are from Boston and no one ever says ‘thank you.’”

I told him that generally if I hold the door for someone and they don’t acknowledge me, I will usually say “OH YOU’RE WELCOME!!!” as cheery and loudly as I possibly can. Most of the time they will reply with a very meek, “Oh, thank you.”

Many times they just ignore me.

His wife laughed and said that she did the same. I asked her if her husband got as embarrassed at her as mine does. He said he was worried she’d get in a fist fight some day because someone wasn’t going to take too well to her schooling them.

But sometimes it’s just too much for me to take.

Last night, for example, Dale and I went to Macaroni Grill to pick up some take-out. It was raining so he dropped me off at the front door so I could scoot in and not get too soaked. As I was getting out of the car I noticed a woman on the phone walking towards the restaurant.

As I would normally do, I opened the door and held it for her to come in.

SHE DID NOT EVEN LOOK AT ME. She kept chatting on her cell phone as she came on through the door.
Dale said as he sat in the car and watched her do this and thought to himself, “Oh no you didnnnn’t. You don’t know my wife.”

This particular restaurant has two sets of double doors going into the restaurant, and while I held the door for her on the first set, I did NOT on the second set.

Dale said that since she was gabbing on the phone, she wasn’t paying attention and walked face first into the door.

I, however, didn’t notice.

I was already at the counter telling the cook “thank you” for my meal.

Things You Should Never Say To Your Wife

God has blessed me with an amazing and loving husband. He takes care of me and the kids and makes sure the bills are paid each month. He not only is okay with, but encouraged me to be a stay-at-home mom so that I could also focus on my writing. And most importantly, he loves me with all of his heart.
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But there are, on occasion, times when I want to donkey punch him in the head.

For instance, there was the time when we were getting ready to go out to dinner with my family. I had been taking a new medication that caused me to retain water and put on a few pounds. Plus, I’m sure those Pop-Tarts that I love hadn’t helped.

I know, I know…this is VERY dangerous territory for a man, but here’s how it went down:

Me: Honey, does this look okay? I feel like it’s a little too tight.
Dale: No. It looks fine.
Me: Be honest.
Dale: Well, you do look a little “puffy”.

PUFFY? As in the Marshmallow Man? Who calls their wife puffy?? (I’m sure that many of you men are thinking “Oh, you poor man. You are gonna DIE now.”)

He didn’t get any nookie for at least a week after that one.

Many months later, we were in the midst of an argument when I complained that he didn’t listen to anything I said, to which he replied “That’s not true! I listen to all of the things that you say…(dramatic pause here) that are important.”

HUH?

I don’t care if I’m talking about the lint in the dryer, or the kitchen scrub brush, or the zit on my forehead that looks like a permanent Bindi. It’s ALLLLLLL important, baby.

I got a big bouquet of flowers after that one.

Then, this morning I was sitting at the kitchen table while Dale was eating breakfast. We were going over our “to-do” list for the day.

I mentioned that I needed to go get my driver’s license changed to show our new address since we recently moved. I’ve been sick all week and this was the first chance I’ve had to go to the DMV.

Dale: Are you going to get your picture made today?
Me: I don’t know. They might say I need a new picture.
Dale: Are you sure you want to get a new picture made today?
Me: What? I look crappy in my sweatpants with no makeup, bloodshot eyes, runny nose and the zit on my forehead?

Dale: (Replying quickly) I didn’t say that.

I’m expecting dinner and a movie tonight.

I Met My Husband Online And You Can Too

Many of you have followed up with that post by asking me about online dating.  Well, here’s my advice and two-cents, which really isn’t much.  After all, it’s only two cents worth so don’t sue me.

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I was a long time resident of Loserville.  A ten year resident, to be exact and after a friend convinced me to try Match.com where I met the love of my life, I packed up my things and moved out of town for good.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t think that I am calling anyone else a Loser for not being married or in a relationship.  I call myself that simply because I was so ready to meet someone that I easily would have settled for Mr. Close-But-Not-Exactly-Mr-Right, or at some points, even just a human, breathing male.  But I got lucky this time.  Or it was divine intervention.  Either way…

Trust me.  If there’s FourSquare in Loserville, I’m pretty sure I’m still the Mayor.

  1. Use your brain.  When deciding to find a date on line, safety is first and foremost.  There are a lot of wackos out there but on the flip side, there are a lot of good people that are serious about wanting to meet someone.  Use your common sense at all times.  Most on-line sites won’t allow you to post contact information.  You must go through their site to contact a person.  Don’t give out ANY personal information until you are sure you are ready to talk in person.
  2. “How YOU doin?”– Introduce yourself . For me, I sent Dale a “wink”, which is Match.com’s way of saying “Hey you’re a cutie and I am interested.”  So yes, since I sent Dale a wink first, I take full credit  for this relationship.  If they are interested, they will respond.

    Dale’s Match.com profile picture

  3. Cyber stalk him.  After we e-mailed each other back and forth I had enough information to Google him and had already checked out his Facebook page and his LinkedIn profile within the first few days.  I saw pictures of his parents before I even knew their names.  I found his ex-wife’s Facebook and Twitter pages.   I found articles on awards that he had received on software he had written.  My point is, do some simple research.  Thank God Al Gore invented the internet so that we could do cyber-research on someone without them even knowing!! You might want to run a background check on them or even find their divorce information on line – it’s all public information.  Now I didn’t do those things, but I’m pretty sure my Dad did.
  4. Talk to each other.  We talked on the phone like silly teenagers – up until 2-3am talking about the most random stuff.  You can learn a lot about someone just over the phone.  Use your intuition – if something seems off then it just might be.  (I didn’t give him my home number – just my cell number.  I knew my home number could be traced to my home address, and I wasn’t ready to let anyone know where I lived.
  5. Don’t be a victim….meet in public.  We decided to meet at a very public park, where it would be more difficult to kidnap me and make a skin suit out of me if that was his intention.  Let someone know where you are going and give them a link to the page of the person you are meeting.  Sounds a bit overcautious but just think about the skin suit and you won’t feel like you’re overreacting.
  6. Go the 20 questions route – talk about everything.   We talked about everything from politics, religion, kids, reasons why we were divorced, reasons why we turned to on-line dating, what our parents do, etc.
  7. Meet his friends and let him meet yours.  If he doesn’t have friends or “isn’t ready” for you to meet his friends within a few weeks of dating then watch out for that red flag…it’s going to be waving at you.  Dale met six of my closest friends on our SECOND DATE.  I was scheduled to do a triathlon with three of my girlfriends and we all met up for dinner to fill up on carbs.  Poor Dale – he was answering questions right and left, but got the thumbs up from my girlfriends before dessert was even served.  Trust me, you may be blind to any red flags, but your friends will openly tell you if your potential date is a raging psychopath.

    2nd date – meeting my friends

  8. Talk about everything.  Dale and I were really comfortable talking on the phone so when we met, the conversation transitioned very easily from introductions to life stories.  Within the first hour of meeting in person, I knew about a near fatal car wreck he had when he was 17.  There are going to be times when you can’t stay up until 2am on the phone.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a long conversation or text messages, or emails, just get to know each other every single day.
  9. Meet each other’s kids, and let the kids meet each other.  We were lucky that our kids were 15, 10 and 8 when they first met.  The oldest worked at an ice-cream shop at the time so it was a perfect place to bring the younger kids.  Make the kids comfortable when they are meeting potential step-siblings.  Things are changing for them so you need to pay extra attention to their thoughts and feelings.
  10. Meet each other’s families – who better to give you input than your families?  My father is retired military, and a judge….and my maiden name was Gunn…so he’s Judge Gunn.  He is extremely conservative, so when I told him that I met the man of my dreams and we were getting married after only knowing each other for four weeks, my parents were more than a bit skeptical…as were Dale’s parents.  We decided to get everyone together to meet.  After dinner, my father pulled me aside and said “Ok.  I get it.  He’s your perfect match.”  (Then I think he ordered a full background check on my new fiancé. LOL!)
  11. Be realistic.  You may meet the love of your life immediately or it may take a few tries.  Don’t try to make something work if it doesn’t feel right and don’t rush it if you aren’t ready.  Don’t settle!
  12. Finally, Have FUN!  Dating isn’t brain surgery.  It’s about meeting new people and seeing if there is a connection.  Look at it this way – even if there isn’t chemistry, you got out of the house and did something out of your comfort zone…and you may have gotten a free dinner out of the deal!  Score!

Overstretched Spanx & A Visit From A Ghost

This past week, my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary (Click HERE if you want to know more about our crazy story of how we met on Match.com) in beautiful Asheville, NC where we spent our honeymoon.

We were originally set to fly to Mexico for our honeymoon however that was the exact time of the bird flu outbreak.  Since it had originated in Mexico we realized that it probably wasn’t going to be the best idea to be stuck in a metal tube flying across the Gulf of Mexico with potential bird flu carriers.

Instead, we chose to drive up to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and visit the Biltmore Estate, and since then we have been back several times in addition to our anniversaries simply because we love it so much.  More often than not, we choose to stay at the Grove Park Inn.

Grove Park Inn

If you haven’t stayed at the Grove Park Inn, I can not prepare you for how amazing this beautiful resort is…it would sort of be like saying the White House is “pretty”.  Pretty just does not do it justice.  In the 100 years since it opened, the guest list has included numerous presidents, athletes, actors & other entertainers, and now includes such unknowns as myself and my husband.  It also boasts the story of the “Pink Lady” who fell from the sixth floor (eerily, right outside our door) and is now apparently more of spiritual guest in nature than human.  (Apparently she’s harmless but likes to just be playful with people.)

It seems the entire lobby is made out of stacked stones – rather stacked boulders.  Both ends of the lobby boast a huge fireplace so big that you could fit a Mini-Cooper in.  It’s truly amazing – especially if you are sitting in one of the nearby rocking chairs sipping on a nice glass of wine.  The main building of the hotel is considered the “historic” part, as the two side additions were added years later.  Being the history nerd that I am, we always request staying in one of the rooms in the main building.  Yes, it’s a little creepy at times and after dark, the hallways have a tendency to look like something out of “The Shining” but the rooms are quaint with curved ceilings and the original fixtures, and it reminds me of something from “The Hobbit”.

One of my favorite parts of this hotel is the Sunset Terrace Restaurant, where you can have an absolutely amazing dinner with an equally amazing view of the mountains.  I was so stuffed after dinner that my Spanx turned in their resignation.  They were no longer going to be working for me and I must admit, I seriously gave them a run for their money.  It wasn’t their fault.  Blame it on dessert.

My second favorite part is the SPA, oh the glorious spa.   For this anniversary, my sweet husband treated me to a spa day, and after being covered in lavender and frankincense oils, massaged, warmed, heated in a sauna and then dipped in a whirlpool, I looked like a greasy homeless person and felt like an overcooked noodle.  Because I was so relaxed, I was lucky no one was asking me any serious questions.  I was able to answer “yes please” to an offering of water infused with lavender and lemon…anything more than that and people might have thought I had just undergone a lobotomy.

The following morning at breakfast we were talking and my husband asked if I had slept well.  I told him that it was odd he asked, because I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like someone had tickled my nose with a strand of my hair.  He got this funny look on his face and said that he woke up in the middle of the night because it felt like someone had pinched his nose!  Had we been visited by the infamous Pink Lady?

We reluctantly packed to leave, thus ending another wonderful experience at the Grove Park which only makes me already anxious for our next return trip.

And although I’m not a believer in ghost stories, I still gave a quick peek through the folded clothing in our luggage for any traces of pink that might be stowing a ride home with us.

Just to be sure, of course.

Star Wars vs. Nicholas Sparks. Who would win?

By Dana McIntyre @DanaMcIntyre1

My husband, Dale and I are very similar in so many ways – that’s what really attracted us to each other. We both love to camp, participate in triathlons, and so many other things. His parents have been married for 38 years, mine for 52. We both share the same religion, are non-smokers, and have the exact same political views.
But when it comes to movies, we are on complete opposite sides of the RedBox. I am a hopeless romantic so I’ve always loved movies like “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Wedding Date.” But I also love rough and tough movie like “Slap Shot” and “Gladiator.”

My husband however, loves action movies and…wait for it…..sci-fi. And I mean ANTHING sci-fi. Star Wars. Star Trek. Tron. Flash Gordon. If it has the word “Universe” or “Droid” or “Legion” in the trailer, then it is on his list of movies to watch. (Please don’t get me wrong though. I know a LOT of people like sci-fi…It’s just not for me.)

One afternoon Dale and I were kidding around and he started quoting something from Star Wars. I was completely lost. What the heck is a Boba Fett? Why would I know any of that? He started to clue in when my eyes started rolling back into my head.

“WHAT?” he said. “You have never seen STAR WARS??? Not ‘The Empire Strikes Back?’ Not the ‘Phantom Menace?’ NOTHING???”

Unknowingly, I had committed the cardinal sin of being a software programmers wife: I was not geek-worthy. Clearly I would never win at “Jeopardy!” if the category was science fiction.

One evening when we were trying to figure out what to watch on TV, Dale had the brilliant idea that we should finally watch Star Wars. He was completely serious. He said I could finally find out what a Sith was! YAYYYYYY! A sith? I was thinking hey I already know what that is. It’s what you use in the kitchen to drain your pasta. What’s it got to do with science fiction?

When I gave him a scowl, he then suggested “War Games” and I asked “Is that the movie you wanted me to watch where the guy lived in the computer game?” This time HE scowled and said “That’s Tron, doofus.” I just smiled and said ‘Did you seriously just call ME the doofus here?”

We ended up watching “21 Jump Street”.

Dale has suggested that we have a “Star Wars” marathon one day. That’s fine. Because if we have a “Star Wars” marathon, I have told him that we will also be having a Nicholas Sparks marathon.

I can’t wait!  He’s going to LOOOOOOVVVVE “The Notebook.”

 

I used Face-In-Hole and StoryMark to create the great picture above! For more information visit www.storymarklife.com or download for free at the iPhone app store or Android Marketplace.

Have you ever had TV wars with your spouse about what movies to watch?