Yesterday was April Fools day and it made us think and talk about what role healthy fun has in a thriving relationship. Some ideas for tricks to play on the other came up. They included:
* placing double-sided tape a few sheets back on the toilet tissue role.
* create alarms and alerts for goofy fake appointments on his/her cell phone especially quirky things to do with you.
*place fake bugs i.e. roaches at various places where your spouse will find them; in the shower or cabinet.
*switch around the drawers so that socks are where undies should be or shirts where socks should be
*add a few drops of food coloring to the milk container.
There were two on the list that we have actually done for/with each other. One suggestion was to fill the other’s car with balloons. Rita actually did this for Bob’s car one day. She and the kids blew up hundreds of balloon and took them to the parking lot at the college. They stuffed the car with balloons. When he opened the door they began to float out across the parking lot, and some were there for weeks to come.
The other was to get googly eyes from a craft store and mount them in various places that your spouse would find them with a note saying: “I see you!” One Lent Bob decided he was going to spend more time and find ways to tell Rita how important she was to him so one day he drew a picture of two big eyes and placed them on the wall in the shower. As she showered those eyes watched her.
We were home from our honeymoon for only a few days and Rita was in the shower. When she came out Bob took the opportunity to snap a towel at her bottom. She surprised him by yelling: “Wife beater!” It was August, and the windows were open, as were the windows of nearby apartments. He found himself suddenly embarrassed and insisting that Rita be quiet. We ended up laughing about it then and have continued to laugh about it throughout our marriage.
Years later Bob turned the tables on Rita. We were grocery shopping in the middle of the afternoon when he sneaked up behind her and propositioned her and made suggestive remarks. She was red with embarrassment and kept looking around to be sure no one else could hear and she tried to get him to stop. He continues to do this every once in a while. She has gotten better, but it still makes her uncomfortable, even while she is laughing. She has retaliated by calling him a “Dirty Old Man.” His response is that she would be disappointed if he weren’t.
As all good friends, we have inside jokes and funny activities that we engage in together. Through the years Rita has gotten into a kind of hit and run activity when Bob is in the shower. He is happily showering himself, totally unaware that she is in the room and she bombs him with a big container of cold water, then quickly runs out of the room, usually before he figures out what has happened. Bob has jokingly said that he doesn’t get mad, he gets even, so after biding his time, and he thinks she has forgotten, he does the same thing to her. We have on occasion made a mess in our bathroom that we would not have tolerated from our children. But it’s fun.
While we didn’t actually play a trick on each other yesterday it did bring smiles to our faces as we talked about the things we have done.
Being able to laugh at the other or, more especially, with each other, is a wonderful way to remind yourselves of how special you are to each other. There are a few caveats to avoid. One spouse packed a suitcase and told their spouse they were leaving. Not exactly funny, in our book. It is not a good idea in most cases to play a trick when the two of you are in the middle of a disagreement. It can’t aways be one-sided where one spouse is always the recipient of the other’s activities. It will mostly like end up with the other getting hurt. Don’t let it develop into a competitive activity. A game of one upsmanship will eventually lead to hurt. It is important to remember that some jokes or attempts at fun may not come out the way they were intended. A friend was on a business trip and missed his wife and brought home to her a teddy that he spent time buying. She was mortified and told him she would never wear it. In those situations it helps to focus on the intention and appreciate the love that went into the joke. After the awkwardness is over, you may find that you enjoy telling the story. All jokes don’t necessarily have to lead to sex although some might have that effect.
Fun, having fun, planning fun are important. For one thing they help us focus, if only for a short time, on the other and let the other know that s/he is important. Our lives get too serious, so it is important as husband and wife to have some fun on occasion. You don’t have to wait for April 1.
We hope you enjoy this and we’d love to hear how you have had fun together. Remember, the goal is not to make a fool of the other but let him/her know how much they are loved.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.