I live with my boyfriend and his 19 year old daughter. We have a nice, small, cohesive family unit. We are not an exciting bunch but we do know how to laugh and have fun together. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to the diner for dinner. It’s a local diner that we often go to and everybody knows everybody. We had an early dinner, as we usually do, so the diner was empty. We sat and ate our dinner ,as my boyfriend began to tell me stories of his first job, when he was fresh out of high school. He described the crazy shenanigans that went on. He worked with his father, uncle, brother and cousin. The young ones would torment their boss and anybody that crossed their paths just for a laugh. As he told me story after story, I laughed my head off. We were carrying on at the table and having a great old time. As we were leaving the diner, we stopped at the counter to pay and the owner was asking about my step-daughter. You know, the typical, “How is she doing?, Is she working”, and surprisingly, “Would she like a waitressing job?”
I began to give all the details of what she’s doing in her life and how proud of her we are. After a few minutes of my bragging, I said to them, “Look at me going on about my step-daughter.” They laughed and said that they thought it was great. They have often seen us together and commented on their admiration of how good we get along. As the conversation continued, they both mentioned to me that they thought that my boyfriend and I were a cute couple. I have never considered us a “cute” couple. We are 64 and 58 years old. How “cute” could we be? They went on to say that, they observed how we laughed together and that we actually seem to like each other. That just cracked me up.
Their statement made me think about when I was married to my first husband. We would sit in a restaurant and I would observe other couples eating and conversing and laughing. I always wondered what they were talking about because we never did such a thing. I didn’t realize then that, that was the way it was supposed to be. It’s sad to think, at that time in my life, that I didn’t know that couples were supposed to have fun together. Unfortunately, that marriage ended after nine years. On the upside, it was an educational period for me. I am grateful for the lessons learned from that marriage.
As I left the diner last night, I was smiling. I got in the car and told my boyfriend what our friends had to say. It is a treasured endowment to realize that my life has changed and evolved into a healthy and satisfying experience. Gone are the days of constant struggle and strife in a relationship. We have been together for 14 years and have learned to communicate with one another through good and bad. That’s why we have so much fun. We feel free to divulge our thoughts and feelings without judgement from each other. We’ve learned to work through the distressing times and to respect each other throughout the process.
As a family unit, we engage in silliness and laughter. We enjoy each others’ company within the home and when the three of us go out together we always have a great time. Life is good when a person can finally grow and learn to laugh at themselves. Laughter is the best medicine and although it’s not always time to laugh, it’s always time to enjoy and respect each others’ presence.