In addition to encouraging me, helping me and being my biggest fan, my husband was a fun, and funny, guy. He brought out the zaney in me.
We found that life can be just a little bit less complicated if you…
“Never take yourself too seriously.”
This adage was always something paramount with Bruce. His sense of humor was one of the things that drew me to him early in our relationship. On our first date, he bought us ice cream cones, and I fell for the old, “this ice cream smells funny…” routine. With great concern, I smelled his ice cream, only to have him smash in my nose. Fortunately, we both thought it was funny (um.. the first time), and I did agree to go out with him again. He prized my “high JTA” (Joke-Taking Ability).
Our family vacations were never boring. Once while having dinner in a Colorado Springs restaurant, we all ordered our meals singing like opera singers to our waiter (and he sang right back to us!). Another time, we spent the day as “The Billy Goat Family”… no kidding. Another time, we were in a restaurant, and when the waitress came, we kept addressing an empty chair at our table as Raymond. The waitress brought him an iced tea. She got a big tip.
Bruce often looked for humor in situations to try to lighten the load. This was a great insight for a man surrounded by a house full of females (even our dog was a girl). It sets the stage for patience and forbearance with a myriad of emotions and thought processes that a man may not even begin to understand. With this flexible attitude, it makes it easier to not overreact, and to wait for things to play out before jumping in.
Bruce always treated our daughters with great love and compassion, but cautioned them not to get too caught up in the drama. While many men, when confronted with daughters’ tears and emotional moments, would turn to their wives to ‘handle’ the situation, Bruce made himself available with a listening ear, a strong shoulder, and a wise, Godly perspective.
Of course, all of our daughters learned first-hand “this ice cream smells funny” trick, too, and they took up the heritage. I’ll never forget the awe-struck expression on my father-in-law’s whipped-cream-laden face after our oldest daughter ‘got him’ (apparently he was the one to teach the trick to Bruce). This zest for seeing the humor in things was passed on to our girls, and they are also some of the funniest people I know (for example… Masochist Mama).
And,,, no one could make me laugh the way Bruce could. I really miss that.