"I'm not ticklish," I said in my best Henry impersonation. (Other parents talk to each other in their children's and pets' presumed voices, right? Right?) "I'm American!"
"What?" Rayne asked (in his own voice).
"You know, American. Like, not from Tickle Land."
He stared at me blankly. The babysitter remained mercifully silent.
"Like, not Ticklish. American," I persisted.
Rayne laughed out loud -- at me, not with me. "That is the worst joke I've ever heard. That's a joke a three-year-old would tell."
I laughed, too, because, well, he was right. It wasn't funny. Either my brain is regressing in preparation for little boy fart jokes, or I'm a lot funnier on paper. Or both. (Probably both.)
"I still think it was a funny play on words," I insisted as we were changing for running practice.
"It wasn't a play on words."
"Okay, you're right. I guess I could have said 'Irish,' and you would have at least gotten the joke."
"But he's not Irish. He's American."
"I know, that's why I said it!"
"Still not funny. Plus, that's, like, the only nationality that ends in 'ish,'" he scoffed.
Finally it was my turn to scoff.
"What? No it's not."
"They all end in 'ese.'"
"Oh yeah? What about British, English, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish...?" I rattled off.
He looked sheepish. (Ha-ha! Sheepish! Get it? Anyone? Wow, tough crowd.)
"And Italianish," I added.
We were still laughing our heads off as we walked out the door, a nice problem to have after being together for six years.
Then again, I should have known it would be like this. After all, our relationship was founded upon a gaffe exchange.
When we first met, I spent ten minutes carrying on about the stupidity and immaturity of the 25-year-old finance boys in my office before finding out that he was a 25-year-old investment banker. (I was 30.) I tried to pull it back, but my foot was stuck so far down my throat that I tripped over my leg.
When we met again a couple of months later -- after having trained for three months with our marathon team -- Rayne spent the whole night flirting with me, only to call me Diana.
"I know it starts with a D!" he insisted at my incredulity.
Oh, well, that makes it okay, then. We should get married.
Indeed, our relationship was born in the Land of Tickle. At least it's a land full of laughs....
|Photo credit: Mike Renlund|