You probably had to be there, by Deb Katie

The problem with telling “LMAO” stories is that, 99.9% of the time, you had to be there. For instance, here are three incidents that had me crying with laughter:

* The time in college when my roommate, who sucked at swallowing pills, tried to swallow one and came running down the hall gagging on it. Employing my lightning-fast (though misguided) reflexes, I leapt from my desk into the hallway, where I proceeded to try to Heimlich her. At which point she spat a tiny pill across the hallway and cried, “Katie, Katie, I’m not choking!”

* The time when the husb and I were driving somewhere with a friend in the backseat and one of us made an offhand remark about something, to which our friend replied, “Oh, yeah,” in what was basically a dismissive action, but which prompted about five minutes of all of us saying, “Oh, yeeeeaah,” in our best nasally wiseguy voices. Every time the laughter died down, someone else would say, “Oh, yeeeeah!” and start everybody going again.

* The time my family was playing Pictionary and one of us asked which was right and which was left, and my mother spit her coffee all over the gameboard and pieces.

So, even sitting here writing these down, I’m giggling to myself at the memories. Is there anything more incredible than laughing with our friends? More miraculous than sharing joy with people we care about?

Every time I see or think about a person whose life is falling apart because they spent their efforts in pursuit of a bigger house, nicer car, prettier wife, etc., I wonder what that person would change about the way they defined success.

Do you think Bernie Madoff would give his left arm right now to erase the massive wealth he gained and go to a life in a modest home in the suburbs, spending his weekends playing Pictionary with his family, having someone spit coffee on the board, and then everyone laughing until their sides ached?

Throughout my life, the friends I’ve kept over the years are the ones I’ve laughed with. And one of them, the one who could always, always makes me laugh, I married.

May your home be full of laughter, even if your house isn’t full of equity and your closets aren’t full of designer clothes.

~ Katie Alender

PS – In case you missed the News Flash, my big news this week is that Disney-Hyperion has decided that Bad Girls Don’t Die should be a 3-book series! So thank you so much for your support.

PPS – After Mother’s Day, we did “mom” posts, but we don’t have a “dad” week. So, Par, if you’re reading this, let me just say that I’m so glad to have you as a father, and I’m so glad we learned to get each other’s jokes… even if it took a little while. I still remember the time you told that guy that was bugging me to stop calling the house, and the time you stopped to help that old man with his broken down car in the parking lot at the office, even though you were in your fancy work clothes. I remember how, at my wedding, you reminded me to stop and look around at everyone’s faces, like I asked you to. And I especially remember how you told me you thought I should major in something that I could make a living doing–like writing. I’m happy and proud to be your Dar!

7 Replies to “You probably had to be there, by Deb Katie”

  1. Hans still remembers a comment I made the day I met him. I said I like someone who can make me laugh, and he was very worried because at the time he didn’t think of himself as a funny person. But believe me, one doesn’t have to be Groucho Marx to make me laugh. One time we were at our “Private Club” (we love calling it that, for a 15.00/year membership they have very cheap, and very good wings and beer!)and Hans had just relayed a childhood story to me that literally had me laughing so hard I was gasping for breath and tears were running down my face. Then Hans got to laughing and every time he said “Oh dear” (he’s so proper!) and wiped the tears from his face I would just laugh that much harder. I’m a very lucky person and I have tons of fun with that man!

  2. So true, Katie! I, too, married the man who makes me laugh harder and more reliably than anyone (and he has a special talent for doing so when I’m mad, lucky for him).

    I loved this post. Reminded me of a road trip with my husband and I was taking a shift at the wheel. He found one of my old reporter notebooks in the glove box and he tried to read what he THOUGHT it said (my handwriting is beyond atrocious). I then would correct him because I could usually guess based on what he read what was actually in there. We laughed ourselves silly and it entertained us all the way through Ohio. But yeah, you had to be there…

    (such a sweet note and picture there, Katie, and am now kicking myself for not having a Dad week…)

  3. Aw, Laura, Hans is so cute! I love that you guys are so different but so perfect for each other.

    Kristina, that reminds me of a few years back, when my sister got this “cutting edge” software that would transcribe what you said. She would dictate a whole email and I would sit there trying to figure it out. Instead of “of course,” it would always say, “a horse.” Maybe writers are especially sensitive to word humor. 😉

  4. My husband and I laugh every day. Sometimes until our sides ache. But it was your bit at the end about your dad that got me…tears and everything. Lovely.

  5. Great (and funny) post Katie. I always say marry a man who makes you laugh, and you’ll have a happy marriage. It worked for me, and it sounds like it’s working for you, too!

    P.S. That’s a super sweet picture of you and your dad…

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