Ugly

Two nights ago, we were happily tucked away in bed when Shane turned to me and asked how ugly I thought he was on a scale of 1 to 10. This line of questioning usually doesn't end well for either of us because we see this as an opportunity to stay up all night taking the piss on each other. It started with, "On a scale of 1 to 10? Sweety, they haven't invented a scale to measure your level of ugliness yet" and ended somewhere around, "Are you laughing or crying right now? It's hard to make out on that ugly face of yours".

I can't remember another time when we laughed so hard although I'm certain that there have been many such instances. They happen almost every other day and while we're bent out of shape laughing about something we came up with, having happy tears streaming down our cheeks and tummies hurting as we gasp for breath, I often tell myself that I need to remember this. I need to remember the entire exchange so that I can record it somewhere. Here, perhaps.

But I don't know what it is about these silly little exchanges that make both of us forget what was so funny almost in an instant. We vaguely remember what we were laughing about but the exact things we say to each other evaporate from our minds like little water droplets on a hot plate. I assure you that even in the exchange I mentioned above, we went back and forth for a long time, laughing uncontrollably even after we decided to finally call it a night. We'd go silent and compose ourselves to fall asleep and then one of us would start to slowly shake with laughter under the covers, making the other burst out laughing. The next morning, however, neither of us could remember more than those two lines from our exchange.

In those rare instances when we do manage to recall an entire string of "jokes", we realise soon enough that none of those things we said were all that funny after all. In hindsight, we spend a great deal of time just laughing about nothing in particular.


Last night, as we were cooking dinner, I started relating something that had happened earlier in the day as I was walking down the street. I was listening to an audiobook so I was a tad bit preoccupied and absent-minded when I spotted a crumpled £50 note on the sidewalk.

Now, I want to take a break from this narrative and ask you, readers, what you would usually do under these circumstances. Are you the kind of person who picks up loose change lying on the ground when there are no owners around or do you think that is a wrong thing to do?

I have thought about this at length and finally came to the conclusion last year that if I find money on the streets with no owner around, certain that no one in my immediate vicinity had dropped it, I will pick it up. It's just lying there and might eventually get picked up by someone else or find its way into some form of waste disposal because chances are, the person who dropped it is not going to retrace his/her steps too far to come looking for a coin or a note. I consider these stray bits of money as little gifts from the universe and tend to pick them up and keep them in my pockets without fail. On many occasions, I've immediately chanced upon a homeless person and have parted ways with these little gifts for someone who clearly needs them more than me. On others, I have treated myself to a little candy or dessert.

But coming back to what happened last evening, like I said, I was a bit distracted when I spotted this crumpled note and had already crossed it and walked about five steps when it struck me. I immediately turned around and scanned my surroundings to see if anyone may have dropped it. There was not a soul in the vicinity except for this young couple that just walked out of a building to my right, quite clearly and newly in love. They were constantly kissing and couldn't really keep their hands off each other. As I took a step towards the note on the ground, they were already two steps ahead of me. They were walking towards it but hadn't spotted it yet. However, within seconds, this note actually flew towards the girl who immediately picked it up. The two of them then huddled together to look at the note so I turned around to walk away. And as I reached the end of the street, guess who I saw? A homeless woman!

I explained to Shane how I was convinced that this note was not for me but I somehow couldn't stop thinking about it. I called the youngsters stupid because they were newly in love and whined for a bit like an old woman who likes to complain about everything. Shane, who doesn't have any opinion on the whole business of whether or not you should pick up stray money, told me affectionately that maybe that couple needed the money more.

I countered by saying that surely they didn't need it more than the homeless woman who would have received it from me had it not been for those idiots?

He contemplated silently.

"Although", I said, "I doubt if I would have parted with £50 altogether. I might have decided to drop some change in the homeless woman's bowl and kept the note for myself because you know, I'm cheap".

"I'm sure you wouldn't do that", said he. "You have a conscience. And if you got close to doing that, your conscience would pop up - it would be my face - and tell you to do the right thing."

"What do you mean my conscience would be your face? My conscience is good looking. It can't possibly be that ugly face of yours!", I exclaimed.

And just like that, we were back to giggling about...well, technically the whole extension of the "ugly" joke but in reality, nothing in particular. I don't remember much of what we said after that because the laughter, again, went on for a while. But somewhere in there, Shane turned to me and said, "This is exactly why I married you. You say the strangest, weirdest things to make me laugh".

And whether or not I remember all the jokes, I know in my heart that I will remember what he said. Nothing really makes me prouder than the fact that the silly things I say in passing actually make this man laugh. And those silly things? Oh, they are almost always lame, I know. But imagine if I had decided to spend the rest of my life with a person who also thought they were lame?


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