3. She laughs when I tease her in all three types of teasing
Smiley often asks if what he says is "silly" or "teasing". Therefore I have had to pay attention to what teasing really is. I have identified three ways I tease my wife.
- my lame attempts at playful innuendo
- my silly obvious lies told just to make her laugh
- my responding to nagging with agree-and-exaggerate
The first I will not elaborate on. My improvised innuendo really is terrible. But she still laughs and usually teases me back.
The second is the type of teasing Smiley does: saying obvious untruths just to make someone laugh. ("Have you checked the weather report for tomorrow?" "Yes, heavy volcanic activity.") I do not do this nearly as often as I should, since my wife does enjoy it.
The third is a great trick. Lately I have learned about how wives sometimes use a "fitness test" question to check their husband's confidence and reliability. These are deliberately (although often unconsciously) awkward questions: either both people already know the answer or there is no right answer. (As examples: "Did you miss me?", "Do you still want to go out for Thai food on Sunday?", or "Do you worry about our relationship?" Of course, the classic is "Do these pants make me look fat?") The best responses are usually playful agreement followed by either witty exaggeration or absurd embellishment. (Possible answers to the four questions above are "Yes, but it's complicated," "Of course! I'm still working on perfecting post-Thai-food farts," "Yes, but don't start taking that for granted," and "Maybe, let's compare without the pants.") The same style of playful agree-and-exaggerate works to defuse most nagging. ("Have you washed the car yet?" "Yes, but I did a terrible job. Now it’s your turn.")
Anyway, the point was that my wife finds my teasing funny, and I love that she does.
UPDATE: Did some minor re-wording for clarity. I also thought of other good answers to the pants questions. First, "Let me see them," followed by making the pant legs into a circle and looking through it. Second, "I'll try them on so you can see what they do." Either way you are being playfully confident and inviting your wife to give you an opportunity to compliment her tushy.