So – you’re engaged!
And you were going to get married this April!
Yeah. That sucks. Sorry.
Like all of us, your life has been tossed into the tornadic vortex of stay-at-home orders, curbside pickup at your favorite restaurants and a newfound understanding of and appreciation for the world of big cats.
But, no worries, you say.
“This is temporary and this too shall pass.”
“And when it does, we’ll get married.”
Well…you’re definitely right about the first part. Indeed, this too shall pass.
But the second…yeah…that’s a little trickier.
Because as this weird dystopia of designer surgical masks and TP hoarding and celebrity epidemiologists drags on, you learn more and more about your fiancee’.
Habits that may not be as…endearing…as you first thought.
Day 1 of quarantine: “It’s actually kind of adorable how he snores and drools when he sleeps. Like a little kid!”
Day 30 of quarantine: “Go ahead. Snore again. Try me. I was top of my class in Krav Maga.”
Day 1 of quarantine: “It’s really cool that she stays friends with everyone. Even her exes. It’s very mature.”
Day 30 of quarantine: “Text him one more time and I’m melting that phone of yours on our stovetop.”
“I thought I knew this person. Who and what am I actually marrying?”
Yeah. It’s gonna get a little testy. This much time with anyone is bound to try our souls. Even if it’s your favorite person.
Especially if it’s your favorite person.
Because that new car smell quickly fades when you see someone in the same sweatpants for the 16th day in a row.
So, what do we do?
How do we make sure to stay together when the stress of this quarantine threatens to pull us apart?
Irreverence, my friends.
Pure, glorious, magnificent irreverence.
Right now, we’re all engulfed in a pretty serious situation. I know, Captain Obvious alert.
But we’re surrounded by it on all sides. We can’t get a break from it.
Want to watch a Hallmark movie to escape? Great! Then the commercial comes on that reminds you to stay inside. Thanks for that. Appreciate the buzzkill. Love ya, Hallmark.
Want to watch a classic NBA game to take your mind off things? Good luck with that, as the scrolling ticker on the bottom updates you on the medical status of every NBA player with Covid-19. Yo, stick to the game. Please. I wish the best for the Knick’s trainer’s aunt. I really do. But I want to see Shaq dunk on someone.
Then there’s your aunt on Facebook with her nonsense. And your cousin who texts you the death toll every hour. We can’t escape, and it becomes a pressure cooker that eventually explodes.
So to release the pressure valve, and to make sure your fiancee’ isn’t the recipient of said outburst…you need to release the pressure together.
Now, there’s one obvious way to do that, and I’ll let you fill in the blanks. Because, hey, this is a kid’s program.
But another way is to laugh together.
Chances are, if you’re engaged, you have plenty of things you find mutually entertaining. And a lot of those things are probably people. Mutual friends. Relatives. People who are firmly in the “them” camp in your “us vs. them” conversations.
Now’s a good time to remember what makes you laugh together.
The stupid, random things you’ve seen over the years.
The quirks of your friends.
The madness of your families.
The ridiculousness of your neighbors.
You have plenty in common that gets you both in stitches, and now’s the time to draw from that irreverent well.
Because as it’s the two of you breaking down the world, it won’t be the two of you breaking down each other.
And laughing at the same things reminds you that you have a lot more in common than you give yourselves credit for.
It’ll remind you why this person is your ride-or-die, because they find that same craziness as hilarious as you do without any judgement or side-eye or fact-checking on Snopes.
Unleash the irreverence and keep the flame alive.
Get through this quarantine on a high note, keep your wedding intact, and perhaps make a kid who will one day be a celebrity epidemiologist of their own.
Geoff Woliner is the author of “The Gen X Code: How to keep your cool during the Coronavirus and other things that suck“, and Founder & CEO of Winning Wit, a speechwriting and coaching service that helps people nail their speeches during the biggest moments of their lives.