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Saturday, August 11, 2007

"You're completely alliterate."

I'm in a marathon of editing one of the final proofs of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. This morning, I sat at one end of the kitchen table and my husband sat at the other. We both, with red pens in hand, marked up copies of the proof.



He broke my deep concentration with a low chuckle. I looked up to see if he needed my attention or wanted clarification on something. He stared at the pages, however, feverishly (a little too feverishly for my personal comfort), working his pen across the page.



Minutes passed. Again, my helpmate laughed out loud. This time I looked up to see him shaking his head back and forth. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. I decided that for the sake of our marriage we may need to conduct these sessions in individual privacy. But for the time, I said nothing and continued with my work.



Suddenly, he belted out guffaws that brought the children running to see what was so funny. Knowing I had given him strict instructions to carefully search the manuscript for typos, misspellings, and other errors, and not to read the stories, I became very self-conscious. I bore my eyes into him until he raised his head to return my glare.



"What?" he asked.



"What are you laughing at?"



"Nothing. It's just that you're completely illiterate," he replied.



"Well, thanks a lot," I huffed, slamming shut my copy of If Mama Don't Laugh. "If that's what you really think, you can stop right there!"



Baffled at my intense irritation, he stammered and muttered a few unintelligible syllables. Then his eyes lit up with amusement (which, quite naturally, miffed me more). "No, no, no. I said alliterate, as in alliteration. You know. Lucy laughs long. Mama makes muffins. You have a knack for creative alliteration. It makes your stories so interesting."



Okay. Give me a compliment and all is forgiven. I didn't even fuss at him for indulging himself in reading the manuscript while he edited. I'll save that for later, when I need him to butter me up again.

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