My mom always told me to marry someone who makes you laugh. It always made sense to me because who wants to spend time with someone who didn’t crack you up? That was probably the best marriage advice she gave me.

But she meant something deeper: always marry someone who makes you laugh because there will be times when you need to laugh inside the pain. And you’ll need someone to force you to do it.

She meant another larger truth, too: you should be able to have fun with your significant other. Not just giggle once in a while, but truly have fun. You can’t be stuck with a person who keeps you solemn, who keeps you serious all the time.

Love isn’t about seriousness. That’s why we smash cake in each other’s faces when we’re getting married: because love is a strategic cake smash, laughter and chagrin and icing and all. We need fun times like this to outweigh the seriousness of life (in this case, the marriage ceremony).

So you need to marry someone who’s fun, or, at least, who’s fun with you. They won’t be on all the time, of course — you can’t ask that of someone. But together, you should be able to make your own fun.

It shouldn’t depend on Uno or Judd Apatow movies or Cards Against Humanity. You’re looking for real, deep fun here, the kind that comes out of nowhere.

Moreover, that fun needs to come at the most mundane of times. You should marry someone who you can have fun with walking down the sidewalk, or sitting on a park bench.

 had an ex who sat with me and made up stories about people in restaurants. We’d elaborate on their lives, their likes and dislikes, their relationship to the people with them. We’d crack each other up, and barely be able to look the people in the eye on our way out. That was fun.

Fun can come at other mundane times. I lived in an apartment with my ex and a good number of roaches (they’re native down here, no judgment). Every time I saw a roach I’d scream and do the whole girly thing.

He’d arrive like an avenging angel with the special roach-killing spoon, which he’d use to dispatch the unwanted insect. Then he’d scoop it up and we’d solemnly parade to the bathroom, where he’d flush the thing to the strains of “O, Fortuna.” Then we’d mark a special sheet with a Hello, Kitty sticke

If he killed three of them in one day, he got a hat trick and an extra sticker. Talk about making fun out of something mundane, stupid, and slightly gross.

Or, maybe you need your fun more sedated. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had came from smoking cigarettes on the front porch of my apartment with an ex-boyfriend. We’d talk about everything and anything: sex, politics, the people walking by. The fun was in talking with each other, not anything amazing or exciting.

Marry someone with who you can have fun at the grocery store. You deserve a significant other who can make you laugh in mundane tasks, like roach-killing and the grocery store. You two should be able to have fun in the produce, laugh in the freezer, and poke each other near the milk.

You might be talking about other people. You might be talking politics. You might be making the squash talk to each other, and giggling over the sugary cereal. You can tell stories. You can pretend to hit each other with the cart. But together, you and the person you’re with should be able to make the grocery store a blast.

It won’t always be that way, of course. Some days you’ll be tired from work and your partner will be exhausted from a lack of sleep, and your grocery store conversation will amount to little more than “Are we out of milk or not?” That’s okay. There are seasons in every relationship, and they can change day by day. Just because you should be able to have fun in the grocery store doesn’t mean you always will.

But it means that you usually should. You should have fun in the grocery store together. Long drives should be a treat, a time to talk to each other about everything you can think of, and introduce new music to each other… or make fun of each other’s playlists.

Time in the kitchen should entertain you, not make you miserable, unless you hate cooking and your partner’s a strict chef. And walking down through the produce section, you should find pleasure in each other’s company, and a few laughs.

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