Gutter humor and true beauty

Years ago when my husband, Todd, and I were still dating, we traveled to Sun Valley to spend time with his sister.


After a day of skiing (insert memory of my current skiing prowess rather than my prior skiing ineptitude), we were enjoying a few beers at a local watering hole. Todd doesn’t drink alcohol and bars aren’t his thing, so he went for a walk to enjoy the evening. The temperature being warm enough to sit out on the patio means it must have been springtime. Hanging out with several other non-married 20-something-year-olds, the conversation devolved into ribaldry and innuendo.

We were very witty. Or so it seemed at the time. It was probably just crass, ribald humor; the perceived wittiness of which was directly proportional to the amount of beer imbibed. And of course imbibing beer means the need for relief will soon come. While in the bathroom, I had a moment of brilliance. YES! Buy one of those… it will be so funny.

Arriving back at the group, I tossed the condom packet onto the table in front of the guy having the most fun with innuendo. “With the way you’re talking, you might need that before the night is out.” Well. Didn’t he look surprised!

And there you have it. Now you know that the only time I bought a condom from a vending machine was so that I could make a joke.

Todd arrived back soon thereafter. “Come with me, I want to show you something,” he requested. I didn’t want to leave. I was having too much fun with silly, coarse humor. But Todd was quietly insistent, so off we went.

We walked up the street, turned left to cross Main Street, turned left again onto a steeper street, and then walked along a path up to a knoll. After scrambling up the small knoll, we had a great view of the mountain town of Ketchum at our feet and of all the surrounding mountains soaring above our heads. Todd helped me identify the different ski runs on Baldy as the late afternoon turned toward evening.

I looked down at the town and realized that we were fairly close to the bar where we had left our friends. Picking out the sound of talk and laughter coming from the patio, I was happy to have been encouraged away from there to a place where I could take in the beauty of our surroundings.

“Thank you for bringing me up here,” I said.

“Isn’t it nice?” Todd asked.

I agreed. I looked up at the sky and mountains above while hearing the sounds of the town and bar below and knew that I was sitting next to a man who prodded me out of gutter humor to be able to enjoy true beauty. On this day, his birthday, I wanted to honor him and to acknowledge that he encourages me to be my best self. Thank you, my love. Happy Birthday.