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Humor matters
by Lora Ann Huff
Feb 13, 2014 | 220 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Someone mentioned an article I wrote several years ago and requested I try to find it and print part of it again. I think I found the story and will share it from the “Humor Matters” website by Dr. Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D., a psychologist who deals with therapeutic humor. His goal is to help us find humor all around us and learn how to live a longer and healthier life through laughter.

As we get older we sometimes wonder why we can’t get anything done. Our day may go a little bit like the following scenario. I can totally identify with it because one of my biggest problems is getting sidetracked when I’m trying to perform a particular task.

“I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trashcan under the table, and notice the trashcan is full.

“So I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first. But then I think since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

“I take my checkbook off the table and see there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study so I go to my desk where I find the bottle of Coke I had been drinking.

“I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so I don’t accidentally knock it over. The Coke is getting warm and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

“As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye – they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses I’ve been searching for all morning.

“I decide I should put them back on my desk, but first I will water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight we will be looking for the remote and nobody will remember it’s on the kitchen table. So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

“I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

“Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

“At the end of the day the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, there’s a warm bottle of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren’t watered, there’s still only one check in my checkbook, I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.

“Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mails…”

And the saga continues.

Anyone else identify with this story? We might as well laugh and admit it. The psychologist says humor relieves emotional distress and helps us change negative thinking patterns. Sounds like I need to read more of his stuff because I think he’s right!

Another story the doctor shared was about an elderly couple who sat down to eat in a fast food restaurant. A young man at the next table noticed the couple ordered only one meal and an extra soda cup. The older gentleman divided the hamburger in half, divided the fries, and then poured half the drink into the extra cup and set it in front of his wife. The older guy began to eat while his wife watched.

The younger man was touched and asked if the couple would mind if he bought them an extra meal so they didn’t have to share.

The older gentleman replied, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.”

The young man then asked the lady if she was going to eat. She quickly replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth!”

Go ahead and smile – it will do you good. And I want to thank my friend Margaret for reminding me about the first story. I needed that one again myself!

(Lora Ann Huff is a Wenasoga resident and special columnist for the Daily Corinthian. Her column appears Friday. She may be reached at 1774 CR 700, Corinth, MS 38834.)
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