Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time. Proverbs 17:22
PB is a champion storyteller. He has a whole arsenal of jokes and strange-but-true stories in his memory bank. I’ve always admired his ability to spin a captivating yarn. The thing is, I’ve heard them all. After 35 years of marriage I can tell when he’s getting ready to share a joke….and which joke he’s going to tell. In my head I can relate every story right along with him, word for word.
I, on the other hand, am not a good jokester. In an effort to be efficient and not waste people’s time, I leave out the embellishments, forego the details, and rush to the punchline. My timing is off. I don’t have that mischievous twinkle in my eye that endears listeners. My anecdotes seem to lack PB’s pizzazz.
The winds of change are blowing as our children and grandchildren settle into their own homes. PB and I are finding ourselves at a table for two more often. Our conversation tends to center on work and church — serious stuff. Sensing that we need to laugh together more, I challenged my man to 30 days of jokes. New jokes. Just to keep things fresh around here. Besides, I found a website with enough one-liners to get me through the month. I was ready.
It started slow. The first morning, over our oatmeal, I said, “What did the zero say to the eight?” PB put down the newspaper, confused. I could see he was struggling with how to respond so I whispered, “I’m telling a joke.” Still perplexed by his wife’s unusual question, I prompted him. “I don’t know. What did the zero say to the eight?” He started to catch on. PB: “I don’t know. What did the zero say to the eight?” Me: “Nice belt.” I figured if I set the bar pretty low, things could only get better. We shared a laugh. He tried to pull out an old one on me, but I was firm. 30 days of new jokes.
The second week went better. PB must have found a website, too, because he started greeting me with funny questions every morning.
“How much did the pirate pay for corn?”
“I don’t know, how much did the pirate pay for corn?”
“What did the three-legged dog say when he walked into the bar?”
“I don’t know. What?”
“I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”
I’ll spare you the rest…
Sharing a laugh every morning has been good for us.
PB is learning some new jokes and I’m working on getting that twinkle in my eye.
A merry heart is good medicine.