The other day I was sitting with my girlfriend and she was telling me of a blog she likes to read. She wanted me to take a look at it because she thought I would find it interesting. She was giving me some background information on this blogger and said, “You will find her posts on postmortem depression very interesting”. SAY WHAT? (picture me with a confused/surprised face). Postmortem depression? Wouldn’t it be horribly cruel to not only be dead but still depressed? What she really meant to say was postpartum depression. I am still laughing. This got me thinking. How often through the years have I said “say what”? Although, I must confess, sometimes I say whatcha talkin bout Willis because that’s the phrase my generation said growing up in the 80’s. Why am I bringing this up? Well, I have lots of free time now while I recover from my shoulder surgery so I ponder everything. Second, I have lots of free time.
Everyone has heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”. I am not sure who coined this expression; but, I am confident it was said before anyone actually studied the effects of laughter on the human body. The good news is that studies were done and found that laughter helps improve mental and emotional health, decreases stress, increases blood flow, strengthens the immune system, and decreases pain to name a few. Best of all, it’s free! I have used humor with my patients for years and I have seen first hand what a positive effect laughing can have. I bring this up because life can be hard, but laughing, that is easy. Humor is everywhere; merely look around and listen to your surroundings.
I wanted to share with you some of the SAY WHAT? comments people have made that have made me laugh. I find it interesting that when toddlers say something that is completely outlandish we laugh and think it is cute; yet, if an adult says something absurd, we do not always have that same reaction. Here are a few remarks I have heard said from toddlers up to old age. No worries, while these are all true stories, none should make you uncomfortable….I hope. I should also note that if you are wondering when old age begins, I have no clue. All I know is that as I age, my definition of old becomes older too.
My 2 year old son was with me waiting in line to order food. This young man was in front of us waiting also. He must have stood 6 foot 8 inches tall. My son walks up to him, looks at his feet and slowly looks up to his face and exclaims “Big Bird”! SAY WHAT? If this man was a woman over 50, I am sure he would have needed a Depend® undergarment.
I thought it only fair that I should share a story about me. When I was growing up, my parents liked to eat pork rinds which is funny since we are Jewish. They never called them pork rinds; they called them machdoomas (trying to spell it phonetically). Now, I just assumed they were called this because who names something with a more difficult word (unless they felt guilty eating them, being Jewish and all, hmmmmm). Sorry, I digress. So, one day I was out doing errands with them. They pull into the parking lot of a liquor store (mind you I was around 14) and asked me to go in there and buy some machdoomas. I walk in and look around to find them, but, honestly, I have no idea where these machdoomas would be. Finally, I give up and ask one of the employees. “Can you tell me where your machdoomas are”? He looks completely baffled– I am sure in his head he is thinking SAY WHAT? He asks me what they are and I tell him that they are crunchy things that look disgusting and come in pieces. Apparently that was a good enough description because he found them in a package that said “pork rinds”. I went to the car and handed my Mom the bag and told my parents what happened. Well, let’s just say my Mom may have needed the Depend® too if she were older. I can tell you this; I know what pork rinds are now.
This story I am going to share is my favorite. I hope when I am older and have problems with my memory, I will still remember this. Oh, and for those offended by the word “cock” (male anatomy definition), please skip this story even though it is hilarious.
I live in a northern suburb of Chicago. I believe I have no accent but that is probably not true. When I was in my 20’s, I met a woman who was originally from out west. She was telling me about this crick and it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out she was saying creek (I kept thinking crick in the neck but when she mentioned water I finally figured it out). We became good friends and about 10 years ago she was telling me about a gift she was going to make her husband. He drives to work a far distance and had this special coffee cup that would stay on his dashboard. This cup broke and she wanted to buy him a new one that would not slip. Sadly, she could not find one like that so she bought him a new mug and made it non slip. I asked her how she did that. She said, “I bought some cock.” SAY WHAT, I was thinking. But I have known her long enough to know she meant caulk. I could not let her off the hook yet. I asked her, “Where did you go for this?” She told me she went to the grocery store but could not find it where she thought it would be so she had to ask someone. That is when I really had fun with her. I asked her if the person she asked was a man or a woman. She told me it was a man. I then asked her if she requested any specific color or possibly the quick hardening one. Now she was suspicious. She asked me why I was asking all these questions. Through my laughter I said, “You are not saying the word caulk, you actually are saying the word cock; therefore, you asked that guy where his cock was”. Silence ensued and then we both laughed hysterically.
My husband’s grandmothers lived long lives. One died at 98 while the other one died just shy of 104. I knew them as long as I knew my own grandparents and always considered them my grandmothers. One day, the family was out for dinner celebrating my grandmother’s 101st birthday. She was still sharp, just hard of hearing. She always asked me health questions. During dinner she asks me, “Nancy, I was reading the paper and there was an article stating that exercise and taking vitamins are good for you, do you think I should start that?” SAY WHAT? I was laughing inside but outside I was calm. I said, “Whatever you have done seems to be working fine; but, if you want to exercise, I recommend only chair ones”. This story reminds me of the time I went to visit my 98 year old grandmother in her assisted living place. On her table was a listing of that day’s activities which included a kick boxing class…SAY WHAT? I looked at her and asked if she was planning on going, we both laughed. To be honest, I think the nearest hospital sponsored that class!
I hope I made you laugh today and maybe even reduced some stress. Remember to keep your eyes open; laughter is just around the corner.
I love this time of year when it comes to food. Here is a recipe for apple stuffed acorn squash (click on link). This is a perfect fall recipe and it’s gluten-free too; but not taste free!