Chapter 1 Excerpt
Laughter Adds Enjoyment to Ordinary Things
" Humor takes your mind off the negative and turns it into laughter that’s positive." -- Buddy Hackett
In addition to smoothing things out and providing clarity and balance, laughter allows couples to enjoy even the mundane things in everyday life. Daily chores are less burdensome when we laugh while doing them. We aren’t always having fun, but we do have a lot more fun with laughter than without. It’s astonishing just how playful we feel because we’re laughing.
Liz and Tim, for example, had to clean their swimming pool. It had almost reached the point of being a health hazard. Without enthusiasm, they collected their supplies, surveyed the pool with dismay, and debated on where to begin. One of them would have to get into the water to open the drain. Neither felt like volunteering.
Suddenly inspired, Liz pushed Tim into the water. He surfaced sputtering and promised revenge. He climbed out of the pool, growling playfully. He grabbed the squealing Liz and jumped into the pool, pulling her in with him. They splashed around a little, laughing at the way they looked with pool grunge on their faces and in their hair. Then they tackled the actual work of cleaning the pool. Somehow, it didn’t seem as awful as it had before.
A playful approach to everyday things in our relationships is a key factor in keeping them healthy. Play is a source of fun, and laughter eases us through those dicey issues from the past. Although we associate play with children, it isn’t meant for them alone. Play teaches children living skills, and adults should play for the same purpose. It injects fun into many things that are no fun realistically and helps us do things that would otherwise dismay us.
In his book, Enjoyment of Laughter, Max Eastman comments on the importance of play as “not only something we do, but also something we are while we do it.” Play transforms us. Since we feel playful from birth, we have to work hard to give it up. Somehow, though, most of us manage to do it. Fortunate couples hang on to it, however, and they keep laughing. Their laughter leads to more play that leads to more laughter. It feeds on itself.
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