Article Date: 11/1/2010

Never Too Old to Learn
lessons learned

Never Too Old to Learn

Sometimes, a sense of humor is no way to score points with your spouse.

Jack Runninger, O.D.

"How did you and your new bride meet?" I was asked following my remarriage a couple of years ago.

"We met at a party," I replied. "When we were introduced, she said to me, ‘You look exactly like my second husband.'"

"Indeed?" I said. "And how many times have you been married?"

"Just once," she said.

You may have noted that these columns run under the title "Lessons Learned." By telling the above story (which is not true, of course) I learned a new lesson — telling such stories is not a good way to score points with a new bride.

Another no-no

In the same category, I discovered another unwise story to impart in her presence:

"My wife name ‘Five Horses,’" said the Indian Chief.

"That's an unusual name. What does it mean?"

"It Indian name. It mean ‘Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag."

Even though What's Her Name has a great sense of humor, the Five Horses also did not go over too well . (I have to call her What's Her Name since she told me she'd pound knots on my head if I ever mentioned her name in anything I wrote.)

Another lesson I learned from WHN is that an inquisitive mind can lead to trouble. If you're old enough, you may remember Dr. Bill Baldwin who was Dean of the University of Houston College of Optometry, and then executive director of the River Blindness Foundation. Anyway, WHN and I recently visited Bill and his wife, Honey, at their retirement community in Bloomington, Ind. We discovered there that right next to the commode was a pull cord mounted on the wall.

She got curious

Curiosity got the better of WHN. She finally decided since the name on the device was "Arial," it must be an air freshener. So she pulled the cord.

As it turned out, pulling the cord set off an alarm in the retirement community's central office, and very shortly a man rushed to the house to discover what the emergency was. The Baldwins explained what had happened, but did not want to embarrass WHN, so did not tell her what she had done. The next day she decided the air again needed freshening, so again pulled the cord. A man again rushed from the central office of the community to answer the emergency call. This time Honey and Bill figured, the heck with embarrassment, they needed to tell her to please stop the cord pulling.


ILLUSTRATION BY AMY WUMMER

Also unwise

Incidentally, I discovered another story that won't build many points for you with your spouse.

"If I die first, I want you to marry George," said the husband.

"But I thought you hated George," she replied.

"I do!" he responded.

She got even by kidding me about my new book, Fixing Stupid — Two Curmudgeons Pet Peeves.

"Why not mention in your column that your book would make an ideal Christmas gift to give to people to whom they're obligated, but don't particularly like?"

If you wish to follow her suggestion, send your mailing address and a check for $12.95 per copy to Jack Runninger, 2663 N. Broad Ext., Rome, Ga. 30161. If you hate shopping as much as I do, it's an easy purchase. OM


JACK RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@COMCAST.NET.

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2010