When You’re Smiling

        My wife’s band’s theme song is “When You’re Smiling.”  If they ever decide to choose a different tune, I might have to fuss, because it is so appropriate.  They play music for exactly the right reason- to have fun, and make people smile.  They are very good at it.

        Marfar is the ringleader, too.  When I was a young doc, I was so serious.  I thought if I read enough books and studied hard enough, no one in the County would die.  Of course that was too ambitious a goal.  I am still very serious about doctoring, but I’ve had to temper ambition with reality, and try to keep on smiling.  Marfar has always seen to that.  One of her few complaints about me was to say, “You aren’t laughing enough!”

        One of the things I loved about my wife right from the get-go was her laugh.  I’m not a good enough writer to capture it on paper, but right at the end there is a little lilt that makes it impossible for a fellow to be in a bad mood. 

        If you read “Birds of a Bluegrass Feather,” you know we have two tropical conure birds in our home, and she has them in on the act.  The birds talk a little, but as with babies, I have some trouble with translation, though my wife communicates with them with ease.  

        Two things the birds imitate are clear even to a man.  One is the door bell chime- they have it perfected.  The other is my wife’s laugh.  Birds can only learn what they hear all day, and they can mimic her with uncanny accuracy.  (If I were home all day, I guess they’d sound like a mandolin.)

        It is all good for a sometimes too serious doctor.  It ain’t possible to walk by a bird, have it laugh just like your wife, and hold onto a bad attitude.  I think she trained them like that so when she was not home, I’d have to keep things in perspective even in her absence.

        My wife is so smart, she’s even got me fond of those dadburn birds.  All I can say is she’s got the right theme song- keep on smiling.

Dr. B     

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14 Comments on “When You’re Smiling”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Oh! Conures are such a great bird! We had one, but sadly, she died. All I’m left with now is my lovebird, who is cranky but can imitate us as well. I guess that’s admitting that sometimes I’m cranky? Yes, sad to say.

    Your wife sounds charming. Not only smiling, but smart.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Hey if you held lovebirds to just cranky, you did good. I’ve heard they are often bad to fuss and fight.

    And if our birds took after me they’d stay up half the night playing the mandolin and reading/writing- my wife has got better sense!

    Ain’t none of us perfect, but I have to admit mine is a charmer and close to it. I doubt many would have tolerated my schedule over the years.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    Anyone whose motto is “you aren’t laughing enough” is already a friend of mine. I say, and with the utmost sincerity, that the reason my marriage is so unbelievably happy is because we laugh together EVERY DAY. Literally.

    My husband is a very serious man… most of the time. He can be downright silly in private, and it’s that glorious paradox that makes him so much fun. Half the time, the stuff we laugh about doesn’t even translate for people outside of us – about 90% of our funny is either too subtle for others to catch or is grounded so deeply in our shared experience that it would take too long to explain the joke to someone who’s not been there. It’s that kind of secret language that we share that I cherish so much.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Great stuff mrschili. My wife has been trying to rehabilitate me for years- I am too serious too often- tis a work in progress, and she has spent her adult life on the project.

    Dr. B


  5. […] Tom Bibey’s blog is worth reading. He’s the kind of family doctor I like. He recently posted about laughter and I thought I’d post this just for him and his good wife. Hope you enjoy […]

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Bob,

    I am a lucky fellow. A man with a good wife has much more to laugh and smile about in this world. My guess is as a doc you find folks who have more laughter tend to live longer, and certainly are happier while they are here.

    Come to think of it, my friends the Chilis might set some kinda longevity record!

    Dr. B

  7. bobleckridge Says:

    well here’s a study which suggests that laughter prevents heart disease Dr B – http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm
    I can’t imagine a life without laughter. It’s as infectious as the common cold but a whole lot nicer!

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Great link from Dr. Bob, the Encyclopedia of Scotland. Wisdom from across the pond strikes again!

    From squirrel skeltons to the healing power of laughter- Dr. Bob Leckridge has a reference. Y’all check him out. The uke man is a player, Dr. Bob.

    Dr. B

  9. katkmeanders Says:

    Whistling in the dark is almost always an option, and if it doesn’t help fix the problem directly, it surely gives one courage to face up to what must be done. I’m known as something of a smart aleck/wisecracker at times, but it is just my way of diffusing the stress long enough to engage the problem. It is also a way I affirm life, and make ripples in the pond. The world has enough grimness, a bawdy joke now and then (told in company that doesn’t mind such things, of course) can help people loosen up and recalibrate their perspective. If a bawdy joke won’t do, there are other kinds that will elicit chuckles or groaning smiles.

  10. drtombibey Says:

    The kat’s meow there- just don’t let ‘em too close to the birds. Welcome to the world of Dr. Bibey, and thanks for your input.

    Dr. B

  11. katkmeanders Says:

    I prefer fish. *nod* Flappys are safe with me, I like their singings. Just so long as they don’t come swooping down on me if I’m in a favored perch enjoying the breeze in the dappled shade. Of course, Celestial Seasoning’s Chamomile tea, or some good Deep Forest Mint chocolate from the Endangered Species Chocolate company fetch me inside “quick, fast, ‘n in a hurry” as Dad says.

  12. drtombibey Says:

    As a doc, I have met a lot of people thru the years. I’ve never met a woman who did not like chocolate.

    One time a rep brought some fancy chocolate to the office, and I made the mistake of turning it down. All my office ladies found out, and I had to chase him down in the parking lot and tell him I’d changed my mind.

    Dr. B

  13. katkmeanders Says:

    Heh, they made you see the error of your ways in record time, eh? Bet you don’t turn down free chocolate any time soon after that!

  14. drtombibey Says:

    100% correct! Dr. B


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