“An English lady was looking for some rooms to rent in Switzerland and asked the local village schoolmaster to help her. A place that suited her was finally found and the lady returned to London for her belongings. She remembered that she had not noticed a bathroom, or as she called it, a water closet, so she wrote to the schoolmaster. He was puzzled by the initials, “W.C.,” never dreaming, of course, that she was asking about a bathroom. He finally asked the parish priest who decided that W.C. stood for Westbrook Church. This was his reply:
“The W.C. is situated nine miles from the house in the center of a beautiful grove of trees. It is capable of holding 350 people at a time and is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday each week. A large number of folks attend during the summer months, so it is suggested you go early, although there is plenty of standing room. Some folks like to take their lunch and make a day of it, especially on Thursday when there is organ accompaniment.
“It may be of interest to you to know that my daughter met her husband in our W.C. and was also married there.
“We hope you will be there in time for our bazaar to be held very soon. The proceeds will go toward the purchase of plush seats which the folks agree are a long-felt need, as the present seats all have holes in them.
“I shall close now with the desire to accommodate you in every way possible and I will be happy to save you a seat down front or near the door, whichever you prefer.
So often we need to check ourselves as we talk to our children. What they mean and what we hastily misunderstand may be two different things.
I was amused by some examples of notes that teachers at schools received. In this case the “senders” did have some problems.
“Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.
“My son has been under the doctor’s care and should not take fizecal ed. Please execute him.
“Please excuse Sara for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.
“It wasn’t Jimmy’s fault that he doesn’t have his homework. The dog ate it. It was hard. We had to force him to do it, but he did it” (Ibid.).
I am convinced that communication is important. I am convinced that often we quickly interpret comments erroneously and I am doubly convinced that a sense of humor is a wonderful mediator.
I have seen pathetic situations eased by laughter. I have seen quarrels turned around and communication reestablished. Sometimes it may seem inappropriate to the watcher, but to those involved, laughter can release tension in situations that are extremely difficult.
May we ease the tension in our own lives by finding the humor and then sharing it. What a legacy we would leave our youth.