the healing effects of laughter

Yesterday I started to write a post about how consumed with negative thoughts I’ve been. I feel like I can’t get my mind to shut down; instead, it circles around little details or big worries over and over again. I’ve had a lot on my mind, and I can’t seem to let go. I’ve been so consumed that I can’t fall asleep… and when I finally do, I dream about these things I can’t get out of my mind.

I decided the post was turning into a giant complaint about all of my worries and that I didn’t want to share it. You know it must have been bad – it’s not like I’m known for keeping private thoughts to myself.

It’s been cold and dark and drizzly here, which doesn’t help when I’m in a down mood. I spent the evening last night at home curled up on the couch under a warm blanket and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I was preparing myself for another sleepless night and for another cruddy day today.

And then it happened – something that shook those sorry-for-myself feelings out of my mind: A healthy dose of laughter!

The story requires a bit of set-up. (Well, it does for me, anyway. I am NOT a woman of few words.) So, for the past few weeks we’ve had a friendly yet annoying mouse living in our kitchen. I don’t have anything against mice when they are outside of my house, but I don’t like it when they nibble our bread, chew through bags of rice and sugar in the pantry, and poop all over the place. (Seriously, do mice poop constantly?) We’ve tried some humane methods to trap the mouse without any luck. This past weekend, Craig spent at least 90 minutes cleaning out the pantry cabinet, pulling out the stove, and emptying out the cabinet under the sink to thoroughly clean. He also sprayed some of that foam insulation stuff into various holes in the kitchen that we thought the mouse was using to get in and out and through the cabinets. We even bought some new canisters for several items in the pantry (I am loving these so far) and a breadbox for the countertop to protect our food and to limit the mouse’s food supply.

The mouse is perfectly happy in the house, though, and is still with us. I think the new foam stuff is probably keeping him IN the house at this point. Since his travel routes have been limited, we’ve actually been seeing him this week, scampering across the counters and scurrying into gaps behind the stove and so on. We just can’t seem to get him OUT of the house. (The dogs are oblivious, by the way, and totally unhelpful. I need to borrow a cat!)

So, anyway, last night I saw the mouse scamper into the plastic bag holder/dispenser thing we have stuck to the side of the refrigerator. I told Craig the mouse was in there and we started to pull the plastic bags out. (I was using salad tongs to do this – this alone should give you an interesting mental image. I didn’t want to reach my hand in and actually touch the mouse, but I wanted to pull the bags out.) I was trying to think of a way to capture the mouse – since we knew he was in there – but Craig was safely 3-4 feet behind me and far away from the action. Sure enough, at one point the mouse bolted out of the container. And Craig shrieked like a scared little girl! It was the funniest thing I’ve seen/heard in ages, I swear. A grown 30-something man jumping and screaming in a high-pitched squeal about a tiny little mouse.

I laughed and laughed and laughed. I laughed so hard I was in tears and I started to make those little high-pitched wheezing sounds because I was not getting enough air. I laughed myself to sleep – kicking all of those not-so-great thoughts away. And I slept wonderfully.

I woke up laughing this morning. I’m laughing as I write this now. Craig has been laughing, too. (This is a good thing since I’ve already shared the story on FB, and now here, for the whole world to see.) He realizes that his reaction was pretty ridiculous!

I have to say, laughter truly is the best medicine.

(Oh yeah. We still have the mouse in our kitchen. Clearly I’m on my own in catching it!)

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13 Responses to the healing effects of laughter

  1. Beth says:

    Oh that IS funny. I still remember laughing hysterically when I was a teenager and a mouse decided to inhabit my bedroom, and my Dad chased it around the room with a broom for an hour as I frantically warned him “don’t kill it! don’t kill it!”

    And if you want to borrow a cat… I have one with irritable bowel syndrome and hyperthyroidism. I bet she’s a great mouser, though. 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    Laughter is a great cure for the blues! That is such a funny story…I laughed too!

    I had mice in my house growing up…one day my mom brought a mouse inside to show us (“he” had huge mickey mouse ears), well when she showed him to us, he bolted and made a home in our kitchen somewhere. We came to find out mickey was actually MINNIE and pregnant with many little mice babies. They all took up residence in our kitchen and we trapped and released them one by one…what a fiasco that was.

    Thanks for sharing your story – brought back some funny memories of my own!

  3. Kelly says:

    OK, I thought it was funny when you posted it on Facebook but this detailed telling of the story here on your blog was HILARIOUS! Now I’m totally laughing… you’re a great story-teller, Kelly 🙂

    Poor Craig, he’s never going to live this one down. Be sure to keep us posted on all things mouse-related!

  4. Jenny says:

    so funny! i bet craig felt so silly later! that’s the best laughter, when you can’t even breathe! hoping you catch it soon! i can’t stand a mouse in my kitchen…

  5. Christine says:

    I completely second Kelly’s comment. It had me laughing last night… but as I read this I was practically howling with laughter. Doug came down and saw me bent over the counter shaking and thought I was crying. All I could get out was “mouse… scream… girl…” To which he replied… “you’re still laughing about Kelly’s husband?!” Yup, pretty much. (Sorry Craig)

  6. Zoe says:

    Thanks for the laugh!! I can just imagine the scene unfolding… I think you do need to borrow a cat. Wish we had one to lend you!

  7. Kate says:

    So funny. I can completely see my own husband doing that! Thanks for stopping by my blog….and thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

    • Erin says:

      LOL, I could totally picture the two of you trying to catch that mouse and your husband screaming like a girl, lol! I’m glad you got a good laugh!

  8. Oh, it is too much. With all the details, the squeal is that much sweeter. Too funny.
    Love it.

  9. Janet says:

    I definitely had a good laugh at this one too.
    My DH had a similar reaction to a bat in our house (shrieking like a girl). But…I really cannot say much as I was hiding in the bathroom w/ the door locked at the time…when he was stuck trying to “shoo” it out an open window.
    Rodents…of all kinds…especially FLYING rodents (how I refer to bats) do NOT belong inside. Period. Ick.

  10. CatherineD says:

    Ha ha ha ha!!! Oh my goodness! I have tears streaming down my face because I’m holding in my laughter in (D’s sleeping). I can picture every detail of your story, down to you with the tongs (which was a good idea, by the way – I was bitten by a hamster when I was little, and I still remember how those sharp little teeth stung!).

    Since everyone else is sharing a mouse story, here’s mine. When I was little, my dad was sleeping on the couch one night (maybe the ‘rents had an argument… I have no idea) when he heard notes being played on the piano! You can imagine how freaky this must have been. Anyway, the next day, he opened up the piano to find a huge mouse nest made out of random bits of trash and dog food! We got a cat (that I was allergic to and pooped on my parents’ bed every day) to hunt the mice, but that didn’t work out. I still don’t know what happened to the mice! I’ll have to ask my dad.

  11. Allie says:

    That is a silly story. Since DH grew up on the East Coast, mice don’t bother him… but scorpions do, and with good reason – he got stung last year. Now he does a “scorp check” every night before going to bed.

    Congratulations, I’ve pegged you as a Kreativ Blogger! That ends this stretch of lurkerdom… 🙂

    Allie

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