[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the M Men-Gleaner Manual, “Love, Marriage, and You” used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]
Enhancing Family Solidarity
Tom and Jane had been married three years and were getting along very well in most respects. They had had a successful courtship and engagement and had married when he was twenty-four and she was twenty. After their marriage he had gone to school for two years and she had worked as a stenographer. Now they were settled down and were starting to establish a family of their own. Both Tom and Jane had a good sense of humor which often cushioned bumps that came along. One day Tom’s mother-in-law was visiting in his home. She had spent the day sewing with Jane. When Tom came home from work he talked to them in a jovial manner and then went to the refrigerator where he spied homemade ice cream in a tray. The kitchen was adjacent to the front room where Jane and her mother were sewing and knitting. Tom in a playful mood picked up the tray of ice cream and told them, “Here is something good for you,” as he motioned the tray in their direction. Lo and behold someone had pulled the plug from the refrigerator and the contents of the tray sprayed all over the stove, splashed on a bushel of apples and even spotted the front room rug. A few splashes settled on the clothes of Jane and her mother. There was a silent pause for about two seconds and then all three of them broke into a spontaneous laugh. Although it took nearly an hour to clean things up, this incident brought all three of them closer together. Some couples might have been seriously upset at such an incident; these persons used it to definite advantage. In fact, they often reminisce with considerable enjoyment about the whole affair.
1. Did the couple handle this situation in the proper way?
2. Do you think a sense of humor is important in getting along with people? Why or why not?