- Aging & Longevity
Jokes for Today's Senior Citizens
I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of teaching painting to senior citizens for over a decade. They always made me feel like a young chick and also gave me perspective on my own life and woes. One of the greatest things about hanging out with the seniors was their humorous way of looking at the world. They often told about funny things that happened to them in their life. But they would say some of the funniest things right off the cuff. The following are some of my favorite humorous anecdotes from the senior citizens in my classes.
One day the ladies at the painting table were discussing a mutual friend. I painted quietly and listened.
"Did you hear about Mrs. So-and-so," Annie asked?
"I heard her husband had a heart attack," I answered.
"Oh, didn't you year? He died last night," Annie corrected.
"That's too bad. I guess this means she's alone now?" I asked.
Without skipping a beat, Annie answered, "Yes, unless she's been keeping a spare in the closet!"
I know it was wrong to laugh at such a solemn occasion, but it tickled me to think of keeping a spare husband in the closet. When I got home I told my husband about the ladies comments. Immediately my husband got up, opened the coat closet and peered in.
"What are you doing," I asked?
"Just checking for spares."
Do you like to tell jokes?
One for the money
There was an 80-year-old woman getting married again for the 4th time. When the newspapers heard of it they sent out a reporter to interview her. The reporter asked, “So tell me about your other husbands.”
She said, “Well, the first one was a banker, a financier, he made tons of money. The second was a musician, a member of a very famous band back in the 60’s. We toured all over the world. The third was a minister. We had a little church back east.”
“And the man you’re marrying today?” the reporter asked.
“Well, he is a mortician. He owns a funeral parlor over on 6th street.”
“Can you explain how you came to marry 4 such totally different men?” the reporter asked.
“Oh that’s easy. One’s for the money, 2’s for the show, 3’s to get ready and 4’s to go.”
You know I think I had amnesia once…. Or was it twice?
“Most smiles start with another smile.”
Married for Love
At a senior center where I work, there is an 80-year-old widower, Lou, who came regularly to paint in the watercolor class. For several weeks he missed the class because the bus brought him just late enough to see us clean up. We knew Lou was disappointed, so on this particular day, as we painted we were discussing possible solutions to his transportation problem. One of the widows, Betty, suggested she could pick him up if the bus could take him home. She wasn't sure where he lived and the others couldn't help. When he finally arrived, Betty jumped up immediately and approached him, suggesting she take him home so she would know where he lived. A shocked look came over Lou but then he collected himself and said calmly, "I have to be up-front with you. The first time I married for love and all I got was seven kids. This time I have to know, do you have money?"
Hard of hearing
There were these 3 elderly men walking along together. The first says, “Kind of windy today, isn’t it?” The second says, “No, it isn’t. It’s Thursday.” The third says, “Me too. Let’s go get something to drink.”
I bring painting classes to senior citizen's centers in my town. They also have lunch served there. One morning the coordinator of one site brought out a bolt of tablecloth plastic and asked for volunteers to cut it to fit the tables before lunch was to be served. Five elderly ladies got up and set up a worktable next to we painters. Armed with scissors, they were each giving instructions on how it should be done. It was a case of too many cooks and no one wanted to take directions. As the volume of the five volunteers escalated, it became harder and harder for the painters to keep from laughing.
After a while one of the painting ladies turned to me and whispered, "That's the problem with getting old, dear. We act like kids again, only we're not as cute!"
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Happy/ Pharrell Williams
A reporter interviews a 104 year old woman and asks “What’s the best thing about living to 104?” She said, “No peer pressure.”
So this elderly man is telling his neighbor over the fence about his new hearing aide. It cost him $4000 but it’s state of the art, and he can hear perfectly. “Really?” the neighbor says, “so what kind is it?”
The man replies, “It’s about twelve thirty.”
So this elderly man shuffles up to his friend and says “Slim,” he says, “I’m 85 years old today and I got to tell you, I’ve got aches and pains in every part of my body. And you must be about the same ages as me, Slim. I never heard you complaining. Aren’t you hurting none?”
Slim says, “Well, I’ll tell ya, I feel like a newborn baby.”
“Really, Slim? A newborn baby?”
“Yep. I’m bald, got no teeth and I think I just wet my pants.”
A Bad Man
I work with senior citizens daily so I am used to stories about the loss of a loved one. One day a 88 year old lady was brought in by her daughter to participate in our activities. She had lost her husband to cancer just a month before and her daughter felt she needed to get out of the house and be with people again.
As I listened to her talk about her departed husband, and the year she had spent nursing him during his long illness, I couldn't think of anything better to say than, "I'm so sorry. You must miss him very much." As soon as I said it, I knew it was stupid. Of course she misses him.
With a twinkle in her eye she looked at me and said, "Yes, but it wouldn't be so hard if he had just been a BAD man!"
"Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life. And living creatively doesn't mean only artistic creativity, although that's part of it. It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people."
- Matt Groening
So these two couples were having dinner together and after dinner the ladies get up and take the dishes into the kitchen. So the men go into the living room to talk. And the first man says to the second, “Yesterday, we went to that new restaurant, and I got to tell you, it was wonderful. I would highly recommend this new restaurant.”
“Really?” the second man says, “so what’s the name of it?”
The first man thinks and ponders, scratches his head and rubs his chin, opens his mouth to say something only to close it again and shake his head. Finally he says, “What’s the name of that flower? You know the one that’s red and has thorns?”
“You mean a rose?”
“That’s it,” the first man says relieved and turning toward the kitchen, he yells, “Hey Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”
Laughter is good medicine
Did you hear about the 83 year old lady who talked her way out of a speeding ticket by telling the officer she had to GET there before she forgot where she was going and why.
2nd Thing to Go.
They tell me the memory is the second thing to go… I don’t remember the first.
New Hearing Aide
Having lost most of his hearing a number of years ago, this elderly man goes to the doctor to be fitted with hearing aids, which promise to allow him to hear 100%. A month later, he returns to the doctor for a check up on his progress. The doctor tells him that his hearing is perfect and asks if his family is pleased.
The man says, “Oh, I haven’t told them about the hearing aids yet. I just sit around and listen to them talk. I’ve changed my will three times!”
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
The Science of Happiness – Art Therapy
They come and go.
I've been painting for many years. I love oils and acrylics but always seem to return to watercolor for its speed and value. I can take watercolor on outings with little mess or fuss. Oils have the bad habit of smearing on the way home. I have won many awards over the years, including my signature membership with the Society of Western Artists. Teaching art is just a way to get to paint all the time.
My philosophy has been to encourage everyone in his or her art. One time a little (short) elderly lady painted with me for the first time. Her daughter brought her and she was very skittish and hesitant with her brush. She kept saying that she was making a big mess and she was good for nothing. I hate this kind of talk from anyone, so I went out of my way to praise her every effort no matter how small. Her first paint was really not that good, but I praised it like it was a Rembrandt. I told her she should save it and frame it. She left encouraged and returned the following week. I made her my special project, making sure she got lots of attention and praise.
Soon she was turning out fabulous work (really). Her friends and her daughter, who came with her, began teasing her calling her, saying, "Teacher's pet, teacher's pet." By that time she was the teacher's pet. She was dear and special to me. She will live forever in my heart. That dear sweet lady passed away in the spring, some years ago, after painting with me regularly for about 4 years. I write this with a tear in my eye. For you must know, working with seniors, you will see some of them pass before you are ready to. Dearest Betty, save a seat for me in heaven. We will paint the celestial shores together!