What's It Worth? The Value of a Sense of Humor

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Seems a bit untoward to write an advertorial on Christmas weekend about crass buying-and-selling stuff. But this column is about value and without a doubt, family and health are the most valuable things we possess.

When I met Katrina on an online jewelry industry “bulletin board” in the late 1990s, we sparred good naturedly via this now archaic mode of communication about a myriad of jewelry-related topics, but mostly about valuation theory.

I flirted with her ... a lot ... and finding out she was at the end of her marriage — while sad — encouraged me even more. (A Protestant and a Catholic, a democrat and a republican and a 13-year age difference worried our respective parents. Oh, and she had a 4-year-old.)

We had fallen in love ... yes, online ... without seeing each other. We met in New Orleans, halfway between our Houston and Tampa Bay homes. We married within three months of that first meeting.

Katrina, Kendon and their two cats merged with me and my two beagles. I brought Kendon to Eddie, our fierce and deadly attack beagle (ok, he was a lovebug), and I said “Eddie, I got you a boy.” Kendon, 4 at the time, was momentarily puzzled, but quickly pointed a finger at me and exclaimed, “You’re TEASING me!” Thank goodness he got it. The next week, when Kendon asked what was for dinner, I pointed to Ed and Lucy (pictured with Kendon) and said, “Dog ear soup.” A big smile and the “You’re TEASING me!” retort came my way. This continued throughout the almost 20 years he lived with us. Our sarcastic humor continues from these early crude snapshots to this day.

Today, he is a former robotics engineer and now a software engineer writing code for a big Tampa company. Good natured, hard working. And his wit? Sarcastic and dry as a Polk County Sunday picnic. We raised a good one.

From Jeff and Katrina Hess, we hope this year’s holiday season is your richest ever – in love, joy, humor and wonderful memories. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



St. Petersburg: 1131 4th St. N. 727.898.4377.

Tampa: Hyde Park Village. 1607 W. Swann Ave. 813.875.3935.

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