Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More cake.

I heard and read a lot of hoopla about happiness, contentment, and the meaning of life on the Internet last week, which should strike most of you as something of a contradiction. At least I hope it does.

Forgive me for saying so, but the longer I swim in the virtual cultural waters, the more convinced I become that this might not be the best place to look for insight as to how to find happiness or fulfillment. I'm on the internet--and I don't know anything.

And that's not all. I live alone. I have a cat. I'm middle-aged (sort of). When you put it all together like that, I look like the last person who would have a clue about being happy and fulfilled.

And yet.

I know what it takes to make me happy.

First thing every morning, I count the white eyebrow hairs. If I have the same number today as yesterday, I'm happy. (If the number of eyebrow hairs overall has decreased, however, I become concerned, since this must mean that the hairs are falling out of their own accord. I would rather my eyebrow hairs, regardless of their color, stay exactly where I left them unless I am the one yanking them out.)

The sight of an empty laundry hamper makes me glad. In order to attain true laundry happiness, I wash even the orphaned socks and the red, hand-wash only sweater that accentuates back fat and thus should never in good conscience be worn again.

Cake fills me with joy. If there is no cake, I will eat pie; pie is joyous enough in a pinch. Miserable people hardly ever eat enough baked goods.

I like buying new panties. Panties are just about the only item on earth virtually guaranteed to be yours and yours alone. No one will ever ask to borrow them for an extra special job interview; your children won't hover over your disintegrating and increasingly decrepit carcass in the hopes of inheriting them. (When you buy new panties, though, throw the old ones out. No one really needs emergency panties.)

Occasionally, even when I'm wearing my new panties, eating cake and surrounded with the smell of fresh laundry, I'm still not happy. Sometimes, in spite of having done everything I can think of to make myself glad, I'm just not.

And I suspect it's pretty much that way for everybody.

Because there is no secret. Or if there is, it can't be boiled down to a list, encapsulated into a song, or captured in a Powerpoint presentation. Nobody I know ever found happiness spelled out on church sign.

Or on the internet.

photo, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check out the Unbelievabra.com to solve your back fat issue. It solved mine.

Giggie

Jane who? said...

Well, I gotta ask. How do you get into it?