January 22, 2006

The Elements of Simple Happiness in Seattle at the Present Moment

PEOPLE SEARCH for happiness by complicating their lives to the point of emotional, physical and moral exhaustion. They believe that happiness lurks in the next acquisition, the next partner, the next idea, the next promotion, the next paycheck, the next drink, the next confession at the therapist's, the next desperate attempt to render themselves worthy of their internal vision of themselves as perceived by others. They always pursue this chimera and they always come up emptier than they began.

In reality, happiness is a warm animal that has the following elements, in this specific case, all lined up and working.

1) An absence of rain for 24 hours.

2) A half-dozen fresh oysters from Puget Sound.

3) A shot of Myers Rum over ice.

4) A local amber Microbrew.

5) Prime rib, medium rare, with a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream.

6) Chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.

7) A companionable companion.

8) A local team that is going to the Superbowl for the first time in its 30 year history.

9) An entire city of human beings that, no matter what their other issues may be, is on the same contented page for the next 24 hours.

10) Cowbells clanging on nearly every street throughout the city.

In the end, it really is just that simple.

Posted by Vanderleun at January 22, 2006 7:29 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Actually, happiness is not having to run away from the here-and-now by using any mood-altering substance, including alcohol; and instead, finding gratitude and serenity in the "embrace" of one's higher-power, sometimes with the assistance of color and sound, you know, music and lights, and most assuredly meditative thought patterns.

Posted by: jOjOEofArcadia at January 22, 2006 8:02 PM

So when do the Mariners win their first World Series? Last I looked, the only place they can go in the AL West is up. (I once had a job interview in Tacoma for a junior faculty position; one of the interviewers commented that the salary included a season ticket to Mariners games, "because they can't get anyone to go otherwise.")

Companionable companions includes cats, I hope. Otherwise it's a good list; enjoy!

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at January 22, 2006 9:07 PM

"..to render themselves worthy of their internal vision of themselves as perceived by others."

I think one finds true happiness when they stop viewing themselves through the perception of others. As well, when they can ignite the long gunpowder trails that have been laid since childhood and can dust the soot off into the past of old and worn out scripts...

Posted by: Phoenix at January 23, 2006 6:30 AM

I find that the PNW oysters lack just a bit of brine, prefer Goslings and could do without the cake altogether. Congrats on your happiness! I will pull for your team dispite the cocky QB, slightly comforted by the fact that my "skins" were able to put a tally in their "L" column this season.

Posted by: Dave at January 23, 2006 12:24 PM

I rather like the thoughts of Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary of Great Britain at the time of World War I, on happiness: that it consists not merely of having all that one wants, but also of not having all that one does not want. I can testify that the second condition is quite as important as the first.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at January 23, 2006 3:31 PM

If you haven't tried the Quilcene oysters at Shuckers (4th Ave, basement of the Olympic Hotel), you are missing a treat. Good microbrews and real horseradish to boot: highly recommended.

I took the opportunity to fertilize my lawn last weekend, with the first sunshine in many weeks. That simple act alone should guarantee many months of dry, rainless days...

Posted by: Dr Bob at January 24, 2006 11:33 AM

All too many think happiness is something you must stalk, kill, skin, and mount on the wall. Happiness is really something you invite to join you for as long as it wishes to stay.

Now, for a case of irony, consider that the AFC is being represented by an old NFL team, while the NFC is being represented by an old AFC team. :)

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at January 24, 2006 3:26 PM
Happiness, in the land of Deals, is measured on a sliding scale. What makes you happy? A long white silent car with smoked windows, with a chauffer and a stocked bar and beautiful objects of desire in the back seat? An apartment in the nice part of town? A kinder lover? A place to stand that's out of the wnd? A brief cessation of pain? It depends on what you have at the moment I ask the question, and what you don't have. Wait a little, just a little. The scale will slide again.
Emma Bull, Bone Dance.
Posted by: B. Durbin at January 25, 2006 10:00 PM