I woke up today wanting to have a good time. I think they call it “having fun.” I wasn’t sure what to do: I thought it might possibly be related to “enjoyment,” or “the absence of misery,” or “not having to work today, or not until later and then, not that hard.”
I got up before my phone alarm went off. I looked around my house for something fun. I realized, “I don’t know how to have fun,” or “I don’t know what would be fun,” and “my life isn’t set up for fun.” I concluded, “Shit, even simple pleasure escapes me.”
I tried smiling and my face fell off and I spent a discouraging day on the floor scrabbling around for the pieces, thinking what the fuck was I thinking? See? Just contemplating happiness has made me miserable. And then a question erupted from the relative silence of my bowels: could Happiness be the cause of Unhappiness?
If I hadn’t been thinking about “fun,” none of this bad shit, like trying to find my left cheek here on the floor, and not stepping on my eyes on my way to finding my eyebrows, and trying to put my skin back on my bones in something resembling a façade, and then realizing the mirror makes everything backwards. . .had I not been “rediscovering joy,” none of this would have ever happened, including the crooked smile on my forehead. No I don’t want to talk about it, thank you onslaught of new age healers.
Typically I am cowering in some existential corner, trying to survive the onslaught of life. Given the fact that I am set up pretty well in my world right now despite the IRS saying otherwise, this recoiling is somewhat ridiculous. I’ll bet the Syrians and Ukrainians and women who can’t get abortions, aren’t having a good “cower,” why should I? Sure, I am supposed to be grieving my mother’s death, but since no one is keeping an eye on me, I don’t have to unless I want to and right now I’d rather do anything other than feel bad. Even I have limits.
I know how to feel bad. I’m an expert at it. And I’m bored. Boredom, I’m ashamed to say, is my biggest motivator. Once, in my early twenties, I decided “screw this, I’m going to bed and never getting up again.” Four hours later I was up and around and chatting with my boyfriend on the sidewalk. Giving up was mindbogglingly tedious. I decided that if a major depressive episode couldn’t be more entertaining, than I just wasn’t going to participate. You can only do so much with grey.
Returning to the present, (or some facsimile thereof) I decided, firmly, that I would now attempt happiness. Drum roll please. Or, perhaps more meekly, as I said in a text to a friend, “I am now ready to heroically attempt some ‘non-committal enjoyment’.”
In order to embark upon the pursuit of happiness in a safe and informed manner, I turned to Laughing Coyote Productions resident psychological expert, Dr. Crabby Ass.
He promptly advised against it.
In his article “Doing Psychotherapy with the Impossible,” the renown Dr. Crabby Ass writes, “I’m a trained psychotherapist. I help people with happiness. Not how to get happiness, everyone knows THAT can’t be done, how to stay away from it. In the words of one my clients, ‘I don’t have time for happiness. It gets in the way of worrying, which leads to efficiency and getting things done. If I didn’t worry and have unattainable goals to keep me busy, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.’”
Another friend of mine, who lives in the Northwest was more subtle. She refers to the state of being in which a person feels a profound lack of unhappiness, as “The H word,” out of deference to its often dangerous effects. She wasn’t trying to discourage me, but hinted that the Big H (her other name for it) might be too much to shoot for especially if one is vulnerable to the Big D, depression.
Thus I spent the next few days trying to “Un” the “Unhappy”, as a way to make the endeavor safer for me, the result of which was a non-word that had way to many U’s in it which then suggested other things: UnUnhappy. Thus ended my dream of creating a safe word for The Big H.
Then Dr. Crabby Ass, with my best interest in mind, emailed me an article he wrote back in April 2014 in Pessimism Today entitled,
WHAT TO DO DURING AN OUTBREAK OF HAPPINESS
1. Don’t run. It will just chase you.
2. Stand still and make yourself as big as possible. Holding your arms over your head and waving them is known to be effective in some cases. Make Happiness think that you are bigger than it and that you may not be worth the trouble.
3. Don’t panic and run around screaming. Remember Happiness is probably more scared of you than you are of it.
4. Preparation. Think ahead before you leave the house. What might I need to have with me just in case happiness shows up unannounced? Carrying around a copy of Sartre’s “No Exit” is a proven method of fending off unwanted happiness. So is watching You Tube Videos about how Republican congresses in many states are closing down almost all the abortion clinics, thereby saving women (and men) from having to make the most important decision of their lives, and now babies can grow up with I had to have you stapled to their foreheads.
5. Visit your local Planned Parenthood (before it gets completed defunded) and learn about the causes of Happiness and various prophylactic measures that can be taken so that Unwanted Happiness just doesn’t even occur. Yes, you can prevent Joy with a bit of rubber and some water based lube.
6. Should you end up with some Happiness despite these measures, remember to talk to it in low measured tones. You don’t want it to get too excited.
7. Should Happiness come into your life, don’t feed it!
8. In the event you are experiencing uncalled for joy, keep an obnoxious family member or ex on speed dial. They can either talk the Happiness down over the phone, sometimes by merely breathing into it, or they can just show up on your doorstep, bringing with them their usual interpersonal toolkit that always makes you want to drive off the nearest bridge.
9. If you are close enough to work, this is the one instance where running from Happiness will probably be effective. Practice your wind sprints out in the yard beforehand, just in case.
10. As a preventive measure wear a mask and earplugs, so you don’t accidentally breathe in Happiness Cooties from those ridiculous sanguine yoga people, or hear the unmistakable mantra of the ‘infectious laugh.”
11. Stop reading the Laughing Coyote blog! Duh, that should have been obvious.
If Happiness continues to attack
12. Laugh in its face. That’ll disarm the smiley little fucker.
13. Carry a weapon. You know, like a pistol, or a semi-automatic. In a holster. Or around your neck, like a big metal pendant. When you are walking down the street and drinking a shotgun latte at Starbucks. (For the recipe of shotgun latte, post a comment).
Thus, if Happiness shows up, you can shoot it in the face and then claim you felt threatened. Yea Open Carry Laws!
14. Seek help. If you continue to feel assaulted by Happiness, there’s a support group for people like you: Jubiliation Anonymous.
Step 1: We admitted that we are powerless over Happiness and that our lives have become unmanageable.
Step 2: We came to believe a power greater than ourselves (Re: GUN pointed at my head) could restore us to reality…oops I mean, sanity…..
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our life back over to our Unresolved Suffering and Our Problems as We Understood them…..solutions are for pussies…
14. Or call the hotline: 1-800-WE-WHEEP. (Yes there’s an H in there for obvious, by now, reasons).
After all of this decision making and self-exploration and resolution creating and consulting, Laughing Coyote needs a nap.
I will continue to update you on the progress of the UnUnHappy Project….maybe those U’s aren’t so bad after all….