It’s fine. Don’t get me wrong. A drug that could make us happy might be all right. That’s why so many people like heroin or ecstasy or alcohol or whatever. But for me, just me, I don’t want a drug that makes me happy. If I have to have something to be happy, Mrs. M knows exactly what I want and she says “good night, sad boy.” Kidding. She doesn’t always say that. Mostly it’s just “I’m going to bed, good night.” She says she loves me in the morning, but normally doesn’t speak the language my brain needs to hear. I wish she was bilingual, speaking both her own love language and mine. Alas, she tries, sometimes, and far too occasionally, but speaks with a really difficult to understand accent most of the time.
I don’t want a drug that makes me happy. She wishes I did. If I took a drug that made me happy and feeling fa la la (la la, la la, la la) all day it might be great. For her. But what about what’s making me not happy? Or, what about what I need, or want, that would make me happy?
Needs and wants, needs and wants. It’s the ongoing wrestling match between me and the world and between me and God if you will, because Paul claimed,
Philippians 4:19 (new international version)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”:
Christ followers quickly jump on my case and tell me that if my “needs” aren’t met it’s because I don’t “need” them. To which, the only appropriate response -or is it inappropriate? – seems to be a hearty “Fuck you.”
If God doesn’t think I need what I think I need then let God fix my brain so I only want what I need. And further, let God fix my brain so getting what I need is enough to make me happy.
I don’t want a drug that makes me happy. I want a life that makes me happy. If I got what I wanted, I might be happy. I say “might,” because I know a lot of people , a few of which seem to have everything they want, and I honestly don’t know if it makes them really happy. And there are performers out there, whose lives went under microscopes because they suicided while seeming to have everything they wanted and obviously that wasn’t enough to make them happy.
I’m being a bit selfish, maybe. In no particular order, here are 10 things that, having all of them, might make me happy, and I do want all of them:
10: reciprocal affections from Mrs. M- top of the list, because I may be old but I’m not dead. As with the above suggestion of how it would be nice if God made me want just what I needed and provided the same per the written promise, it would also be nice if she wanted what I wanted and vice versa and we met each other reciprocally.
9: freedom to date and romance Mrs. M- next on the list because it would just be nice to be able to go out once in a while without worrying about the bank account. Dating and romance might lead to #10, I say “might” because she might still be too tired to indulge my whims, not to mention the whole love language miscommunication issue. I’m somewhat thankful here, that she hasn’t mentioned any plans to kick me to the curb, but the bank account issue brings us to
8: freedom to choose my menu instead of always having to eat on the cheap. Yes, (fuck you,) there are starving children who don’t have choices, but this is my list and it’s intent is indulging ME. And yes, there is a dollar menu, I’m acquainted with that and it’s sometimes acceptable, but sadly I am more acquainted with instant cup of soup and ramen than I want to be.
7: freedom to pay bills on time, every time- I’m somewhat thankful here because the electric company hasn’t shut off the power, and the banks aren’t repossessing my shit. But I would be happy if I were not on the cliff side looking down and waiting expectantly for the next avalanche. I’m also thankful that more shit hasn’t fallen apart, but with that decay in mind I would currently like to have
6: freedom to fix
-teeth- something I’m somewhat thankful for, I don’t hurt often or much but these cracked teeth are a bitch. It would be nice to get dental implants, but for the moment I’d just like to have the remaining fragments removed properly to avoid infection.
5: -cars – something I’m somewhat thankful for, they both run and get us from A to B. We’re both due for oil changes, but it’d also be quite nice to get the chronic check engine light off on her car.
4: -heat- the heat exchange has cracked, which means CO emissions are possible, potentially leaking into the house if we run it. It’s currently shut off. We spent our savings on the damned AC already, something I’m also somewhat thankful for is that we were able to afford that somehow before the global warming fries us all, and also thankful that near the end of the cold season we didn’t all die from CO leakage.
3: time and energy to
-finish a project. Those who share my twisted joy that Dexter is still on Netflix will share a grim grin and a slight cringe recalling a quote, “I’m taking on a project.” (Season 4) So yet another thing I’m thankful for. But I have taken on a few projects that need focus and inspiration, and time, to finish, and I need time and focus and inspiration to finish them. Two projects are creative in nature but I just can’t get away long enough to do anything I feel is worthwhile. I hear you telling me to divide it up and do one small section at a time, and I wish that was how it worked. In fact, I wish I knew how it worked so I could work it. The other projects are repair and maintenance projects and they’re ongoing and they steal what energy I might otherwise devote to the creative.
2. -clean neglected areas of the house. When I’m on my way to somewhere, the dirty dishes in the sink call to me. When I’m on my way out, and have to visit my bathroom, I always notice it- the floor looks dusty. When I’m fixing food or washing dishes, the kitchen floor needs sweeping and mopping. When I’m headed to some required appointment, I observe that the carpets are really in need of replacement but I’ll settle for shampooing them, and when I’m exhausted and fall into bed I’m aware there is dust on the ceiling fan and on the things in my bedroom, and clutter that needs putting away. With this in mind, I am grateful to have a home in need of grooming, which brings us to my next happiness inducer, time and energy to
1. -groom and schedule myself. It might be nice if my schedule were regimented. Wake, shit, shower, shave, breakfast, write, work, exercise, dinner, chores, errands, projects, write, sex, sleep, sex, sleep. But even if I tried such regimen there would be interruptions and denials of access that would drive my compulsivity batshit. I realize the trip to batshit is a short one, shut up. So maybe regimented with the freedom to lapse if I need to, or if I choose to. Also, there are things in life that one can’t schedule, which makes the whole idea impossible to achieve until or unless I am free to do “what I want, when I want (to whomever I want,” another Dexter reference that just popped in my head to make me laugh at myself-season 3). And then, if I were free, would I do it? So I’m grateful yet again for a few things- a) that I’m able to laugh at myself, b) that Mrs. M doesn’t obsess too much over my physical appearance or my wardrobe choices and c) hasn’t kicked me to the curb in favor of someone closer to prepackaged perfection in those areas. I saw a girl (I say, “girl,” but she was in her late 20s or early 30s, whatever, they’re all too young and I’m all too married for any of that) on Sunday who obviously has nothing but time on her hands. She had her eyebrows perfect, and her eye makeup perfect and her dressy-casual outfit perfect, and she was talking to her perfect friends who were scheduling the perfect lunch after church. I looked over at my wife, and with no free time on her hands had herself nearer to perfection than any other woman could under the same circumstances. She rocks. Damn, I’m a lucky man, how the fuck did I win Mrs. M?
0. Yup, “Oops, I did it again.” another list of 10 that has 11. I want the freedom to intervene on behalf of friends who(m? my grammar sensibilities are shut off at the moment, so if it’s wrong, sorry) I know are in greater need than me. But I can’t because I’m swamped with my own issues. There’s no money, there’s no time, there’s no extra margin. So all I get to do is pray and hope my prayers on their behalf are answered better than prayers on my own behalf are answered. I bought a $1 fucking lottery ticket, with an exchange rate of 1:203,000,000. Sounds great, if it pays me. And when I win, I’ll see about this damned list. And yes, I’m somewhat grateful that I had a $1 lingering in my wallet so I could have my one shot at the jackpot. We’ll see. Freedom is a dream devoutly to be wished, and I’m wishing.