I’ve always said that happiness is a quiet thing, needs no attention called to itself; it’s only the ranting and grumbling (I would be willing to argue for the sake of positive criticism, but few are willing to hear me out) that’s heard. So I’ve resolved to come up with this list of happy things that make me cheerful and my cheeks positively rosy.
First of is pink, not really more of the color, but of what it reminds me of.
Remember the hue and texture of Bazooka bubble gum? And the fold-out comic strip that comes with each piece?
I’d save up all my coins when I was a kid and would run to the neighborhood store to hoard their stock of chewy pink. Then I would put them all in my mouth – whatever could fit – so I could blow the biggest sticky bubble. Then I would trade comic strips with my friends whenever I’d get doubles.
Second would be flowers.
Of course, who wouldn’t want to receive roses from their special someone?
But what makes me even happier are the type that you could either pound and mix in with soap to make better bubbles (hibiscus) or the fragile, pinwheel-shaped santan, which each gives a drop of sweet nectar once you pull out the stamen.
Third would be ice cream, the fruttier the better.
Yes, I like chocolate, but what brings back more memories – not to mention cools down the body during summer – are those flavors with vivid or soothing colors. Watermelon, mango, strawberry, melon. The less cream the better (ie sorbet). Though I’d make an exception for cheese and corn (both yellow), even if they’re not fruits. (Have you noticed my top three happy thoughts are all sticky?)
Fourth would be ghost stories.
I know it sounds strange, but I like hearing those old tales from my grandmother – not merely just to scare myself, but to expand my imagination. This entry includes anything that has to do with mysteries and the occult.
In grade school, my favorite section in the library had shelves full of books on miracles and the paranormal. I could only borrow three books every week. Whatever I’d chance upon that interested me, beyond what I already had in my bag, I’d hide at the backs or gaps of shelves. I know it sounds selfish, but I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to read them if I let other kids check them out first.
Fifth would be coloring.
I know what you’re naughty mind is thinking (“coloring” as meant by Carrie in Sex and the City). Though that would be part of my list, what I’m pertaining to refers to crafts and art materials – anything that would bring out my creativity.
I mean, who didn’t go crazy with their first 64-color box of crayons? Or those plastic carousels that carried craypas, colored pencils, pentel pens, and many other things besides?
I guess this also includes Lego and other toys that involved any building. Later on these would become wood, beads, and bamboo. Projects both for art/practical class and the theatre would keep me awake into the wee hours.
Sixth would be candy. I know, sweets again. But I don’t think I can bunch together Skittles, Nerds, and Gobstoppers with Sea Salt Caramel. It just wouldn’t be fair. A handful of sweets would lift any cloudy day.
My seventh happy thing also involves stories, though not those told to children to frighten them into bed.
Growing older, I’ve come to recognize who my real friends are: those that will listen to both my gossip and my problems.
Let’s just say number seven involves companionship and sharing (an improvement!).
I don’t know if my eighth item would count, but I will have to include walking. Depending on the distance, it can also be called travelling.
I’ve been fairly consistent: my childish love for the paranormal and fantastical has moved on to a love of general otherness. Other places, other people, other cultures.
I know, it’s still basically about stories.
Which brings me to my ninth and final (there are more) happy thing: reading and writing.
Reading and writing, or imbibing and sharing. In short: receiving and creating (what wasn’t there to begin with).
Isn’t happiness so simple? Blowing bubbles, seeing and smelling flowers in all their scent and color – then recalling and sharing memories that took shape in our senses?