What? You’re NOT happy?!?

Some time ago I was walking down the street with my mom.  It was a Friday night and we had just seen a comedy show to try to cheer ourselves up.  We were sad because my father had just died, very suddenly, very unexpectedly, and (in our opinion) too soon.  A group of bikers zipped by us – not distance bikers or triathletes, but just people out for a fun, evening ride, meandering around the city.  One of them circled back to us and slowed down.

With no hello or other introductory greeting, he asked us, “Are you happy?”  A bit surprised, and wanting simply for him to go away, I lied and said, “Yeah.  You?”  He said, “Yes.”  I said, “Great.”  And he rode on.  I don’t know if he was actually trying to spread some happiness, but it didn’t feel that way, because he didn’t actually DO anything that might make a stranger happy.  He seemed smug to me, and his question seemed an accusation or a test, as if “yes” were the only right answer. As if there were something wrong with being sad.

So here’s what I’d like to say to the next biker who feels the need to slow down when he or she happens to see me walking sadly down the street:  If you want to buy me an ice cream or give me a hug or tell me a joke, go for it.  And, thank you, in advance.  But don’t ask me if I’m happy.  Because, shit, buddy, I’ve been happy LOTS.  But I’ve also been sad lots.  Sometimes I don’t even need a reason.  This (American?) obsession with constant happiness is tiring.  And if you can’t let people be sad once in a while without hassling them, well, then

Fuck You.

4 Responses to “What? You’re NOT happy?!?”

  1. Amy Says:

    My first impulse is to buy you an ice cream. Not to make you happy, but maybe to mitigate your pain. What’s your favorite flavor?

  2. tb Says:

    chicken sausage! 😉

    and thank you, amy.

  3. Amy Says:

    How did I not see that coming?

  4. Coco J. Ginger Says:

    Oh T, I just ADORE this to pieces. I could not agree more. I feel you said what so many people have tried to say. Bravo.

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