false positive

Infatuation is a fake out that rivals an inaccurate home pregnancy test.  It’s right up there with morphine or chocolate.  You get sugared up and giddy, becoming the idiot who smiles to herself on the subway.  I’ve seen these happy people and hoped I’d work up the courage to bitch-slap ‘em. 

“Get a goddamn room, lady.  It’s frickin’ bittercold, rank, and dampass outside, the bottoms of my jeans are wet, my hair is frizzed, and everything is too tight.  And now I have to go home and walk my dog.  Stop smiling; you have bad hair, tapered jeans, and you should get that mole removed.” 

I hate people who smile to themselves.  I caught myself doing it today in the reflection of a subway window.  Quit it Klein.  You’re becoming one of them.

It has taken me a long time to get here, to a place of real joy. What gives me happiness lately?  An afternoon at Barnes & Noble, an evening at a wine store, my cozy white bed with Linus on my lap watching the underdog win and the good nice boy getting the girl in all of my chick flicks, chasing after the sun to get the photograph, learning new words, afternoon tea with some David Sedaris, reading a stack of cookbooks, making lists, making a stuffed chicken for close friends while we play cranium and drink wine, working on my writing, and telling stories and hanging out with Chris.

So now I smile because I know after work, I’m going to see Linus, going to drink some wine, going to do some writing, and if I’m mad crazy, I’ll even have a Barnes & Noble run at it.  I know I want someone to share it all with, but I have a strong sense it won’t happen until the book is published.  So for now, I’m going to sit back and do my thing, enjoying the moments. I’ll try not to smile on my subway ride home though.

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  1. Miles Davis with a side of "A Love Supreme" by Coltrane, finishing the re-write on the manuscript, a big, tall gin double-martini (dry) next to the laptop, sunshine outside, the kids playing in the yard, watching them out my study window in between edits.

    Thanks for reminding me what counts in life. Sometimes I need a kick in the arse.

  2. What this isn't sharing…maybe not on an intimate level, but it's sharing.

    As for happiness…I always think of my happiness in terms of the Smashing Pumpkins's song "Muzzle". I think that's a good take on it, although you couldn't definitely say the song is about happiness.

    Also, happiness is all the things you listed, but it's also a choice. We don't have it so bad, be happy about that.

  3. What this isn't sharing…maybe not on an intimate level, but it's sharing.

    As for happiness…I always think of my happiness in terms of the Smashing Pumpkins's song "Muzzle". I think that's a good take on it, although you couldn't definitely say the song is about happiness.

    Also, happiness is all the things you listed, but it's also a choice, at least I think, from a "big picture level" A cloud's silver lining wouldn't exsist if you couldn't see it…I'm speaking in general terms, of course.

  4. I can fully agree with what you've said, don't people always seem to value things in life by how difficult it was? I know I never hear people say how easy or painless something was, from getting an oil change, to picking up groceries, to logging online-why would I expect anything else when it comes to dealing with relationships? I know I have "valued" some past relays that way, and I'm now single and wondering what is wrong with all the single women out there, just like you have wondered the same about all the single men out there.

    I have come to the conclusion that it iss all about the small, simple things in your life around you that make you smile, not someone, some idea (like life with a set person), or some place. Don't search for it, cause you will always be searching. Give everyone the chance, and if you feel the spark kindle it and see where it takes you. Whether or not it leads anywhere is fine-I would rather have lots of nice, unusual and interesting dates with different women with no regrets then to sit at home, wondering what went wrong.

    But good luck with everything Steph and keep it coming, I just came across your blog and I want to read/see more!

  5. Steph,

    Thanks for those thoughts. Sometimes when we don't take the time to analyze such things as "what makes me happy?", it's nice to have someone do it for you. The revelation that accomplishment was your chief source of happiness really hit home…

    Stay warm out there…

  6. What a great place to be at, isn't it? Here's to a wonderful new year filled with more stupid, silly grins and moments of clarity. Joy can be a beautiful thing if we stop to see that it's often right in front of us, just waiting to be recognized.

  7. You said it Jim. The key to that post was that some relationships seem better only because we work harder at them, which is a total contradiction. Any real happiness shouldnt require nearly the work we seem to put into things. I can saw, unequivocally, that happiness isnt being in love….it's being loved.

  8. SMILE LIKE A FOOL! Despite looking like a happy idiot- it makes you feel wonderful! The good news is the others that are smiling won't see you any different. And the bitter cynical crowd of frowns? They need to lighten up!

  9. Come on…I smiled on the train ride home tonight. I was thinking about everything great that I have going on in my life. People (ok women only and I can't complain about that) were looking at me and they started to smile. Is there something wrong with that? I don't think so. Happy People are what makes the world go round.

  10. Yep. Took me a long time to figure that out myself. Great post.

    Happy New Year :-)

  11. Smiling/laughing is absolutely infectious. A few years back, on the train out of the city, I was reading something that made me bust out laughing so hard and for so long, that within literally two minutes, everyone in my car had caught the bug. It was a great scene for those just getting on.

  12. About a year ago, as I emerged from the tunnel on a rushhour BART train (I live in the SF Bay Area), I noticed a HUGE rainbow stretching across the sky–kind of playing connect-the-dots with the Berkeley hills. Mind you, we were amid a very rainy stretch, and everyone was really cranky, so it figures that the passengers looked at me like I was crazy when I breached the commuter code of silence and said, "Hey everyone! Look up from your newspapers and check out that rainbow!"

    One lady shot me a look, another "shushed" me. Only one fine fella looked, and as he exited the train, thanked me for "sharing your rainbow with me."

    Rainbows are scarce enough–my take is that is is well worth looking up from your Wall Street Journal to appreciate.

  13. Twice (before I left S. FL for good) in two days I was lucky enough to look up from the mundane piece of shite we call life, and saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW. It was gigantic; it must've been dozens of miles long, across the sky.


  14. you look great despite the 31. what is that? size 6? 8 MAX? and a 28 will be a size 4, right? you look wonderful even if you don't think so and you are tall so that really helps. i know that ultimately YOU have to be okay with how you look because I do the same thing, no matter what other ppl say, I need to feel good about myself first. i also tend to hermit when i've gained weight. it's like "no, no, please don't look at me. don't ask me out. don't force me to look at the dress that i can't fit into anymore just so we can go out on a date." i TOTALLY understand. been there. somehow have gone back there recently. UGH.

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