Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is your happy too loud?

An important question if you think about. Which I have been lately--ever since I saw We Bought a Zoo.

In the story, 7-year-old Rosie can't sleep because the neighbors are always partying at the top of their lungs. Oh, and also because her mother recently died.

In one scene her dad tries to help her fall asleep. They're looking out the window watching the neighbors dance and laugh, and Rosie makes the most profound observation in the history of the world: Their happy is too loud.

Ain't that just the truth? When the volume on your sad goes up, suddenly everyone puts their happy on surround sound.

Why can't happy people just plug their headphones in once in a while?

I only say this because I live in Happy Valley. If I lived in Death Valley I would say, why can't the sad people push mute once in a while? And if I lived in Silicon Valley I would say, why can't the perfect people stop pumping up the volume on their implants?

(Wait, did I take that out of context?)

It's about balance, peeps. That's alls I'm sayin'.

(Wait, did you take that out of context?)

Balance your happy with your sad. And if you don't have your own sad, borrow someone else's. Believe me, there's plenty to go around. I've been borrowing other people's sad for the past several weeks and it works like a charm to take your happy down a few decibels.

You can borrow from the sad I'm borrowing if you want. I wouldn't mind some help carrying it.

Never mind. I probably shouldn't be lending out things that aren't mine. And anyway, we keep our sad on the down-low here in Utah. I think it's a Mormon thing.

Or is it?

I sometimes worry that Mormons are trying to corner the market on happiness, and maybe that's why Utah is the most depressed state (not to mention the most stressed state). Think about it logically; not only is it capitalistic, it's also depressing (and stressful) to be as happy as a clam all the time (even if you think you're shaping pearls).

Dang oxymormons.

Take me, for instance. I'm a Mormon. Oh yes I am. and if you want to study a Mormon I'm a living specimen. (Not like a bug-pinned-wriggling-to-the-wall specimen, but a religious specimen.)

Feel free to study me. To do as I'm doing. Then follow, follow me.

As a child I learned that no one likes a frowny face. So I changed it to a smile. I quickly turned it upside down, then smiled all the while.

But then I started getting cavities.

Not from smiling, from watching other people smile. Which is the reason I started blogging. My teeth were practically falling out of my mouth from hearing about everyone's wonderful husbands and wonderful lives and wonderful children, and I realized someone needed to step up and help fight the tooth decay.

(You're welcome. And don't forget to floss.)

It was easy to fight tooth decay when I lived in Hawaii because everyone's happy was way too loud, but then so was their sad, and their mad and their bad. I once witnessed a man beat his grandson up at ward camp for smoking pakalolo and laying on top of his girlfriend in the bushes.

During testimony meetings it wasn't uncommon to hear people get up and say they wished they could leave their spouses, or stop screaming at their children. Of course no one ever did leave their spouses or stop screaming at their children.

They were just sayin'.

I've never heard anyone in Happy Valley say they wish they could leave their spouses or stop screaming at their children, but then they do stop screaming at their children, and oh my, do they ever leave their spouses! Do. They. Ever. Seen it with my very own eyes.

Also seen way too many people here leave their lives, or try to leave their lives--as in shuffle off this mortal coil of their own volition--although I've never heard them say they wanted to.

But then maybe I wasn't listening because my happy was too loud.



Becca said...

You know the people who turn up their happy so loud, just so they can hear it over their sad? That's a sad paradox, I think. And I think I do it sometimes. Manic, I guess normal people call it.

2busy said...

I try to keep my happy and sad in balance, but I rarely let people see the sad. I mute it...It's my business. Just sayin' ;)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Becca, me too.

2busy, me too.

Kazzy said...

Happy can be like thick frosting on a lopsided cake. Too too sweet!

DeNae / SHP said...

Is it because we're told over and over again that admitting we're sad, or frustrated, or angry, or uncertain, or scared that maybe everything we've been told over and over again was bad advice -- is a bad thing to do because it makes other people feel that way? So, we hide all that other stuff so we aren't responsible for anyone else's bad feelings, only to make them feel bad because they're pretty sure they're the only ones feeling bad.

Do we have to own that, too?

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I have to admit I have kind of withdrawn from cyberspace for this very reason. I is bad enough when people you interact with in real life have booming happiness, but adding so much more can be deafening. Real or not real?

Momza said...

The people who inspire me the most are those that share their real life experiences and how they got thru the hard ones. People with plastic faces are uninteresting to me. I have nothing in common with them. Life is mostly messy...those that pretend it's not do a disservice to those around them. My Messy is Loud.

Martha said...

Did you see this? This is from today:

Does Amer. Fork count?

Ok, I'm trying to stay in balance.

Happy: Rachel won her tennis match this morning!! Josh is getting Mel priesthood. Adam just got transferred. Perry's getting his 20 year award.

Sad: Jimmy complains nonstop! I have 4 problems with my knee 1. medial meniscus tear, 2. lateral meniscus tear, 3. ACL tear, 4. fracture of some round bone that I don't remember what it's called. Surgery is March 23th. Crutches for another month after that. NO FUN!

You did see this article right?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

First of all, Martha, ha ha You always make me laugh, even in your agony. I guess one whiney kid out of six ain't bad. ha ha But your POOR KNEE! Oh my goodness, you tore practically every iscus you could tear. Yay for Rach, Josh, Adam and Perry.

I laughed over the article that Provo-Orem is the most optimistic city in the country. ha ha ha ha That is classic awesomeness. I also got a kick out of the fact that Utah is only the 4th happiest state, behind North Dakota???? And Minnestota??? What do ND and MN have that we don't have? ;)

Where do you find these articles? I wonder if there is a Gallup pole about which state has the LOUDEST happy. We might beat ND and MN on that one. Don't know if we could every beat HI.

808, baby.

MOMZA, Amen. And amen. Perfectly put. I love that your messy is loud.

NUTTY, hugs. I hear you LOUD and clear. ;)

DeNae, mmmhmmm, we have to own that too. I think you're on to something.

And ftr, I forgot to include the primary song "If you're happy and you know it . . . "

How can our happy not be loud?

Sandi said...

You and Martha make me happy. Loud happy.

Funny Farmer said...

"And if I lived in Silicon Valley I would say, why can't the perfect people stop pumping up the volume on their implants?"

You DO know the difference between silicon and silicone, right? I'm thinking you do. Right? ;-)

Sigh... I think you have once again nailed the happy/sad thing on the head. I keep my sad pretty quiet, but even my happy isn't particularly loud. I just wanna go dig in the dirt and talk to myself. Is that so bad?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Funny Farmer, Yes. Yes, I do know that difference--technology/techsmology. ;) But maybe Crash doesn't, and that's why she always wonders if she's taking things out of context.

I know exactly how you feel. Except for the digging in the dirt part. I can't wait until I finally grow up and get to that stage of coping.

SANDI! LY! MY! you make me LOUD happy too. Extremely LOUD (and incredibly CLOSE).

IWA (e - va) said...

Is it weird that i went through almost every stage of grief reading this.. it did start with laughing and ended in tears.. weird.. maybe i just need to go bare my testimony! LOL!

Another thought provoking post! Thanks!

I am LoW said...

But.. .but... but... in defense of happy blogs and happy (seemingly) people... I don't want to read negative blogs. The ones that leave me frustrated or mad or sad, I get that in my own life as is. It's all around me. So why add more in my free time?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

LoW, exactly! Case in point.

Actually I agree. My point wasn't to be louder with your sad, rather to be
more sensitive to others sad. And be careful how we package our happy. (And our sad).

Drink more Coke. It's the REAL thang.

Iwa, HUGS.

I'm actually so happy to see both of you here.

Jami said...

In a limited time world, I find myself gravitating to the people who need me (or seem to) which is why sometimes the world can seem like a very sad and needy place.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you? Just sounds like a little too much attention to me. And all dem billions of people laughing--too loud. Way too loud.

Mariko said...

Pam was just in Utah, visiting Sienna. She said, as soon as she saw me, "We live in an amazing place."


You're not making a very good case for Utah, though, Crash. Work on that.