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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

170

The Eternal Happiness Checklist

Mary Claire Orenic is rich, thin, successful, and in love with her husband. She has a tall son, a nice house, and a relaxed mom. She is "the happiest woman in America." This is her secret; may she live forever.

170 Comments / Post A Comment

lil_bobbytables

This is clearly a flawed list. Everyone knows that the only true secret to happiness is to have a daily bath in virgin's blood. #BáthoryorBust

cat of the canals

@lil_bobbytables As long as you pace yourself and don't run out of lowly peasants to sacrifice...All in moderation.

Cawendaw

@cat of the canals Also make sure you forgive any debts to the King of Hungary.

annepersand

@lil_bobbytables There's a hashtag I never knew I needed 'til now.

antarcticastartshere

"Short commute, under 10 minutes"

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Lauren Hayden

@antarcticastartshere My commute is literally two hours each way. If I don't get approved to telecommute, I guess I'm gonna have to burn this mother down to achieve true happiness.

antarcticastartshere

@Lauren Hayden MINE TOO. Also I think even if I moved back into the city (which you better believe I am going to), I would have to move into the strip club down the street to have a ten minute commute.

angermonkey

@Lauren Hayden Man, I would LOSE MY SHIT. I live in a small college town and I work 2.1 miles from my office, door to door. It's an 8 minute commute. 15 if I get stuck behind the Amish, and that extra 7 minutes ENRAGES me.

What I'm saying is that I'm doomed to this provincial lifestyle forever because real cities (like the one where I grew up) would kill me. I don't know how people with 45+ min commutes each way do it.

oh, disaster

@antarcticastartshere @antarcticastartshere Two hours each way?! I thought my one hour each way for my first post-college job was bad. I don't know if I could handle four hours in a car every single day.

antarcticastartshere

@angermonkey The drinking (AFTER my two hour commute home!) helps. Also reminding myself that at least I am not one of those crazy fuckers driving in from Connecticut.

Polina

@angermonkey I moved away from my provincial lifestyle for a little while and that was the thing I missed the most. Don't get me wrong, I love the city...but when you've had a super rough day at work, your feet hurt and you're counting like 20 subway stops before you can just exit the station...well you get the picture. You just want to go home.

Lauren Hayden

@andrea disaster Well, it's four hours on a bike/bus/train hybrid. In my frugal, environmentally self-righteous refusal to drive I've kind of done this to myself.

Megasus

@antarcticastartshere Or just work at the strip club down the street.

frigwiggin

@angermonkey Same here. This place is kind of terrible but at least I can ride my bike to work in ten minutes?

oh, disaster

@Lauren Hayden Ahh, okay. I live in a car-heavy city, so when I hear commute I automatically think rush hour traffic. No matter how you get there, it's still a huge time suck.

bangs
bangs

@angermonkey My current commute is a 15 minute walk across downtown, I pass 3 Starbucks. At my last work site, my bunk and washroom was in the office trailer, so it was a 0 minute commute, but I had to go to the next trailer over to get coffee and breakfast.

cosmia

@Lauren Hayden Same! Well, an hour and a half each way on a good day. ON A GOOD DAY. Lord save me come winter.

sarah girl

Aaaaahhhhh why did this make me so angry

QuiteAmiable

@Sarah H. Me too! I'm sorry, but my life is not complete without chocolate, trashy magazines, and a drunken-binge every once in a while.

Bebe

@QuiteAimable Yes, I see that the checklist leaves off "has easy access to wine, chocolate, and mindless entertainment." How can you be happy without those things?

rayray

@Bebe Yeah seriously, where is 'eats at least 5 different kinds of cheese per week'?

Bebe

@rayray Obviously, we need a new checklist for eternal Hairpin Happiness. (Hairpinyness?) So far, we have:

-Easy access to alcohol, chocolate, and mindless entertainment
-Eats at least 5 different kinds of cheese per week
-Has adequate time to laugh alone with a salad once a week
-Qream

What else?

rayray

@Bebe Decent internet access to ensure connection to other Pinners, of course! And/or regular Pin-ups.

Ophelia

@NorthernLights Baking soda, tiny houses?

rayray

@Ophelia Death-proof swimming pools, anthropomorphised animals, beauty tutorials.

SarcasticFringehead

@Bebe A shorter than 10-minute commute to the nearest doll museum?

QuiteAmiable

@Bebe Should also add: Constant access to Robyn music videos.

sox
sox

@Bebe So I'll see all y'all in the Breakup Bunker, Eternal Hairpinyness Wing?

JessicaLovejoy

@Bebe Unlimited hummus.

cosmia

@Sarah H. All three seasons of Arrested Development on blu-ray.

Yatima

@Sarah H. PONIES.

Yankee Peach

So if I don't want to live in Manhattan Beach, does that mean I will never be happy?

melis

Obviously she murdered her father.

parallel-lines

@melis I secretly hope her kids and husbands hate the smug bitch.

frigwiggin

@melis She suffered a "brief depression after her father died" because she didn't off her mother too.

Ophelia

@figwiggin But it was only brief, and now she's right back to normal, cheering on the sidelines of the soccer game.

Polina

@figwiggin Didn't Don Draper say that grief is self-indulgent?

frigwiggin

@Ophelia Go team!

frigwiggin

@Polina Well, you know, it is. Those tears might make it harder to see your mom's throat before you slit it.

slutberry

@melis yeah, that bugged me a bit. In my sociology of mental disorder class, we learned that one of the criteria for diagnosing clinical depression is that the patient has not had a loved one die recently. So, that wasn't depression, that was grief. It is a thing that happens. If someone you love dies and you bounce out of bed all chipper and perky the next morning... yeah, I think you're suppressing something.

melis

@Polina Grief, talking, laughing, gesturing expansively, looking at things.

ohpioneer

i feel like mary claire often laughs alone with salad...

punkahontas

@ohpioneer That might be the REAL secret to well-being. And it's been right in front of our noses all this time!!!

ohpioneer

@punkahontas i'm never going to be happy! i hate salad AND laughing...

punkahontas

@ohpioneer Hmm. What about working out six days a week?

Bebe

So, well-off, employed, white people living in a temperate climate are happy? What a stunning development!

atipofthehat

@Bebe

“Then it is dark; it is a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains.”
― John Cheever

Magpie Shinies

@Bebe But you know, it just doesn't build CHARACTER ;)

(I've developed a LOT of character after 3 MN winters...)

julia

Secret to happiness: white privilege with all the bourgeois amenities! PAY ATTENTION, POORS!

and ps the category of this post is perfect. +1

cmcm

@julia Money doesn't buy happiness, but being poor DEFINITELY MAKES YOU MISERABLE. Science says so.

NorthernLights

@julia Happiness is a warm ... bank account?

julia

Oh, and I am just jealous. Not totally joking.

angermonkey

@julia Actually, finally getting out of grad school and getting a job that paid me enough to not only make rent, but put a little away and actually go on vacations occasionally went a LONG way towards fighting my depression. Seriously, it did more than drugs.

That constant nagging fear that you're going to struggle FOREVER is pretty goddamned exhausting.

julia

@angermonkey I live that constant nagging fear right now but rationally know that I will be Fine in a few years. I agree that financial stability does a lot to help mental health & well-being, but the "you can do this no matter your demographic!" thing gets me because it just furthers merit myths about achievement (and what "achievement" is, even).

angermonkey

@julia Oh, no, I totally get what you're saying about the "no matter what! BOOT STRAP THAT SHIT!" mentality. It is easier for me because I'm a white middle class woman and I'm aware of that. Those gaps and hurdles to achievement are smaller in the US than in other countries (if I were a girl in some village in Malawi my story would be different), but the gaps and hurdles are still present.

gigglefest

@julia Hahaha my first thoughts exactly. "She's at the peak of a mountain..... OF PRIVILEGE."

cmcm

Wait, so if I'm not age 45-55 does that mean I'm not happy?

Perhaps I misinterpreted something...

MoonBat

@cmcm We'll understand when we're older.

Kristen

Actually, what blew my mind the most about this article was the obvious yet counterintuitive fact that women between the ages of 45 and 55 are the largest demographic constituency in America. Shouldn't they have more than "More" magazine and the CBS evening lineup pandering to them? The entire pop/advertising culture should bow under the weight of their demographic power. I want mom jeans and sensible haircuts to be redefined as the epitome of sex appeal, and the Lifetime network to become the new HBO.

Selfishly, I also want to be able to look forward to more than a decade of cultural relevance; I wish this weird niggling whisper that once I turn 45 I'm also going to turn invisible would go away, and that the "happiness" I could look forward to upon turning 45 would have to do with something other than being wealthy and having an elliptical in my garage.

Bebe

@Kristen I like to think that the pop/advertising culture doesn't bow to them because - hopefully - one is smarter and more savvy by age 45, and doesn't fall for the obvious pandering and manipulation as easily as one does while in the beloved 18-24 demographic.

Or, we really do just turn into a puff of smoke at the stroke of midnight on our 45th birthdays. Time will tell!

City_Dater

@Kristen

I am probably closer to that demographic than you are, and for the record: I do not own and would not wear "mom jeans," have never had a "sensible haircut," and do not watch Lifetime except in passing to note that Meredith Baxter is still looking pretty good.

And there are a whole LOT of extremely visible women currently in that demographic; perhaps you aren't noticing becuase you think they're younger, since they aren't frumps, home watching CSI.

kayjay

@Bebe I'm kind of looking forward to turning into a puff of smoke at 45. Because then I can do whatever the fuck I want since nobody's paying attention, anyway.

Oh, wait, they're not now? Sweet. I'm going to wear a moo-moo and galoshes and call it a day.

Kristen

@City_Dater Maybe! And I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be offensive, and I can see how it came off that way. BUT, while I have no doubt that there are lots of women doing fabulous things post-45, I have to say that I don't feel like their lives are being aggressively marketed to me as the epitome of cultural relevance and cool. If doing cool things makes them "seem younger," that I guess that's what I mean? That they don't own cool, even when they embody it?

Indeed, having just turned 30, and having gone into hyper-drive awareness of the way _that_ decade manifests itself in the culture, I sometimes have a hard time believing that any women in their thirties do ANYTHING other than agonize over the choice between their careers and their marriages. This, despite that fact that no one I know is actually facing that choice at the moment.

But again, sorry for a comment that came off as overly youth-centric and dismissive.

Mingus_Thurber

@Kristen I'm 42, and I don't see women my age in the media much, either. Not that I'm a huge consumer of pop culture as it is, but I would think that more than one or two magazines a month (not including "O") would have women over 40 on their covers.

Your comment didn't seem dismissive to me, by the way. I had the same head-scratching reaction you did. I guess. . .hm. I guess part of the reason that "we" aren't as obviously visible is that we're doing too many different things? or doing things that aren't media-glamorous? or something?

Bebe

@Mingus_Thurber @kristen @City_Dater : Maybe the disconnect lies in that the pop culture/advertising worlds are so far behind in their portrayal of this particular age group - they do, in fact, portray women 40 and up as mom-jean wearing, sensible-haircut having, Lifetime watching ladies. That may have been true a generation or so ago, but isn't accurate now. Maybe that's why there aren't more magazines like More - they aren't as successful because women are not really seeing their realities accurately reflected in the media, and therefore don't consume it as much as someone younger whose immediate concerns are more accurately addressed.

It seems like the only time women in their 40s or beyond are portrayed in the media as the epitome of sex appeal or coolness it's always some impossibly beautiful and talented movie star living a fabulous and unattainable life, accompanied by a patronizing, "OMG, she looks so wonderful FOR HER AGE" subtext. Which contributes to everyone's overall impression that being happy/sexy/succesful/relevant post-40 is as common as a unicorn.

Ophelia

@Mingus_Thurber Interestingly, I do think advertisers have *started* to pick up on the fact that adults are a key demographic - but it's specifically for things like cars and such. Like those car commercials where the teenager is worried because her parents only have 5 facebook friends, but they're out mountain-biking in the real world? Kind of irritatingly transparent, but at least it was a new/clever gimmick.

That said, I do still see a lot more aimed at me (30) or younger. Maybe there's still the underlying assumption that young = everyone's aspiration?

Inkling

@kayjay That reminds me of a great scene from Six Feet Under, in which the mother and her middle-aged lady friend are out shopping. The lady friend shoplifts some clothing and explains that no one pays attention to women of their age--they're harmless and invisible. I thought that was a cool way to get back at a society that pretends you're not there, etc etc, shoplift all the things.

punkahontas

I'm glad her son is tall. If he was short, it would have RUINED EVERYTHING.

Cawendaw

@punkahontas Suddenly, I have a new excuse for everything. EVERYTHING.
Or maybe my parents do. Not sure, actually.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@punkahontas I just called my mom and apologized for being 5'6''.

She hung up on me :'(

Pixley

@punkahontas He is one of the things pulling her down! She is supposed to have no children under eighteen, so he is a drag on her happiness for another whole year, poor thing. But at LEAST he is TALL and ATHLETIC.

punkahontas

@Pixley He probably does all chores without complaining too. He mows the lawn while she and her husband sit in the yard in matching bathtubs.

@short sons: If your moms were happier, you wouldn't BE short. It's totally not your fault. It's a sad, self-perpetuating cycle.

parallel-lines

This confirms that being a skinny white person is the MOST IMPORTANT THING ON EARTH.
I'd jump on board but have you seen the withered death mask that is Bethenny Frankel lately? Good lord, pass the mac & cheese.

kayjay

@parallel-lines I wanted to comment on this about how I've been both fat and skinny and fat ended up being more fun because to be skinny I had to smoke, drink and cry a lot, but I'm scared to! I'm not sizest! Being skinny just didn't work out the way I'd hoped!

Save some mac and cheese for me.

parallel-lines

@kayjay I don't mean to be sizist, I'm just exhausted and bored with the parade of perfect skinny wealthy white women telling me how I'm living my life all wrong.

kayjay

@parallel-lines You didn't come off as sizist (sorry for the typo). I feel the exact same way. Let's split a birthday cake sometime.

parallel-lines

@kayjay Whipped cream on fudgie the whale, of course?

punkahontas

@kayjay You don't even understand how happy I was when I bought a Carvel Ice Cream cake from the grocery store freezer for NO REASON. (Except to eat it.)

Maybe I'll get to be the happiest woman in the world next, and they'll write about ME.

punkahontas

@parallel-lines Oops! That fudgie the whale comment wasn't there when I wrote mine. I guess you guys DO understand. I should have known I'd be understood here.

atipofthehat

@punkahontas

Tom Carvel was happy. He started his business at 26 when a doctor found "a spot on his lung" and told him he had a few months left to live. He borrowed money, bought a truckload of ice cream, and when it started to melt, sold it as NEW! soft ice cream. I heard a radio interview with him when he was an old man; when he was asked about the spot on his lung, he said in that gravel voice: "I don't bother it, and it doesn't bother me."

punkahontas

@atipofthehat The best part is, he SHARED his happiness. Not like that bitch, Mary Claire.

kayjay

@punkahontas I've...actually never done that, sadly. Bring on Cookie Puss!

madge

@punkahontas hahaha for a second i thought you said "Maybe I'll get to eat the happiest woman in the world next," and i was totally on board.

for the record: also on board with laughing alone with ice cream cake.

punkahontas

@madge Laughing alone with ice cream cake at least makes SENSE! Seriously, salad?

@kayjay I suggest you put in on your bucket list. And then do it this week.

atipofthehat

@punkahontas

No, no, the BEST part is that all of the cakes come out of the SAME MOLD !

Ophelia

@punkahontas Once, I bought one, and the person who does the icing at the grocery store wasn't there (it was 11pm), so the guy behind the bakery counter let me decorate it myself! I didn't tell him that I was just going to go home and eat it.

Cawendaw

"...a tall son"
I'm sorry parents! I'm so sorry!
Wait, actually I can fix this. Anyone know a good stiltwalking school?

Bebe

@Cawendaw Technically, it's all your parents' fault if you aren't tall or a boy - why didn't they give you taller or more masculine genes? They should be apologizing to YOU.

Cawendaw

@Bebe On the bright side, my family's genes always win the limbo contest at the Everyone's Genes Christmas Party.

Ophelia

@Cawendaw You just didn't TRY hard enough, dear. If only you'd apply yourself.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Cawendaw: Fun, horrifying fact: height is such strong social marker in certain asian countries that men sometimes undergo painful, extremely long bone lengthening surgeries to gain up to an inch and a half in height, for around $40k.

kayjay

I got about three paragraphs in before I realized I was shouting "Shut up Shut UP SHUT UP!!!" at the top of my lungs.

pugpenny

This article makes me want a drink and a smoke. Oh and by the by, I am in this demographic, quite happy with my life and it looks NOTHING like this bland whitebread WASP's.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

All I have to say (in my angriest Christian Bale voice) to Mary Claire Orenic is, "OHHHHHHHHH, GOOOOOOOOOD for YOUUUUUUUU."

Dorothea

but at least it's not a story about how we would be happier if feminists hadn't tricked us in to getting jobs?!

Polina

Naw, she's made up.

glitterary

@Polina Yup. Her name is the name of a women's magazine that tells you how to live your life. I call subliminal marketing.

leonstj

It kind of doesn't say anything about the fucking? Or any vice whatsoever? Who the fuck are these people who think a profile of why they are happy should be 50% about work? I mean, I'm proud of how I do in the office and all, but I didn't see the part where this lady MAKES things.

To paraphrase churchill, "She has all the virtues I despise and none of the vices I admire".

Also why is not being a caretaker to your elder parents a good thing? It seems like "happiness" in this article is about living an easy superficial life. Caretaking old sick folk I loved is one of the most cherished experiences of my life. It may not have made life easy-breezy, but fuck anyone who thinks it makes you "less happy" - heaven forbid we do something for someone other than ourself.

parallel-lines

@leon.saintjean Yeah, thank god some gross sick old dude isn't around to drag her down. Aging parents are such a bummer!

Pixley

@parallel-lines That one struck me as the most merciless qualifier for happiness.

frigwiggin

@leon.saintjean @parallel-lines It's not like you want them there, living in your house, so that they can get joy from playing with their grandkids even when they can't really control their bladder thanks to cancer. Such a pain having them around!

(Honestly, deciding what is best for the elderly people in your life is so hard--do you keep them at home and have a caretaker there all the time when just having them there during the day or send them to a facility where they have round the clock care but no access to family? But as a former home care assistant myself, it's hard not to keep the bitter rage down at this.)

leonstj

@figwiggin - It's like, I feel like they don't understand "happiness" - or maybe I don't?

Like, I can imagine a day where I hang out in my pajamas and beautiful women bring me Humboldt fog and Jamon Iberico and do sex-stuff on me and the Yankees win the world series as I get really drunk and then Wynton Marsalis and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and ?uestlove all come over to my house and jam the fuck out. The would be pretty much the most enjoyable day I can imagine.

But the happiest? I'd probably need to sweat, maybe need to bleed, definitely have to have moments where I say "fuck...I just don't know if I can do this." And then, I'd manage to do it.

parallel-lines

@leon.saintjean This concept of happiness is like my concept of Californian weather as a Minnesotan. For me - sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's cold. Sometimes it's glorious, sunny and perfect and oh! how we live for those days. Sometimes it's brutally cold and you find relief in coming home and sloughing off those outer layers. There's always something to look forward to - preparing for the inevitable cycle of what awaits us next--when we'll have picnics and flowers and fall leaves again. But it's never sunny all the time--how do you know when to stay in and make hot buttered rum, or when to drop all your plans and go to the beach? All that sameness sounds stiffling.

I guess it's no surprize then that she lives in California.

frigwiggin

@leon.saintjean Now now, you have to fit an elliptical machine in there somewhere.

frigwiggin

@parallel-lines I can assure you that not all of California is like that. In the Central Valley, it gets gross and windy and rainy in the winter. Also it always smells like a petting zoo. Of course, when people say "living in California" about stuff like that, they're talking about like that 2% of the state that's perfect and beautiful all the time, not the gross agricultural areas.

parallel-lines

@figwiggin I KNOW! I meant LA, which is..okay, I'm just going to set this spoon down on this dirt pile and walk away. Cool?

E
E

@parallel-lines I grew up in seasons, and now I live in LA. First of all, we DO have weather. Not TONS of it, but it does get grey and rainy sometimes. It also can be windy. Today is a grey day. We have something called "June Gloom" where it jsut is overcast for a month or a little more. So you treat those rain days like precious snow days and snuggle under covers then.

And there are certain plants which do certain things at certain times of the year. The Jacaranda trees all turn purple in the spring and it's lovely.

Anyway. The first snowfall, it's magical. The crisp feel of fall on your skin, the smell of the leaves changing, that's a spiritual joy nothing can compete with. BUT. A whole year of mostly nice days is not really "stifling" comparative to how I used to feel in February when I hadn't seen the sun for days, my nose was stuffed up, my skin was red and flaking off in sheets, and I wanted to fight with everyone I loved then curl up in a ball under a blanket so none of my skin was cold and cry.

I think moving here really exposed to me how SUPERIOR everyone who grows up someplace cold feels about it. It's not better, it's just different. I think I'm a happier person since I moved here, not a stifled one. Whatever works for you man, but don't hate on LA like that.

parallel-lines

@E I'm a New Yorker. I *have* to hate on LA--you know this!

notandersoncooper

@leon.saintjean: There are reports she had an orgasm in 1998.

Brunhilde

@figwiggin Yes to all the California weather talk. Where I grew up in California we had hot, dry summers, crisp leaves-turning-bright colors falls, snowy winters, flowery springs... It's a big state. You could probably even find somewhere fridgidly cold to live! (Mammoth Lakes, Truckee...)

catspajamas

@E I logged in so I could give you thumbs Up! YES to not better just different. FYI super hot December is earthquake weather.

Ophelia

@notandersoncooper Unconfirmed.

catspajamas

@leon.saintjean Ugh! It only let me thumbs up you once! I was just explaining to my niece that if everyday was your perfect day it wouldn't be special, it would just be Tuesday.

E
E

@parallel-lines Oh that's okay then. I thought you sounded awfully negative for a midwesterner, but I get it now, you live in NY. Hate away my superior friend.

Faintly Macabre

If my social life in my 40s consists mostly of talking to my husband and with other parents at soccer games, I will go down to that beach and drown myself in the ocean.

Also, it's kind of creepy that the chart was like, phew, her dad's dead, no responsibilities there!

EpWs

I got to the part about all her activity keeping her 5'6 frame whittled down to 115 pounds and had to leave to go throw up a little. Blergh.

E
E

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher, I know! WHITTLED! She's been carved down to to her tiny tiny happy self at her core. UGH. More water and salad for all!

CrescentMelissa

@E I bet she laughs alone with her sald and everything.

punkahontas

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I read that and ate more peanut m&ms. I'll work on whittling when I get older? And more happier.

ejcsanfran

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher: You need to throw up a lot, not a little! How else will you ever whittle your frame down? Jesus, you people...

glitterary

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher When I read that I thought, doesn't that mean she's severely underweight? I'm 5'2" and she weighs the same as me. And she's a normal-sized person, whereas I'm a hobbit who still gets told I need to eat more because I'm too skinny. If she exercises so much shouldn't she be heavier from muscle? That was just a creepy line altogether. I know everyone's body is different (regardless of how I eat or exercise, mine sticks around this point) and maybe she's just genetically tiny, but that kind of weight shouldn't be held up as something that makes you happy/is a result of being happy.

fuck fuck fuck

she's still in the healthy range, actually

but whatever i still hate her

Inkling

I actually worked in a gynecologist office in which the BMI thing only had qualifications for Morbidly Obese, Obese, Overweight and Healthy. It was like anything under overweight was considered healthy, which I must doubt!
Also, I'm her height and weight (with some muscle), but far be it from me to ever use a word like whittled to describe my body shape.
I mean--what?! Who even!

glitterary

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher @Inkcrafter Okay, maybe I'm doing the conversion from kilos wrong. Or looking at a weird BMI chart--last time I checked I was skirting underweight, so I figured someone taller than me would have to be in that category at least.

Mila

@glitterary I am that height, and often that weight, and from what I remember of calculating BMI many years ago, it is indeed underweight (I want to say 119 was the bottom weight for what was considered healthy).

frigwiggin

So you have to be free from "stress, sadness, and depression" in order to be happy? GEE THANKS USA TODAY. NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING. (Me and mental illness are going to duke it out over here, mmkay.)

SarcasticFringehead

@figwiggin Oh, THAT'S what I've been doing wrong. My bad.

Ophelia

"I need to move on from sales to the next challenge; now I get my joy from helping to mentor other people."

Barf. If you mentor me, I will smack you.

Polina

@Ophelia Just follow this script for life happiness! These things are supposed to make you happy, so they will make you happy.

City_Dater

@Ophelia

Why do you begrudge Mary Claire the joy of mentoring? Please let her mentor you, or she'll have no one to talk to. Script for Happiness!

TreatYoSelf

@Ophelia I especially enjoyed the next part of that, "A new position was created for her." Yes, because that's always how it happens right?

punkahontas

@Ophelia First LOL of the day goes to Ophelia! Also: Good to see you again last night!

Ophelia

@punkahontas Aww, thanks! You too!!
@momentisaflower right? I'd like my new position to be "gets paid a lot to make pickles" but that's probably not happening any time soon.

Bebe

@Ophelia Hmmm.. I would like to get paid to EAT pickles. We should talk.

Ophelia

@Bebe This could be the start of something big.

CrescentMelissa

I am so salty today that I literally looked at the picture of her and her hair blowing in the wind and clicked back to the Hairpin to say how I hate everything. Except you guys.

chickadee

WHAT? Being rich and skinny with no looming crises ups your chances of happiness? Whoa, stop the presses!

(Also, no pets? I call B.S.)

The Lady of Shalott

Oh, how silly of me not to REALIZE THESE THINGS. I thought I was a pretty happy person, but now I see that I am a broke-ass graduate student living in a shitty spider-filled basement apartment, and my boyfriend broke up with me via text message on Saturday.

Clearly, I am not happy, despite the fact that I have awesome friends and family, a job and a roof over my head, enough food to eat and Diet Coke and booze to drink, a safe place to live in a gorgeous country, and I'm watching a show on whales right now. I AM NOT HAPPY ENOUGH BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ANY OF THOSE THINGS MARY CLAIRE HAS, WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOO?

slutberry

@The Lady of Shalott I know. I'm happy because I have awesome people and awesome food and tea and can read poetry and the Hairpin whenever I want. EVEN THOUGH MY COMMUTE IS HALF AN HOUR AND I HAVE NO MONEY.

Clearly, I am not actually Happy. Perhaps I should go do yoda on the beach.

slutberry

@Teffodee ...erm. And by "yoda", I mean "yoga".

atipofthehat

@Teffodee

Too late. Pictured it, we all did.

punkahontas

@Teffodee "Make you happy I will!"

kayjay

@Teffodee He doesn't look like much, but there's a reason why he's a Jedi Master.

slutberry

@kayjay "When nine hundred years old you be, look so good you will not, eh?"

Ophelia

@Teffodee Give it to you, Yoda can.

slutberry

@Ophelia AND THAT IS THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS AND WELLBEING. Dude. They really need to pare down the checklist.

parallel-lines

Straight outta Wisconsin, some lady puts herself through school and is so happy being amazingly better than you--even her kids are better than your kids and she did it all herself! The myth of American Exceptionalism just got a name and face.

emilylou

I just... can't.
This article seems like something I would write as a parody piece. Or like, something that Julie from The OC would quote.

Miriam Verburg@twitter

I just wanna say the author of the article "Gail Sheehy" wrote the book "Passages" which has been called "a road map of adult life"(thanks wikipedia). Also It has the most blatantly 1970's cover art of all the popular psych books ever written. My mom had a copy when I was a kid and the word passages scared me for some reason. Now I know why.

My mom died a miserable wretched alcoholic at the age of 57. This was despite a thriving career, two grown children, and an eating disorder that had kept her weight consistently below 120 pounds since she was a teen ballet dancer. Oh wait she divorced my dad, maybe that's what did her in.

Here's my message to Gail: Fuck trying to make your life fit any kind of mould. It will kill you.

imforserious

"The Orenics' life has had downturns like everyone else's."

That part reminds me of those "they're just like us!" spreads in trashy magazines where they try to make us common folk relate to the insanely-privileged by reminding everyone that famous people eat sandwiches and drive cars (sometimes).

lil.orphan.shannie

"Who is the happiest woman in America?... she's white..."

Welp, I'm out.

elsbels

I only went through the check list, but her social life consists of walking and talking regularly with a neighbour? Why wouldn't they say a friend, if they're walking and talking all the time? This is a sad list.

piggie

I couldn't even read past the first bit, but I guess I'm totally exceptional for my ability to be happy in spite of the two children under three, the severely depressed pre-alzheimers father-in-law, and the dying golden retriever I'm caring for. Silly me, I kinda thought they were a major part of that happiness!

Magpie Shinies

"She was a slacker in high school, getting by with a B average"

And I stop reading there.

Magpie Shinies

Even reading a little bit did it for me - I'm taking 3 Vicodin and a Xanax.

QuiteAmiable

I just have to come back and say, I'm in a pretty foul mood today, and I'm thinking this article started it. Fuck these people telling me what to do with my life!!!

QuiteAmiable

@QuiteAimable I also left my Halloween candy stash at home. That's probably more the reason I'm angry today.

Polina

I need to dig it up, but I saw an article recently about how unhappy/jealous Facebook is making people. This sort of reminded me of that. People use it to publish the good things about their lives instead of the bad, and everyone thinks that their friends are doing better than they are. I think that's what is pissing me off here. This story is essentially more about bragging than it is about anything else.

DorothyMantooth

How many fellow NYers physically recoiled from the computer screen at the description of her 2300 sq ft home as "cozy"?

Bebe

@DorothyMantooth I've been in NYC for too long, because I read things like that and think "2300 square feet? How on earth do you fill all that space???"

Mila

@DorothyMantooth Oh good, I am not the only one who reacted to that part. I live in 1700 sq ft with husband and two kids, and it feels "roomy" not "cozy".

DorothyMantooth

@Mila 1700?? You must be some sort of baroness or something!

E Monayyyyy@twitter

Is it weird I want to marry her son? so we can go on long walks on the beach and I can give her one strategically/thoughtfully timed grandchild? Because he sounds hot too.

Xora

I hate her and I wish she'd die.

Xora

@Xora Oh, wait. I thought we were talking about Zooey Deschanel. Sorry, guys.

bookbike

WHO would WRITE this?!??! This article is the OPPOSITE of inspiring - I am so full of rage right now.

cosmia

This is the most irritating thing I have ever read.

Yatima

@cosmia It's a New Yorker cartoon. You could replace all the text with "Christ, what an asshole."

didgeridoo

Is anyone else waiting for a follow-up article when she snaps and murders her husband and too-young son?

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