Simple Happiness

okieinexile

Well-Known Member
Simple Happiness

By Bobby Neal Winters

The other morning I solved a mathematical problem and decided to celebrate by taking my wife and youngest daughter out to lunch. Nothing too fancy, because it had been a long time since payday, but that's ok, since I don't like fancy stuff anyway. Suffice it to say that if it's deep friend, and there are ketchup and French fries in the vicinity, then I am a happy man.

And I was happy. I had been working on this problem for several days and acquainting myself with the techniques necessary to face it for several weeks. With this problem solved, I figured I would have enough for a paper, a publication. When you are a researcher, publishing is what it is about.

I picked my wife and our five-year-old daughter up at the park where they had gone to play so I could get my research done. The five-year-old can be distracting at times.

We made our way to the fast food place, placed and received our order, as they are fast, and were beginning to eat when the five-year-old informed us we weren't ready yet. Something was missing, a pirate hat for instance. This particular fast food place provides paper pirate hats for its younger customers. I don't know why this is considered desirable. Are we trying to raise up a new generation of corporate executives or something? In any case, the pirate hat is not considered optional by our five-year-old.

My wife retrieved it for her, and she was then happy.

"Don't you wish something as simple as wearing a pirate hat could make you happy?" I asked.

My wife agreed she did, and we began to dig into the deep-fried batter and the ketchup-covered fries.

The fat entering into my bloodstream put me into a pensive mood. I thought about the result I had proved that morning. I would write it up carefully, send it off to a journal where it would be checked for accuracy, and then published, whereupon it would sit in a bound volume on a library shelf until some graduate student stumbled upon it, if one ever did. Solving the problem had given me a great deal of pleasure, but I have no illusions about its importance to the world.

I looked across the table at the five-year-old in her pirate's hat with ketchup dabbled on her chin. She was happy. I was happy.

Your culinary tastes sound distinctly Yorkshire.

Would you rather swap solving a problem for wearing a pirate hat, though? Funny how our priorities change, but it's so hard to notice when the change actually occurred. Or maybe that's just me.

I said:
Your culinary tastes sound distinctly Yorkshire.

Would you rather swap solving a problem for wearing a pirate hat, though? Funny how our priorities change, but it's so hard to notice when the change actually occurred. Or maybe that's just me.

The change is slow but unrelenting.