Cheap Thrills

I do not pursue wealth and fame and all those other things that the pagans run after.  Maybe that is because I have learned to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

For example, I get a little splash of happiness every time I hand a cashier the exact change, right down to the penny, when I make a purchase.  I feel like a champion when I open my clothes dryer to put in wet clothes and find no dry clothes waiting there to be put away.  A moony-eyed contentment descends upon me when I hear James Taylor singing the word “lovely” and giving it three syllables.

Being able to operate smoothly all three of our television remotes makes me happier than owning a cabin in the Rockies would do.  I get a cheap thrill when I hear a high-paid network newscaster fumble with the use of the pronouns who and whom As a writer, I shout with merriment when I discover precisely the right word to use when constructing a sentence, as I did with the word merriment in this sentence.

When I find that the purchases in my amazon.com shopping cart already total $35 or more and thus qualify for free shipping without my having to add one more thing to my cart, I do fist pumps.  I am proud of the fact that should I be on Jeopardy and find in the category “Nursery Rhymes” the answer, “Bobby Shafto,” I would know that the correct question is, “Who has gone to sea, silver buckles at his knee?”   How many people can say that?

By sequentially taking a bite of my cheeseburger, followed by eating one French fry, and taking one sip of my sweet tea, I can finish every element of my fast-food meal at the same time. Who doesn’t like it when things come out even?  (That last word should have been evenly, but occasionally I enjoy taking liberties with the English language.)

When I see my car’s fuel indicator sitting on “F” instead of on “E” because my husband filled the tank the last time he drove the car, I feel like doing the happy dance right in the middle of my driveway.  I get a sense of accomplishment when I decide upon five different radio stations to assign to my car radio’s five selection options because who wants a selection option hanging out there uselessly?

Just for fun, after I pay off a credit card, I call the card’s toll-free number so I can hear the recorded voice say, “Your current unpaid balance is zero dollars and zero cents.”  WOO HOO!

Like many people, I feel great satisfaction when I complete and check off the final item on my to-do list.  If I need a real pick-me-up, I add to the list several other tasks that I accomplished that day, just for the joy of checking them off!

Admittedly, not every thornbush in my life’s garden bears a rose. I do suffer disappointments, like realizing that I spent $13 on a tiny bottle of pure vanilla extract when I already had a brand new bottle at home.  I will confess too that I occasionally tip over and spill my half-full glass of life.  On balance though, the good things outweigh the bad.

Little successes and lucky flips of life’s coin bring me happiness every day.  You’ve got to get your kicks where you can find them.

 

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