Everybody Happy?

What? Me not happy? I’m happy. Can’t you see it in my face? That’s happy! Oh, you, in the general sense, pertaining to us New Jersians. Results from a study published on December 17 of this year by Professor Andrew Oswald of the UK’s University of Warwick and Stephan Wu of Hamilton College in the US show an analyzed scale of happiness levels in the United States, by state, and including Washington, DC. Topping the list at number 1 is Louisiana, followed by Hawaii and Florida. Lagging at the bottom three are New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. Well, just in the regards of traffic alone I can see that. Trying to maneuver your way through the tri-state area is often nightmarish, especially around..any time.

While we’re looking at studies and lists, another number 1 is excessive laptop use as being the top cause of possible male infertility, because the heat it generates in a man’s “lap” is a killer, if you get my drift. So are hot tubs and briefs (as opposed to boxers). A guy should limit his intake of caffeine to no more than two cups of coffee per day. Uh, hmm, then what about the 6 cups he needs to avoid prostate cancer or type 2 diabetes? Uh oh,  and the avoidance of alcohol is also recommended. Well, the amount needed of beer (true, not the only alcoholic beverage) was never specified, that’s probably a good idea for numerous reasons. And practicing stress reduction techniques are suggested.  Well, considering the over population of the tri-state area, I would dare say more than a few people are finding ways to de-stress and I would think the happiness quotient in that case would be a bit higher.

This past Friday night, I thought I was down for the count and was going to be sick for Christmas, New Year’s and my 52nd  birthday. I met Ariel in Newark to have dinner with his niece and her boyfriend and on the way home, I got into a fit of sneezing. By the time we got in and settled into our red chairs, my head was a solid block of cement. The sneezing had subsided. I couldn’t breathe and I could barely keep my eyes open. In fact, I was hardly responsive at all. I drank  a cup of delicious ginger honey tea and before I knew it, it was  2am, when I woke up in my red chair. I felt a little better and in the morning it was as if the entire episode never happened.

Today is the first day of winter and did everyone survive the historic snowfall? The radio was saying it was going to be an historic snow fall. Well, at between 6 and 7 inches, it’s not that historic. But, Ariel told me it was historic for this time of year. Hmm, imagine, snow in winter. But that wasn’t it either. It was historic because it was an early snowfall. Well, it didn’t start here until about 2:30 or so, even though the radio had said it was going to start early in the morning. I know, I’m just kidding, but all the same, the question on everyone’s lips we encountered from the mall (we went because A: we wanted to witness all the mayhem of last minute shoppers and B: because we needed on more gift) to Costco, to even the very pretty waitress at  IHOP, with the pierced tongue and 1″ tunnel rings in her earlobes (now, what did she have to go and do that for?) was “where is the snow?” And oddly we saw a few cars caked in slush and ice and wondered where they were coming from but, around here there was  nothing. However, southern Jersey did end up with over 2 feet, so we really dodged a bullet with our meager 7 inches.

Ready for my dream, or should I say, nightmare of the week? It was Saturday night and this one’s short, thankfully. It was quick and it was frightening and when I got into detail about it the next morning, I began to tremble and tears came to my eyes like they did when I woke up screaming, “Help me, help me, get away from me!” I was following Ariel to the attic and when we got to the blue room, the room that’s just before the attic, he opened the door, went in, told me he’d be out in a minute and closed the door. The blue room was dark, lit hazily by the gray light through the window, and I sat on the foot of the bed, my little bedroom set from when I was a kid, except it was positioned with the head of the bed near the door rather than perpendicular to the door as it actually is. I laid back on the bed while I was waiting and I heard the door behind my head close. I looked up, and in the dark gray light I could make out the figure of tall motionless man towering over me. There was just enough light to make out the outline of him and that his shirt was a lighter color than his pants and I could see he was staring down at me, but I couldn’t make out any facial features and had no idea who he was. He remained motionless and speechless but in an instant I knew it was a menacing presence and I began to scream until I woke up. I was so frightened, every time I tried to close my eyes, the vision would come back to me and I would get so cold; the chill was almost paralyzing, even huddled in my flannel sheets. I wanted to reach behind me and turn the light on so I wouldn’t be in the dark, but even the thought of doing that felt silly to me. I kept trying to tell myself over and over that it was just a dream and I remained chilled and wimpering like a 2 year old in the dark until I finally and reluctantly went back to sleep. And as I went on to describe that horrible split second in my nightmare yesterday morning over breakfast, I literally shook in fear and unsuccessfully fought back tears remembering the horror I felt.

What the heck is making me have these berserk dreams?

PS. If you want to see the list of states in happiness order, click the map.  


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One Response to “Everybody Happy?”

  1. Donna Says:

    That’s a real scray dream. What’s up with that!?
    That’s a beautiful picture you took of the snow.

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