The amused look on the face across the counter said it all. My wife and I surely looked like teenage kids who had just found a pack of smokes. We were giggling and our faces were flush with happiness. There we stood holding our brand new TV !
Never mind that it had a 10” (yes ten) screen and should have sold with a magnifying lens. We were baring our teeth like it were the happiest moment in a while. And it may well have been, considering that it was our first TV. First, that is, since moving toLos Angeles, after months of savings from the graduate student paycheck. After hours of research and even more hours of deliberation around what it meant for our future savings. Anyway, that was all behind us now. We had earned the moment, and every channel the tiny antenna could summon (cable was a few dozen paychecks away, almost certainly required a job).
Now that, my friends, was happiness.
The memory came alive last week when my daughter, now 3, rejoiced as she carried the little furry, scrawny stuffed pet that caught her eye (from Walmart, where else? Cost 99 cents). Contrasting that with her almost reluctance to get in the shiny new battery-powered Jeep we bought for her ($150, ouch, Toys’R’Us), her happiness with that floppy pet was downright irritating. I so wanted to tell her how wrong it was to value the limp-cotton-ball over a Jeep. And to just look at the Jeep for gods sake and fall in love with it (a 150 times more at least). But no, a look into her eyes told me that the person buying her the furry pest was her hero. And if you know anything about dads and only daughters, you know that I had to buy it for her. Anyway, I digress.
Half a decade since our first television, armed with a job and several dozen credit cards, we recently bought our first 46” LCD flat screen. We were happy no doubt, but I did miss the excitement of the little one. And it’s huge and makes the living room look small. Time to buy a bigger house I guess. I so wish happiness scaled with size.