It's unfortunate but true that people who are head-over-heels in love, or who are exquisitely engaged in enjoyable work, or who are spiritually statisfied are at their most cloying, treacly and un-empathetic. And I don't mean other people when I say this. I mean I myself am at my worst on those graceful occasions, or even months-long stretches, when I feel my best.
I am like that song "Happy"—which has gone in a few weeks from something I grudgingly tolerate to something I resent in the same way and for the same reasons that I would resent a door-to-door salesman waking me up from a nap to try to sell me an operation on my appendix. This song pops up in TV commercials, in elevators and in my sleep. I had to get up early one morning last week, because the son-of-a-bitching song was in my head and I couldn't stop it!
I want to throttle Scout when I hear her singing it, and on Easter Sunday, my four-year-old niece Parker asked to play the song so she and Scout could dance to it. I yelled, "No!" and immediately offered to play Michael Jackson for her, or any other damn music she wanted, because I felt like a jerk.
But Parker is a knowing little character, and she looked at me with eyes that said, "Okay, I hear you. But the next time you want me to be happy on command—because it's a sunny day, because you bought me some sparkly boots for my birthday, or because you happen to be happy and you want some company—you hear me, too. You dig?"
I dig, Parker. I dig.