Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Our Childhood is Important

Dear Reader,

It strikes me ironic how little we know, when we're kids, that every minute of those precious developmental years will shape what we eventually call: Happiness.

I am fortunate to have found a mate in life who shares with me my passions and my woes. While we may not have shared fundamental moments in our childhood together, she appreciates the things i keep near and dear to me. That's exactly the kind of person i wanted to marry.

Growing up, I experienced a lot of things with my parents and as a result, their preferences became mine. It's no wonder that years into my adulthood, the things that make me happy are the things that remind me of pleasant events in my childhood. And it's funny to me, that we don't know that when we're young and we often miss it when we're growing up. So at what point is it that we transition away from merry-making that revolves around childhood memories?

It was the thing to do every summer, to pile into our sedan and drive down to Coronado Island, San Diego, CA for the weekend. We'd typically stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn, overlooking the bay and the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. Some of my happiest childhood memories took place on that island. And without fail, the apple falling no further from the tree, as soon as I was old enough to do it on my own, my Juliet and I traveled to Coronado Island ourselves and stayed at the Glorietta Bay Inn. Of course, on that first trip... we weren't even dating yet. But you might say it was the weekend we fell in love, officially! :) Coronado Island is now the landmark of many happy memories and officially the place we go to just to get away from the hardships of life. We fell in love their, we claim our sublimation there, and best of all, we got engaged there.

As a kid, I often watched my father down cans and cans of Pepsi. Sharing a can was like the greatest reward. And it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite personal treats is an almost slushy can of ice-cold Pepsi. Or at least it used to be. But my love affair with Pepsi is worthy of its own blog post.

Disneyland leaves me a whole other bucket of happy moments. That's where my grandparents used to take me as a child. In fact, Disneyland and I had a love-hate relationship for a while too. As a child, it was the happiest place on earth for me, serving as a monumental bonding experience for me and my grandmother. In my teenage years, having lost my grandmother and being a lonely frustrated teen, I hated Disneyland. But when Juliet and I fell in love, suddenly, it was the place to go. It's funny how theme parks design rides such that they need to be enjoyed in tandem. It sucks to be left without a partner. Always go to theme parks in even numbers!!!! Having a mate in life really helps!

Dining out deserves a chapter of its own in the novel of happiness. As a kid, every holiday, every celebration, every reward, everything positive revolved around going out to eat. Lavish meals and a couple drinks around a big table, and that was the way to really enjoy life: good food and good company. Naturally, as a "youngster" in my twenties - you know, the money-squandering kind - it should also not surprise you that the number one thing I do to keep happy amidst the depressing insanity of our world is go out to eat. I spend almost 100% of my net earnings on food. What I don't spend on food I spend on clothes to make me look less fat and the occasional elaborate gift for my fiancee. Eating is that one most pleasurable thing next to sex that puts the icing on every positive thing. That's how we celebrated when I was a kid and that's how I celebrate now. And the price we pay for such indulging celebrations: The size 14 Calvin Klein jeans I'm bursting out of as I write to you today. But hey, I'm happy, right?

The thing is, that even though objects and activities like Pepsi, Disneyland, and eating out were things that I remember so fondly, trying to hold onto them and consume those American Dream commodities is not making me any happier. "Pillow Talk" in Juliet's arms after I clocked out of work yesterday was so much more rewarding than all the cans of Pepsi, all the trips to Disneyland and Coronado, and all the meals out I've had in the last 24 years of this precious life. And yet, it's pathetic, that my natural instinct is to ask my Juliet out for a fabulous meal at the end of a shitty day - you know, to compensate for the crappy day I put up with. Better yet, at the end of huge project, ask me what my department does to celebrate! We go out for ice cream. More consumption of that absolutely-addicting, not-yet-diagnosed narcotic: FOOD!

Did I mention I'm also crazy about the Disney classics I grew up watching?

Desperately trying to grow up,


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