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Glass half-empty desperately seeking glass half-full

22 Feb

Every now and then, I’m reminded why we got married. Obviously, he cracks me up. Why would anyone be attracted to someone who doesn’t make them laugh? But, more importantly, our views on the world are frequently aligned and otherwise complementary.

I didn’t see this at first: I assumed he saw the world exactly as I did. We shared so many philosophies and values. But then one day, his mother called and, with ironic wit, asked for “Mr. Happy.”

Needless to say, I’m a “glass half-full” person, and my husband can’t finish reading the paper without feeling all is lost.

You can’t fault him. I went to journalism school during the post-Watergate surge of journalism majors. (I wanted to be Katharine Graham.) We believed everyone was lying, and our job was to uncover the truth. We discovered that “newsworthy” – what the general public finds most interesting to read – was the darker side of things.

And it is true: sometimes after reading stories about the subprime mess, waterboarding, global warming, bombings, child abuse, etc., even I walk away discouraged.

But every now and then, I’ll come across a happy story, a story about someone doing something nice for someone else, or just something that reminds me of how good life is. I often think there should be a news source called “The Happy News Times” that we can read as a counterbalance to the regular stream of depressing stuff.

So, why not? I’m adding a category for “Happy News Times.” My first entry probably won’t make anyone but a linguist happy; it’s about the semicolon, which is infrequently used but lovely nonetheless. (I’m a fan and frequent user.)

If you come across one of those “boy risks life to save cat from house”-type stories with a happy ending, send it to me. Let’s start collecting.

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