Quit Your Makin’ People Happy Job


Are you frustrated? Feel unappreciated? Never seem to get from your relationships anything close to what you invest? Well, babycakes, since you can’t control people, there’s only one solution: Do your best, and fuck ’em if they don’t like it.

It’s a horrible assignment. That’s why clowns are suicidal, stand-up comedians are addicts, and servers fantasize about making a guacamole bowl hat for Mr. My-Fajita-Is-Too-Salty. So many of us wake up and embark on happiness missions: Make the spouse happy, make the pets happy, make the kids happy, make the customers happy, make the boss happy, and repeat. Once we tie our success to others’ happiness, we’re fucked.

Now, one solution would be to become a hermit, like me. No spouse, kids, or boss to answer to. That makes me happy. Sure, I have two fuzzy tuna-bags (cats) to keep happy, but that’s simple—add food, scoop box, scratch chin. Yes, there are lonely times. Then, I go out to the watering hole. I watch the painful interview process of the first-daters, and the mundane coexistence rotting of the wed. I shrug, wanting nothing more than a refill.

Another solution would be to care less. Measure yourself by your intent. Expect the judgment of others, but don’t respect it. If it’s positive, appreciate it. If it’s negative, walk away. If this sounds selfish to you, good. Be selfish. That’s the eleventh commandment, which didn’t print because the toner ran out.

“Never tyist thoust happiness to others.”

This is the most frustrating part about dating, as well. The man has to make the woman happy in order to gain access. I guess this is called courting or wooing. It involves all sorts of shenanigans like foot rubbing, neck nuzzling, and wallet opening. It requires timely texts of sufficient length, well-timed flattery, and instinct-contrary blinders. All that work and the vagina is still dry. Poor sap.

You have those friends who insist they’d rather be in unfulfilling relationships than alone. “Silliness,” I say. “Susan needs a better vibrator and the confidence to order a fine steak at a bar without a side dish of needy man.”

My bed guest vacancy lands me in some interesting situations (a wonderful cure for writer’s block). Often, I’m a therapist to female friends being mistreated. I enjoy that role. There are lessons buried in the misdeeds of other men. I listen, console, and fight the urge to feast on easy prey. I’m an animal, not a beast. Other times I’m the third or fifth wheel, deflecting attempts to set me up and add me to the cult of coexistence.

It’s not healthy to be disappointed because you didn’t receive more likes for your post, a large enough bonus, or sufficient emojis in his text message reply. Judge yourself by your effort, not by their reactions. You’re not in grade school any longer. There are no report cards, gold stars, or varsity letters to worry about. Cast away the unappreciative. Do what you do with an air of confidence and satisfaction.

I, for one, appreciate you. You’ve read this and made me happy … and, you don’t give a shit. Good!

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.