21 Rules for Everyday Senseless Joy
11. If you're watching a comedy, laugh. If you're watching a tearjerker, cry. If you're watching a ballroom dance show, dance—preferably in some kind of spangled, neon, rhinestone-bedazzled, midriff-baring outfit.
12. Keep your cat, childhood teddy bear or even one of those microfiber cleaning cloths (which, by the way, do work better than plain old rags) in reach at all times. Studies have proven that soft, fuzzy objects defeat the blues.
13. Prior to visiting your parents, you are required to watch Bruce and Esther Huffman from McMinnville, Oregon, test out their new webcam.
14. All stickers offered to you by someone under the age of 13 must be accepted, slapped on and worn for at least one hour. Preferably on your cheek.
15. Never delete accidentally dialed voice messages from family. Listening to your nieces and nephews sing "Jingle Bells" as they walk to school, for example—complete with thumps and breathing and indecipherable muttering about haircuts—turns a boring afternoon at work into a visit home.
16. Saying no to cotton candy is strictly forbidden.
17. If you hear a person crying in the bathroom, pass them a wad of tissue under the stall—without a word.
18. Each time you pass a street musician playing the instrument that you quit as a child, place one crisp, full dollar in the cup and wait until the absolute end of the song to applaud.
19. Always note how the foam on a cappuccino magically parts when you add sugar, then closes right back up.
20. At least once in your life, pour a bottle of dish soap into a bubbling outdoor public fountain.
21. Never go to bed without looking up at the ceiling and thanking it for keeping out the rain.
Published on October 14, 2011