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Friday, December 18, 2009

Louisiana Is the Best Even if Nobody Cares

Live Science just concluded a three year study to determine which state has the happiest citizens.
Not to my surprise, my state won. Though we are known for our hospitality, apparently no one from outside the state put two and two together as to why? The reason we are so hospitable is because we are so happy. Our simple, easy-going nature, obviously unfathomable to the major media outlets, apparently has a positive side. Despite the fact that we are poorer, sicker, and less educated than almost every other state, we are somehow happier than any other state. I have been to most other states, and I don't need a study to tell me that.
Unfortunately, none of the news and TV reports even mention Louisiana beyond the fact that we got the top spot. New York and Connecticut got the 50th and 49th spots respectively, so they are the focus. As usual, even when we kick New York's butt, they are still the attention whore. People can easily imagine New Yorkers miserable, but those stupid, uneducated, overweight Southerners happy? The results must be wrong!
Of course, if something bad happens to us, like a Hurricane smashing us and revealing our poverty, the vultures can't get enough carrion.
Not like it matters. We don't really care. Or rather, we do care. We always have a chip on our shoulder that no one gives a crap about us, and the entire US Government proved our assumption correct four years ago. I think that is why we are content. For some reason this feeling of us against the world gives us a pride that I'd wager a lot of the rest of the country does not have. And that strange feeling of unity, despite one of the least homogeneous populations of any state, makes us happy.
Not to mention that our food is better, we have one public beach in the whole state so everyone has to go to the same place and it is awesome, our humor and art is richer, and we are more colorful and better looking than the rest of the country*. That stuff is just lagniappe, though.
Oh yeah, and we use words like lagniappe.

*No offense to the rest of the country


Anonymous said...

I always find things like this interesting. I know that many people I work with love visiting Florida on a regular basis, but I have absolutely no desire to visit Florida. (I have been in your lovely state for a couple weeks before, though, Nicholas.) Heck, my boss was there at Thanksgiving and is going back to FL for Christmas (and they just purchased a house there with her in-laws). Another coworker was there the entire week after Thanksgiving. I, on the other hand, want to visit Vancouver or Iceland. I guess I'm personally happier in the cooler climates.

Another coworker is now moving to Texas (although she's originally from Georgia), and she keeps asking if we'll come visit. You guys just have too many large spider-ish creatures down in those warmer climates for me to be happy for long. ;) Give me Montana or Ireland or Vancouver or Iceland over Florida any day. :D

Of course, my long-held desire has been to live in Colorado. People here in MN keep asking what the difference is between there and here: They have mountains and we have many more (and larger) lakes. It'd be a trade-off, since I love living and working in buildings that have such wonderful views of Lake Superior in all its glory (foggy and sunny and moonlit and, well, and so on...), but I'd also love to wake up to mountains every day.

Hmmmmm...all I can say is this: Live where YOU'RE happy. If you're married and both spouses are happy with the place, that's even better. I can definitely say that I'm much happier in MN than I ever was in IL and IA, and that has a lot to do with this actual place where I currently live. The natural beauty that Minnesota strives to keep alive just makes me breathe deep and be thankful for what I see around me (such as the deer walking along the sidewalk beside us as we came home from our date tonight. Man, she was beautiful, especially with the lake shimmering behind her.)'s that for rambling along. It's late. I'm going to sign off before I ramble

Nicholas said...

Florida is kind of hit or miss for me, but I have never been to the Keys, and considering my Hemingway obsession, I guess I should go there before a final verdict.
Both Vancouver and Iceland are places I would love to go to. Both The X-Files and MacGyver were filmed there, and I can pick the same locations out from both shows. I would love to visit them and recreate my childhood/teenage years. Also, a really good friend lives there.
Iceland and I have always had an affinity for each other. I love the modern music from there and the landscape is stunning.
Texas and I have a love/hate relationship, but we somehow make it work.
Our large, spider-ish creatures are endearing. I once took a baseball bat to a spider with so much mass, it hit the ground with a sound like a rock. Plus, the alligators and snakes usually eat most of the bugs and stuff like that anyway, so Neal would only have to bat bugs off you half of the time.
Now Ireland is one place that I have made it a life goal to visit. I have always felt that most of my personality comes from the Irish side, and I would love to track down where that part of my family is from. I guess Ireland is the second best place in the world.
Colorado is pretty awesome. I have some pretty good friends and in-laws of in-laws there, but I have also been treated more rudely there by people than any other place I have been. This still did not diminish the state's beauty.
I am hot-natured, and usually don't wear a jacket unless the temperature dips into the low 40s, but I don't know how I would handle being in a cold climate for a long period of time.
Possibly the strangest reason I think I would have difficulty living in certain Northern regions or in Europe is the lack of diversity in race. I loved the time I spent in Germany five years ago, but after only seeing two black people in two weeks, I started feeling lonely, like some piece of me was missing. I know that is weird, I can't really explain it, but as soon as I got back to the Baton Rouge airport, and the crowds once again looked like Cookies and Cream instead of Vanilla, I felt myself wanting to kiss the ground.
Crystal and I are definitely both happy here, but so many of our friends have moved away in the past half decade. I always thought I would be the one to move and travel the most, but maybe I belong here.
On a final note, if you enjoy the company of deer, Louisiana is a fine place for them. Last year, as I was riding the 4-wheeler along the crawfish ponds, I jumped up a large buck, a doe, and three or four smaller deer. They seriously ran alongside me for a full minute.
Ramble, ramble

Anonymous said...

You want to hear the weirdest part of my feeling more comfortable in colder climates? I am the coldest-blooded person I know! I am always freezing, but I do love having the four distinct seasons (although spring and fall are a bit short for my complete liking up here). Maybe it's because I grew up in IL and am just used to it, I'm not sure.

And the spiders just kind of freak me out! I don't like the big ones we had in IL, and I like that they aren't too huge up here. I know that the warmer it gets, the bigger the spiders are. Ugh. Fangs. Other bugs and animal creatures don't bother me, but don't get me near a spider!

We almost went to Iceland for our honeymoon, but had to delay it due to costs at the time. (Now might be a better time to visit, actually.) We are going to be visiting Vancouver in May (Stargate was filmed there, too! Yay for Richard Dean Anderson! They even used some of the same places as X-Files...) of 2010, though, so that's one to cross off our list. :)

I know what you mean about vanilla. Even living here vs. where I lived in IL is vastly different in terms of diversity, and it took me some time to get used to it (which sounds odd, but...yeah. I understand what you mean.)

Nicholas said...

Stargate! RDA is, in my opinion, an American Hero. Do you know that he once rode his bicycle from Minnesota to Alaska? He started out with a group of friends, and he was the only one to finish. In all honesty, as a child I think I modeled myself on RDA and Harrison Ford's onscreen personas more than anyone. I am jealous, yet quite excited about you guys Vancouver trip.