Vanna Dee looked depressed. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I just read a report that said people who live in Alabama are the second saddest in the United States.” I told her there’s no way that could be true. “Believe it,” she said. Only West Virginia ranked lower, bless their hearts.”
I couldn’t take Vanna Dee’s word for it, since she’s been known to tell some whoppers, like the time she swore Rob Lowe was going to take her to the prom, so I looked it up for myself, and sure enough, there it was on the internet for everyone to see. Alabamians are incredibly sad, and on top of that, it appears most Southerners are so miserable, it’s a miracle we can even walk without drooling.
Being raised to always politely question authority, I investigated further and found a big, “whoa, Nellie” kind of catch. It seems this rinky-dink survey was based on meaningless facts, unrelated to happiness, such as how much money we make, how big our houses are, what kind of schools we have and how fancy our hospitals are. Sure, those may be the ingredients other people use to gauge happiness, but in the South, it isn’t our foundation for joy.
I can just hear the persnickety pollsters now . . .
“Poor people with no money, they must be terribly sad,” said the tenured professor from Maine.
“So sickly, with no fitness trails, they must cry themselves to sleep at night,” said the toned sociologist from Colorado.
“They say, ‘fixin’to,’ so they must have low IQ’s and be terribly embarrassed to get out of bed in the morning,” said the genius statistician from Michigan.
Now, it’s no news to us that we aren’t the healthiest of people (mmm fried okra and sweet tea!), I mean, we’re the ones pumping the insulin, so yeah, we’re aware. It’s also old news to us that our bank accounts are smaller than the rest of the country, but then again, we don’t need as much money to live here compared to other places. The survey insults us by assuming we’re superficial enough to base our happiness on situations in life, when in reality, we know it’s our reactions to those situations that determine our outlook.
The study also failed to investigate real qualifiers like, “How many days can you walk to your mailbox without shoveling snow?” or “How many times has a neighbor brought you tomatoes from their garden?” or “How often do the Baptists stop by your house and leave a new pot holder with their worship schedule printed on it?” I mean, those are the kind of things that really make a person happy, even if you’re Catholic, because everyone loves a new potholder, regardless of denomination.
. . . click HERE to finish the story atAL.com
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