Buying Happiness


Weird Al Yankovick in the Johnny Dangerously theme song coined the phrase:  “They say that money can’t buy you happiness, so I guess I’ll have to rent it”.  Arguably, and maybe a little unintentionally, I put that to the test.

You can say the time since my return to Boston hasn’t gone very well.  Part of it is fairly bad luck, or ‘the usual luck I have when in Boston’.  I caught a cold, I blew out a knee, my one year old heating & air conditioning unit stopped working in 80 degree humid heat, and I’ve averaged one parking ticket every four days in town just for finding the only spot to put my car in the entire frickin’ neighborhood.  That’s just the time I spent at “Home” since it was a little over a week before I needed to be in Connecticut for a week and a half.  I had the dread of what I knew was going to be a difficult working July & August, but it seemed every couple of days I was getting word of things that made the dreaded East Region Summer of Hell just that extra ring downwards.  By the first part of last week, I was stretched thin and wound tight with more stress than I really needed.

So my friends the Creeds suggested I come stay at their place for the weekend.

In Temecula.


3500 miles away.

You know … with about 4 days notice.

It was kinda insane.  Kinda stupid.  Kinda not possible.

And that should be the end of the story.

So … there I was last Friday sitting on a plane landing at San Diego and ready for a couple of days in the Temecula Valley wine country.  What you think would be an insane plane fare.  Ironically, the parking at Boston Logan for the weekend was nearly half the price of the plane fare (that is not a statement in favor of airfare, that is a statement against the cost of parking … and before you ask, I would have been towed if I left it at home, because … Boston, that’s why).  Still, I freed up money for this weekend just so I can make a change, any change, something to my mind off of what was getting to me.

With that ‘freed up’ in mind, I extended my plans even more.  For one thing, part of the visit included attending a member’s event at one of the wineries there in Temecula.  Temecula, situated in an inland valley between Los Angeles and San Diego, is home to about 40 wineries, sizable enough to be a good day trip to any of the two big cities or a better overnight for them as well.   So, to be honest, most of the weekend plans included drinking wine … a LOT of wine.  But this one event was a specific winery called Doffo.  Chances are, you haven’t heard of it.  It’s small, small, mostly selling to people who visit.  It’s small enough that some locals haven’t even heard of it.  Yet going to this even meant more than just a chance to enjoy their wines, it meant seeing if I could join as a member myself.  With such a membership, you get deals on their wines, and they ship you a couple bottles monthly.  If you ever joined a winery, it’s probably no different than you are used to.  What’s exciting is that Massachusetts just shifted their laws, where before a couple months ago, I could not get wine shipped to me … now I can … so with the screaming of my credit card of the pressure of my introductory shipment; I can now say I am a member of a winery.

So … to get ahead of the Judgy Judgersons out there … this wine is worth it. Granted I got called a wine snob this weekend … twice … and by people who know what wine snobs are (so I have that going for me). But it’s not like I am joining up wineries left or right.  What makes Doffo special is that they trigger the two sides of my brain that seems to be what normally makes me happy.  Without rambling, I can just say Doffo is the kind of wine that if you don’t know wines you will love them (even if you prefer wines) – and if you know wines you appreciate them.

Then on another night, we went to a small benefit concert including bands from the 80’s (The Motels, BowWowWow).  Between groups they ran a little auction.  Most of it was music related or 80’s related.  Then came up a poster from Star Wars VII: Force Awakens (the one that just came out).  It was signed by all the principal cast (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hammel, and more importantly Daisy Ridley … just to name a few), as well as JJ Abrams, George Lucas, and John Williams — WITH A certificate of authenticity.  In other words, it had everything.  They said it was worth around $2200 and put an opening bid little more than a third of that.  I just thought “I’m never going to get it, but it’s worth that price at least .. and I can cover that opening bid”.  So my hand shot up … and no one else’s did.  So, it’s mine now.

So in short – I spent a lot of money this weekend.  Lots of money.  Arguably all in the pursuit of buying happiness.  Heck, because I shipped both the wine and the poster you could even say that I didn’t even return home with anything to show for it all.  Yet, the money was spent anyway … and I am happy.  While you could say I didn’t really buy happiness, I just bought stuff, I do feel I at least rented it for a little while.

And renting happiness works for me.

POST SCRIPT — I thought about calling this blog “renting happiness”, but I think there is at least one escort service with that same name … or y’all would have just assumed that was where I was going to go with it.




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