Simple Pleasures

Pleasure is a gift that cannot be easily forced. You think you’re all set for some kick-ass pleasure but there is no guarantee, and the more complicated the anticipated pleasure is the more likely something will hinder its advent. “I spent all that money and I’m not having fun!” Typically there are no refunds.

The simple pleasures which come unexpectedly and which cost little or no money are the ones I am fond of. They arrive out of the blue and can make a portion of your life a joy. I’ve compiled a list:

  1. Unexpectedly meeting and conversing with someone you’ve never met when affinities and analogous experiences reveal themselves.Commonly known as “clicking” with someone.
  2. Taking a walk when the temperature is pleasant and the humidity is low immediately after a brutal heat wave (I’m waiting for this one!).
  3. Savoring a food or prepared dish which you thought you wouldn’t like.
  4. Getting the dishes done and cleaning the sink area and counters, rendering them spotlessly clean and ready for the next meal’s preparation.
  5. Making a seemingly hopeless room or corner of a room navigable.
  6. Taking a dump which requires minimal wiping. Also that ineffable all’s-right-with-the-world post-defecation feeling.
  7. Reading a book about which you were dubious and finding it to be a work of genius, or at least very entertaining. Ditto with movies.
  8. Ditto with a piece of music, whether listening to it or playing it.
  9. A favorable diagnosis or report from a doctor.
  10. Finally catching a bothersome and wily mouse in a mousetrap.
  11. Getting a close view of a particularly beautiful butterfly, or even having one land on your outstretched hand.
  12. Making the acquaintance of a plant or mushroom which you had doubtless walked by many times before and identifying it to species or at least connecting it with its common name.
  13. Expelling snot (when nobody is looking) using the “air-hankie” technique, or more genteely into a handkerchief; a subsequent pleasure is breathing more freely afterwards.
  14. Taking a shower on a hot day. I like to dry only my face and walk around naked and let evaporative cooling do its thing. Ben Franklin used to do this, and if it’s good enough for Ben, it’s good enough for me.


These are off the top of my head; anyone have any additions?




Filed under Essays and Articles

3 responses to “Simple Pleasures

  1. Joan

    Ok… I don’t know how simple these pleasures are but they are my favorite things

    When my husband/kids come home.
    Having my family all together for an occasion
    Air conditioning
    The woods.
    Getting comments on my comments
    That ‘ah ha’ moment when something finally clicks
    Getting a prompt e-mail reply
    Laughing my keister off at something
    Going to the library
    Having something in my garden actually flourish
    Fixing something myself and having it work
    Getting a good photo shot of just about anything
    Having a working lawnmower. See the following :
    Music. with the exception of Rap and Heavy Metal.
    Art plus children’s art. A class of its own.
    History (not so simple and not always pleasurable)
    Hearing a great punch line.
    Writing and reading light verse, which has a great punch line.

  2. Jeff

    Here’s a list I came up with years ago of what I consider the nine “basic” pleasures of life:

    (1) Getting to eat when you’re really hungry
    (2) Getting a drink when you’re really thirsty
    (3) Taking a shower when you’re really dirty (and/or sweaty)
    (4) Getting cool when you’re really hot
    (5) Getting warm when you’re really cold
    (6) Shitting when you really have to shit (this may result in the “ghost-poopie” phenomenon: you have a giant B.M., look down, and- no poopie!)
    (7) Peeing when you really have to pee
    (8) Having sex when you’re really horny
    (9) Going to sleep when you’re really tired

  3. Joan

    Hi Jeff! Glad to see you back on board. Have missed your pithy comments. Your humble basics list with the possible exception of number 8, I figured were the necessities of life , so I just skipped to the pleasures. :).

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