How to be Happy: Marie Claire style

July 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm 7 comments

In my last post, I looked at Oprah’s tips on how to be a happy person. It involved thinking of yourself as a golden statue and avoiding bathrooms that needed cleaning, among other things. In this post, we’ll see how Marie Claire magazine handles their tips for happiness.

As far as I can see, they have two main topics.

The first one is “How to be Single and Happy.”

The second is about “The World’s Best Country for Women.”

I’ll look at both.

2450891473_0bae641976How can one be single and happy? According to those at Marie Claire, it is possible. For those who have believed for a long time that happiness means having a man at your side, you are sort of right, unless you’re dating the wrong kind of guy. We live a world where we have been conditioned to believe that happiness does not come to those who are single, and Marie Claire certainly adds to our impression of this on certain occasions.

At the same time, how are you going to attract someone if you’re always unhappy?

It’s impossible, unless he has a grouch fetish.

So for the sake of your future Facebook relationship status, please be happy.

Maura Kelly, a blogger for this magazine’s website, talked to Gretchen Rubin, who is the author of a blog called The Happiness Project. Does being in a relationship make you happier? She asked for advice on how to feel all right about her single status.

Remember how much freedom you have, as a single person. You don’t have to coordinate your schedule with anyone else’s. You have all the time you want to go to the gym, see old friends, make new ones, take classes, meet new people—whatever you feel like doing. Don’t focus on what you think you’re missing. Focus on all you can do.

2227187658_fb2bd0915aOk, that’s great. Then Kelly asks, “Are people who are in relationships actually happier than those of us who aren’t?”

Gretchen concedes that there is much happiness that comes from having someone there. However, there are ways to find the same benefits by having some strong relationships with friends. If you have trouble finding friends, just put yourself out there. Find a club with something you’re interested in. I like books, so I should go to a book club. (Too bad the only book club around here is for romance novel enthusiasts.)

Kelly suddenly recalls that saying to herself, “I should be on the look-out for someone to flirt with” makes her want to talk to people. She realizes that to be able to flirt well, she has to be happy and confident about herself. Gretchen tells her that if Kelly wants to be set up on a date, she has to set other people up on dates. Someday someone will return the favor.

To be good at flirting, you can’t be gloomy. Set people up on dates, and someday someone will set you up. To be released from the curse of singlehood, be happy. Come on. You can do it.

2664937922_3dd0f205e2Finally, if that doesn’t work, move to another country! Marie Claire states:

If you want to be happy, healthy, and powerful, you might consider packing your bags and moving to a picturesque country on the other side of the Atlantic.

No subtlety there. But where?


Somewhere reported that Sweden was the #1 place for ladies like us to live. There is reference to some Swedish girl named Ebba who is the woman who has everything. She’s the perfect example of what women become when they go to Sweden.

Part of it is because Sweden has a pro-female culture, with equal rights and female politicians and stuff like that. It’s Barbie’s dream. Male toddlers are encouraged to play with dollies, while females play with toy tractors. (I would so have had the toy tractors have relationships with each other. No kidding.) They have to learn metalworking, woodworking. Both sexes.

Do they allow the little girls to play with dolls?

And girls outperform the boys in college. Girl power!

Which of course leads to the men pushing the baby buggies, as a website quoted in the article states.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. He was here, and was sitting around there somewhere.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. I think he actually was here, and was sitting around there somewhere. He's not in this picture though.

Before you pack your bags, though, there is a dark spot in all this flawless whiteness.

Drugstore lipstick costs 15 bucks.


After stating that fact, the writer goes on to say that families watch Sex and the City together. It’s a perk. Right? Right?

Sweden’s acceptance of women as the aggressors in relationships has its perks: Anna-Maria regularly dates three or four men at a time without social disapproval.

Oh, ok.

In conclusion:

So is Sweden the ultimate sisterhood heaven? The verdict, of course, depends on your point of view: Japanese women live longer, American women earn higher salaries, Greek women have lower rates of breast cancer, and according to one poll, Italian men are better kissers. Overall, though, Swedish women seem happy with their lot. “I’ve traveled to many countries,” says magazine editor Ebba. “But life in Sweden is truly special for women. There’s nowhere else I’d rather live.”

My friend took this picture of an escalator in Sweden.

My friend took this picture when he was on an escalator in Sweden.

So here’s reasons why you should move to Sweden.

  1. People are happee there, so you will be happee there.
  2. Female friendly.
  3. Little kids play with tractors and dolls.
  4. Girls get better grades than boys.
  5. Men push baby buggies.
  6. You can date as many men as you want.
  7. Women are cops and are good at it.
  8. You can finally pay for dates.
  9. You can hit on guys and no one will blink an eye.
  10. You can date as many men as you want and no one will think you’re weird or a slut.
  11. Sex and the City is a family show.
  12. You can sleep with whomever you want, as often as you want to. (I hope that they have a program against STDs.)
  13. If you get preggers you have more time off.
  14. Toilets there are unisex. No lines. But the chance to do stuff in there. Like, stuff. Use your imagination.
  15. But we’re just… just… so happy!!

And there you have it.


Entry filed under: Happiness. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

How to be Happy: Oprah Style How to be Happy: Glamour Style

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lefrancophoney  |  July 15, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    My Swedish friend does kind of fit that stereotype! And one of her Swedish bloke mates was a nanny in a ski resort – almost unheard of but he said he just loves kids (in a good way).

    As for the whole be happy thing: screw that – I was outwardly happy (and single) for many years (seven in a row at one point) and I think it scared blokes off! It seems that they always told me I was too effervescent and strong which emmasculated them. I think I should have done less match-making and dancing and more Meek Is Me in the corner of the pubs and clubs.

  • 2. Amy Bai  |  July 15, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    single + happy = relationship

    hm. kind of like 1 + 1000 = 2.

    *scratches head*

    clearly I should have stuck with calculus…

  • 3. Dennis the Vizsla  |  July 16, 2009 at 1:26 am

    But let’s not forget the endless Swedish winter … that’s a bit of a drawback. Unless you like winter, in which case it’s a good thing.

  • 4. alantru  |  July 16, 2009 at 2:21 am

    I’ve been to Sweden. I have to say… I didn’t see a lot of dancing in the streets. But then again, I haven’t seen anyone ever actually dance in the streets… So… Sweden rules!

  • 5. Anonymously Secret  |  July 17, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Moving to Sweden? Being Single? LOL.

    Can’t wait for the 4 other ways of becoming happy. Seriously though, MY idea of being happy is a little different.

  • 6. highlyirritable  |  July 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Isn’t Sweden where Ikea is based? Maybe happiness comes in a 2×10 box with 5678 peices and an Allan key.

  • […] stuff I got were shirtless bachelor pictures). Some even told us that we could find happiness by moving to Sweden, of all places. (WOOHOO! Men pushing baby […]


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