Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ode to Calvin & Hobbes (The Happiness Challenge Day 7)

This is the new desktop picture on my Mac:

“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently.”- Bill Watterson

Every time I open my laptop, I smile.

I love Calvin & Hobbes. For me, it is - without a doubt - the greatest comic strip of all time. It's more than a comic strip. It's a work of art, of snark, of philosophy, of joy, of love.

When I was a freshman in college, I went through a bad patch. I cried a lot. I believe it had something to do with a boy whose selfishness damaged me, the sort of damage that takes years to repair. My mom dropped by my dorm at Centenary and brought me a book. This book:

She wrote me a note. It said, "Cheer up, sweetie."

You know what works when you're feeling down? Calvin and Hobbes. Every. Single. Time. Because Calvin and Hobbes is magical.

Here's something that will always be true: If you do not appreciate the wonder that is Calvin and Hobbes, you are not my type of person. In fact, I probably secretly judge you and think you lack intelligence and a sense of humor and the proper amount of irreverence necessary for this life.

This morning, Tina sent me a list of suggestions for The Happiness Challenge and I wrote her back and said, "You are SO in my head today! All of these things are on my list." Nestled in that bunch of fabulous things was Calvin and Hobbes. It's good to have a best friend who understands you.

When we were in college, I drew this picture for Tina:

When we were roommates, we had a huge stack of paperback Calvin and Hobbes books in our apartment and sometimes on lazy, hungover days we'd just lie around and read them. I still have them on my bookshelf.

Tina, I should send them back to you. Better yet, we should take a break from our lives as grown-ups and spend a lazy, hungover Sunday flipping through the pages.

Now, I have The Complete Calvin and Hobbes box set, one of the greatest gifts I ever received. It was officially a gift from Kate and Jacob, but it was Charles who picked it out and paid the hefty price for it. It was Charles who grinned like the Cheshire Cat when I opened it and squealed with delight.

When Jacob was a toddler, he was never without his own stuffed tiger, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. He carried him everywhere. When he sucked his thumb, Jacob held Tigger with the same hand and rubbed Tigger's soft ear.

I loved that my son, just like Calvin, had this wonderful tiger he loved so much. Tigger is in a cabinet in my bedroom now for safekeeping. His fur has faded to a dusty peach, his stripes more gray than black.

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.
'That's why animals are so soft and huggy.” 

Every January, this is my Facebook profile picture:

Here's a Calvin-flavored lesson in economics:

While I was searching for good images, I found this illustration of Troy and Abed from Community as Calvin and Hobbes.

Here are a few of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes quotes:

"Reality continues to ruin my life."

"When life gives you lemons, chunk it right back."

“You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.”

“Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.”

“People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.”

"That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!"

"In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks."

Here's an easy formula for happiness: Have a best friend. Seek adventures together. When it's time for bed, talk until you fall asleep.

As Calvin said in the last comic strip, published December 31, 1995, "It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy...Let's go exploring!"

Explore The Happiness Challenge here:

The Gold Shoe Blog
That's Just My Opinion
Nothing But Time For Me
My Sweet Addiction
Jen Talks A Lot About
Stellar Fashion and Fitness


  1. I was laughing so hard at the beginning of this and now Im straight sobbing. And smiling of course. I guess I just miss my friend.

    THANKS FOR THE HAPPINESS. I remember those Sundays well and I believe Ivan hung that comic strip behind his bar for a long long time.

    GENIUS :)

  2. I love still love Calvin and Hobbes. I was soooo waiting for the right time to express my love for them, but you beat me to it. I will write about it still, but I loved what you wrote.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.