Are you happy? Or delusional?

A poll has determined where to find the good life, state by state. Do you live in a madly grinning state, or a kind of glum state?

How nice, I thought, I live in Minnesota, where we’re very pleased with ourselves. But then I noticed that Texas is also pretty smug, and how could anyone bear to live there?

These results are from a self-assessment poll, which means it probably utterly meaningless. It’s kind of telling that there is a great band running up the center of the country, the Miserable Middle, but I don’t know what it’s telling me. Midwesterners are realistic? They’re mostly self-effacing and modest? Life really sucks in Ohio? Or maybe some of the Trump states are feeling kind of embarrassed?


  1. says

    Interesting. ND has a smile, SD has a big smile. SD is full of fanatical white christians, who love oppressing the hell out of all the Indians. nDakota is a bit milder, but the same. So, I guess this was a white person assessment.

  2. says

    One word: “work”.
    But I shall retire to NM/UK in a year or so (unless my retirement plans end up involving falling face down into my keyboard).

  3. unclefrogy says

    well that is an interesting question?
    am I happy because I am delusional? Am I happy because I am well grounded in reality? Am I not happy because I am delusional or because I am not delusional?
    Am I even happy at all?
    now I have something to do instead of paying attention at work!
    uncle frogy

  4. Dunc says

    You can tell it’s American, because the scale goes from “meh” to “grinning lunatic”. Over here in Britain, “meh” would be the top quintile…

  5. Helen Huntingdon says

    I couldn’t help noticing that most of the grinning states have brutal winters. The ones that don’t have other weather that tries to kill you as a regular feature.

    When people ask me to explain why Minnesotans act like Minnesotans, my explanation starts with the fact that the weather is trying to kill everybody a lot of the time. It gives you a different notion of counting your blessings, and your neighbors, than places that don’t have that. As a kid on a MN farm in the middle of nowhere, I got used to the idea of survival as a group/community endeavor, and that the first thing you do after checking whether your own family is alive is go check on the neighbors to see if they made it or need rescuing.

    So I was pretty shocked some weeks back by an online discussion that took place when hurricane damage plus a heat wave was making for some lethal conditions in southern Florida — someone wrote in about handling relatives using their house (that had power) as a heat shelter, even though the poster’s spouse did not like this because said spouse didn’t like the specific people. These were people with various conditions that made shelter from the heat much more urgent than an issue of comfort. I was stunned at how many people said to turn them away.

    I still don’t understand what happened in that conversation, because I can’t wrap my mind around turning someone away in lethal conditions, no matter how much you hate them. If they’re dangerous, I get locking them in the basement or the barn or even a closet, but I don’t get turning them away at the door unless they’re about to kill you right now.

    I don’t know if it makes a difference or not, but growing up in a place where you regularly help and are helped by even the individuals you most loathe and despise could really make for a different mindset in general.

  6. dhabecker says

    Maybe the grinning ones are reacting to the tax cut balm being applied to their backsides. They would have a different look if they could see what’s coming next.

  7. davidc1 says

    In one of today’s British newspapers a UN chappie says parts of Alabama are worse than parts of the third world .

  8. says

    Helen Huntingdon:

    I couldn’t help noticing that most of the grinning states have brutal winters.

    nDakota got a regular smile; sDakota got the maniacal grin, and it’s warmer there all year round. nDakota certainly has a rep for brutal winters, but we aren’t seeing that now. Today, the sun is shining, the light snow is long melted off, and it’s 50F today. 50. Normally, we should be subzero this time of year.

    I think I’ll go take a walk…

  9. vucodlak says

    IL I get. If you live in the Chicago area, as most of the population does, you have halfway-decent social services when the state government is functioning (which is not very often). That would pull the average up. If you live anywhere else, you’re doubly fucked- you’re taxed to pay for Chicago, but you’ll never, ever see any of the benefits. We’re supremely lucky if we can get the legislature to remember that, yes, we do need things like roads and schools “down south.”

    The chart even (probably unintentionally) illustrates the problem; IL is shown as a northern state, up there with ND and MT. It’s not. Its northern-most point is (essentially, there is a tiny sliver above it) Chicago, which sits just below the southern border of all the states it’s listed with, but the state itself extends over 400 miles to the south down to spear KY. But the only thing anyone ever thinks about with IL is Chicago.

    I currently live in MO. I’ve met enough smug, woman-hating Trump supporters to pull the average up from pure misery, but otherwise people are well aware that it’s a pretty shitty place to live. Actually, that’s not quite true- the nature is pretty nice. But, with Republicans in power everywhere, that isn’t going to last much longer.

  10. robro says

    Where are the frownie faces? The lowest level is neutral. How could that be? Surely there’s at least one state where many people are miserable. I figure Alabama might be there by tomorrow if they don’t successfully elect a raving idiot and pedophile, I mean a Republican.

  11. Chuck Stanley says

    how could anyone bear to live there

    I live in Houston Texas because my job is here but aside from that I love it. It was 65 and sunny today which is right about normal for December. The city is incredibly diverse in its population and the variety of food and entertainment establishments is almost endless. We have thriving theater and museum districts with ballet, opera, and symphony all resident. If you like sports we have plenty of that as well, both professional and not. Our previous lesbian Democratic mayor was replaced by an African American male Democratic mayor when she hit her term limit. I can’t really speak for the rest of Texas but I think I’ll stay here as opposed to packing up and moving to Morris Minnesota.

  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I must delusional. I have enough in my IRA to supply my needs for decades. I can withdraw what I consider realistically appropriate, and my net worth still goes up. I haven’t start withdrawing SSA yet. I am a volunteer driver for ElderCare, a charity that provides for senior citizens that are poor by transporting them to medical providers/tests. I am on medicare, and supplemental insurance. And I consider myself happy because I can supply my basic needs.

  13. garnetstar says

    Yeah, my family lives in Ohio, and one out of five people in their county are addicted to opiods. It’s not happy.