I have something of a white T-shirt fetish. I sort through a pile of three or four dozen every morning, seeking the cleanest one. As the time since my last laundromat visit increases, the whiteness of my T-shirts decreases. Complicating matters worse, I’m the kind of guy who would rather buy new ones — Gap medium two-pack $14.99 — than do laundry.

Today’s undergarment shopping trip (I also have a thing for new Gold Toe athletic socks — delicious) held a special surprise bonus: a brand-new pair of Pro Keds.

Listen, it’s the little things in life, ok?

So I pick up a three-pack of Gold Toes and am browsing Daffy’s (“Clothing Bargains For Millionaires”). Mostly, they sell the kinds of stuff you see European tourists wearing as they walk (slowly) around the city pointing at things. Yunno’, it’s not that their clothes aren’t stylish, they’re just slightly, um, alien. But you never know what you’ll find at Daffy’s. So I’m browsing…

And there they are: black Pro Keds with white stitching and kelly green rubber toes. Totally dorky — I love ’em. I have a pair just like ’em in olive and lime, and wear ’em all the time. They’re big and clunky and work perfectly with my baggy, ripped (read: I’m too old to wear ’em, but what the heck, I work at MTV) jeans. So I find an 11, and am good to go. Pure joy for just $19.99.

See? It’s the little things.

Like feeding Ethan. I had the honors this morning as my brother fiddled around on his laptop (we’re both nerds, surprise, surprise). And I’m tellin’ ya’, watching that kid’s better than watching TV. He starting to make sounds — I swear I heard “Dada” — and he’s got his first tooth. That, red hair, a huge smile and avocado and squash smeared all over his face makes for a pretty hilarious, beautiful, moving sight.

And it’s not just me. Christofer and I took E on some errands, and people everywhere were smiling and cooing — cold New York hearts everywhere were melting. When we dropped of Chris’ laundry, six or seven Asian women came out from behind the counter to smile and make googly eyes at him. “So han-sum!” they said.

It’s the little things.

Like coming home to a new magazine in the mailbox, or leftover pizza in the fridge. Like having the windows thrown wide for the first time in six months.

I’m convinced that happiness isn’t a way of being or not, it’s a decision. And I elect to be happy about all of the beautiful, miraculous, simple, little things.

They really do add up.

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