Did you ever wonder from where or whom did the expression “Happy Hour” originate? I consider myself a somewhat sophisticated sistah of the world; but, this term simply represents a time during the week when restaurants lowered the price of house wine, well-drinks, and cut the price of some pre-dinner choices just to wet the appetite. Maybe the pre-dinner appetizers are meant to absorb the less expensive alcohol, so more is desired. “Ya think?” Of course a chosen time for this bargain fun fest is usually at a time when the day is winding down; thus, it is time to end the workday and begin the evening HOUR. Okay, enough of the setting and time.
As a trying writer and critical thinker, the genius who came up with this idea created many different possibilities on which to ponder. First, let’s look at the word HAPPY. The denotation and connotation of this word seem similar as a feeling of joy and contentment. There are many synonyms; however, “happiness” here is associated with the ending of a work day. How many of your weekdays on the job are filled with stress, unwanted confrontation, and even boredom? How many people do you know who can’t wait to finish their workday where they are under the strict control of a straw boss who is in turn watched by a stressed out success monger who runs the particular institution which have to “jail” those who are part of their rat race to do what is expected? So, after pondering these easy questions, can we brainstorm why the word HAPPY is the key word in this title?
I have some serious answers. HAPPY HOUR and its purpose insinuate that the bargain buy on alcohol will entice those leaving a workplace while increasing their strong desire to relax. After all, what is better than liquid libation? This is obvious, but what is this really telling us about our society? Are we an unhappy species looking for the medication of a drink or are we craving the freedom of being in an environment where socializing naturally is enhanced by atmosphere, bargains, and human contact?
On the other hand, does this HAPPY HOUR serve as a distraction and falsely medicate the participant whose home is not a refuge from the world but an antagonistic environment far less a happy place than the daily job? Hmmmm? Could it be a numbing before an onslaught of stress associated with family or a dysfunctional relationship? More thoughts on the satisfaction of those who live in today’s society. Could these HAPPY HOURS, timed perfectly for the evening rush, be a cause of unsafe drivers who are lacking their clear driving skills due to the consumed alcohol? Oh, that’s not a good thought at all.
What do we learn from these new institutional gatherings? Nothing will change. We need an hour to be HAPPY. Our world is a place from which people seem to want to escape. People are living in fear of many issues facing our society. Places to sit and drink such as a pub like atmosphere exist everywhere and will continue to grow. And, I think it’s a good thing. Food for thought?