You would think that happiness would be a celebrated state of being, however, it's been my experience that for many people happiness is hard to come by and can be met with scorn and suspicion when its around in abundance.
When I was seventeen, a female friend of my older brother made a comment to me that I always walked around looking like I was so happy.
Now, ever since I was a child, I've been a brazen optimist, so on the one hand I wasn't surprised that I was being called out for something that's been a part of my personality for as long as I can remember. However, the way she said it made it sound like I never experienced other feelings. Her tone made me very uncomfortable. As I stood there feeling the flush of a shame I couldn't understand, I watched most of the women in the beauty shop turn towards me as if I needed to explain why I had the nerve to walk around being happy. I responded "I'm not always happy because then I would be fake. I just don't go around wearing all of my feelings on my sleeve." It wasn't my intention, but my brother's friend thought I was being a smart-alec, when I was just being honest.
The woman's comment stuck with me because when she responded to my retort, I could tell that she felt somewhat envious of my ability to be happy. I was young and she was older and owned a beauty shop so I couldn't quite figure out why she was responding to me with so much envy.
Then, I once dated a black guy who called me a happy white person. I thought to myself, "here we go again!" I was taken aback by him aligning happiness with being white, so I asked him why couldn't I just be a happy black person. He said that in his experience it was mostly white people who were as happy-go-lucky as I was. He said I was an interesting anomaly.
Over the years his comment stuck with me not so much because of his insistence that I couldn't be black and happy, but that being around someone who could remain in a prolonged state of happiness was something so incredibly foreign to him.