Tag Archives: love

new blog post: disappointment

i wrote his awhile ago and thought i’d put it up.

i haven’t said it yet, not sure if i will, it’s probably the most powerful phrase a parent can wield on their child, more painful than any spanking, more thought provoking than anything a raised voice could deliver, and a useful tool to get a person to actually think about their actions.

what am i talking about?

the monotoned uttering of “i’m disappointed in you.” the most effective delivery is the following: you must hold your jaw so that your teeth are only a quarter of an inch apart, speak from your mouth using your lips, almost a whisper – forcing the sound from your throat. of course a dead eyed stare upon delivery helps as well. when someone says this to you, there is nothing you can do. you can’t argue with it. walking away in quiet contemplation is about all you got. do you remember the first time you heard it? well, perhaps not the first time, but i guarantee that more than a few of you know the situation that caused a masterful delivery of that phrase by someone in your life.

disappointment. see, i think all of us seek the approval of an adult in our lives, the approval of someone we look up to, we all want to hear the opposite of disappointment, we want to make them proud. perhaps it was an adult early on, and now you seek the approval of someone else. i know that when my girls grow up i will want them to be proud of me, to see me as a person that they can count on, but i think their is something profound in letting a loved one down. not that i aim for it, it may have looked that way sometimes, but when you disappoint someone you are not the only one forced to contemplate the expectations. the person who is disappointed had better be examining their vision of you, what they want to see in you, and ultimately your relationship. we can, sometimes unknowingly, load loved ones with unrealistic and ridiculous expectations, we do it to ourselves too. i believe in high standards, i live my life expecting a lot from myself and those that i am around – i know this.

disappointing someone is not something that you purposefully do, it is something that someone thinks you have done to them. there are times we need to be more aware of those around us and understand our role in their lives, but there are times when people in our lives need to be forced to understand that we are not purposefully hurting them, but doing what we feel is right, and perhaps that shouldn’t lead to disappointment, but a further understanding of one another’s lives.

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extremely loud and incredibly close. part one.

this is part one to what may be a three-part posting about my reaction to this film. i don’t discuss the movie in detail, so no spoiler.

we went to a movie last night. it’s interesting how we come to be exposed to certain music, literature (why isn’t there a cool word for music like there is for books), or movies (‘cinematatic experiences’ as i like to call them – and push my fake glasses back up my nose). i would say seventy-five percent of my exposure to these three portholes of ‘soul oxygen’ are introduced from a ‘trusted source’ (yes ‘trusted source’ – so much easier to say family member or friend, but ‘trusted source’ has weight – right? like i have a team of people working to find new information for me.), ten percent comes from magazines or on-line sources (definitely not always to be trusted) and wait, *whispers to self* seventy plus ten is eighty, eighty minus one hundred is… seventeen percent. (sorry I’m practicing in case anyone asks me to ‘walk them through the math’, what a funny thing to ask someone, likes it’s going to change their manipulation of the numbers. “oh you want me to ‘walk you through the math’, darn, um, well, *whispers to self – loud enough to be heard* two plus twenty carry the eight, so, six. yes, i have six sheep.” too funny) back to where I was going (where are we going?) twenty percent of my exposure is from blind luck. yes, just stumbling onto something. i found nellie mckay that way, if you haven’t heard her music – you should – now i’m one of your percentages of exposure. i was at the library looking through cds, the cover looked interesting – it was just her looking happy in a red jacket, i listened to it, and have since passed it on to others. you’re welcome nellie, which you have to say mckay after, or people think you’re ‘repin’ the lou’, and who but a few could blow through a reed for that city. just kidding – a fine place. just a little sports rivalry, i wanted to work mr. reed into this post, and didn’t want to make a silly ‘hot in herre‘ reference.

breath of air.

spoon man. yes, i'm up to four.

i ‘stumbled on’ a book a few years back called “extremely loud, incredibly close” by jonathan safran foer, and it moved me. it made an impression, so much so that i had to ‘trade it’ to a family member i rarely see, and don’t remember how or when we exchanged it, for one of his other books “everything illuminated” which was also turned into a movie. we went to see the ‘film adaptation’ (sorry my fake glasses were sliding down my nose again and needed a reason to be nudged up) of “extremely loud incredibly close” last night.

my goal is not to write a review or ruin the movie – if you have read the book- or seen the movie, then you already know what i know, and you tell others to read the book or see the movie. see, my goal is to advocate for this movie – because i want everyone to cry. yes, for those of you who don’t know me, i am an emotional person. our wedding, the girls first days of day care, the wind blowing east, are all lip quivering, shaky voice experiences for me. that being said, i have never seen so many people leave a theatre in tears. it was awesome, and inspiring. something happens when you become a parent, or have parents, something happens when you are human, your view of the world changes. (not all people are humans) you start to see everything through the lens of someone who has a shit load of responsibility – to put it bluntly. you kind of matter more than you did, and this understanding makes you more vulnerable to be a crier at a movie. i know, some people cry inside and don’t outwardly show emotions, i’m cool with that, and can see through the flesh on their cheeks. i think what makes me emotional in situations that i observe (movies, t.v. shows, or airport drop offs – your welcome for clarifying) is that i put myself in their place. i find something i identify with, and then create a landscape in my mind where all the people in my field of vision are suddenly ones i know and i see myself moving in front of me – stay with me – and i feel. simply put. i allow myself to feel. guess some of that may be empathy.

i think we were twenty minutes deep in the movie and i had already wiped my eyes, put my pointer finger on my eyebrow and pinky to my mouth (try it so you have the full picture) in an attempt to raise the top of my eye, causing a bit of pain, and making it easier to not turn into a total mess. the reason for my, and r.’s, emotional response? we saw some of our relationships with our girls, specifically a. – only because of age – in the characters, and i suddenly was watching a film of memories and couldn’t get my head around not being around, more specifically, not having them in my life – not being in theirs. i’m welling up as I write this. it’s something we can all think about, something that we can all gain perspective from – what if ‘they’ or ‘i’ were gone, as in dead. what would i miss? what would i leave? what do we do during the days, hours, minutes that we are together that they carry with them as indelible images? i identified with the dad in the movie’s quirkiness. we all have it. it’s called individuality. it’s what separates us from others, it’s what makes us, well, us. we can forget to expose that sometimes, or forget how much of it is being observed by our children, and the importance of it is insane. sharing quirkiness, or in other words, being ourselves, gives others a chance to share theirs, and with kids, that is of paramount importance. express and don’t be afraid to be what and who you are – a simple trite message, but one we need to remember, one that, as we age, is easier to forget. being yourself, by the way, is not just clothes, music and slang, it’s the way you smell the lid of the soy butter container and lick the spoon. it’s the things your loved ones remember when you’re gone, it’s your impression. share it.


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