Monday, May 02, 2005

“Positive thinking is fine in theory. But whenever I try it on a systematic basis... I end up really depressed.”

The Movie: Barcelona, 1994 (Whit Stillman, screenwriter and dir.)
Who says it: Taylor Nichols as Ted Boynton, an American salesman working in Barcelona
The context: Ted’s compulsive reading of self-help books isn’t helping him much.
How to use it: To enjoy your negativity.

In the grocery store the other day, I saw a mother and teenage daughter shopping together. It was as grim as those situations usually are. As I passed them, I heard the mother say, "I don't know where you get this attitude."

I felt such an overwhelming sense of time-warp vertigo, I almost tripped over my cart. I wanted to turn around, grip each of them by a shoulder, and say, "Do you realize that you are having the Universal Teenager-Parent Conversation, right now? Congratulations, you're both winners!" Instead, I zoomed into the next aisle before I could hear the next sentence, which I'm sure was some version of, "You just don't understand."

On a good day, it makes me happy to know that we're all just repeating patterns of everyone who came before us, and everyone who'll come after. On a bad day, the tragedy of humanity overwhelms me.

Today's a good day. The sun is back, and it's the first day of Reny's Spring Sale. The flyer I got in the mail suggests that a perfect Mother's Day gift might be a small appliance, or maybe some gardening clogs. Something tells me that Mom wouldn't be thrilled with either of these. Maybe she would like the Coleman Inflatable Boat (with oars!), only $29.95...

1 comment:

Running from my House said...

I enjoy reading your blog so much i've started my own, and mentioned yours (hope it's ok). I might use the random song lyric to start my posts, but i did give credit to you!