Thursday, March 28, 2013
One of the only bright spots of my 'powerwalks' over the last five weeks has been my renaissance of podcasts--in particular, THIS AMERICAN LIFE which, for my money, is probably one of the best programs in the history of media; it definitely does not get enough (or any) attention. If you love great stories, entertainment, and interesting takes on ideas (and if you hate hearing the word 'sequester' and 'euro zone' all the time) check it out on NPR!!
An AMAZING episode about 'reruns' the other day...I will probably focus on different parts of the episode in future posts, but one facet of the program really touched me: Husbands and wives and the stories they share. The focus was this: Husbands and wives are together for years and years, sharing all angles and stages and milestones of life together. How often, then, must they both hear the same....old....droning....repetitive stories from their partner. Think about that! Think about your own husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Ask yourself these questions: a) what story does your partner tell the MOST? b) what story is your favorite? c) what story are you totally sick of hearing? d) what story do you find your partner 'embellishing' upon, in mixed company, in order to make the story more entertaining? Ira Glass strung together a slew of men and women sharing life together who reported on these such stories, and I started thinking about how Amanda and I would answer these questions--it might actually make a great relationship exercise, no?
I am WELL AWARE of how verbose I can be--I love telling stories and entertaining people (especially after one or ten wheat beverages....). Amanda must be SO SICK of some of my crap by now...she must get so tired of hearing my 'stories' when I tell them in front of her to friends, family, etc. Because, let's face it, she knows me the best. Last night, I played part of the podcast for her while she made me cookies #shadesofchauvenist and then asked her the afore mentioned questions. She laughed and laughed and laughed.. Then she confessed that she really does love all my stories....but there is one, perhaps, that 'kind of' annoys her.....and it is my Swiss Exchange Student Sailing Story .
For those who DONT know, when I was in college I had a tremendous opportunity to take 14 24 year old female Swiss exchange students sailing on a Windjammer out of Camden Harbor. I got paid 500 bucks for the week, AND I got free food and beer the entire time. Oh....and I got to spend a week with hot Swiss girls. I love this story, and, upon talking to Amanda, I always BEGIN it the same way: Oh my gosh....so I had this job when I was in college....worst worst WORST job I ever had....I am still in therapy over it....I had to take these 14 Swiss exchange students sailing.....etc etc.
See the 'buildup' of this? See how I try to engage my audience? See how there is a 'story' about the story? No? Dont we do this? Arent we all, to a degree, 'showmen' and 'showwomen' when we RERUN the same old stories? Dont we recycle parts...lie a little.....stretch what REALLLLLLY happened all in the name of entertaining our party AND making ourselves feel a bit more rich in terms of the life we have lived? I think so. We are constantly re-running these stories in our lives, much the same way certain TV networks syndicate shows like Seinfeld, Raymond, Cheers, etc.....all in the name of providing a level of 'comfort' to the audience (??)
I cant really think of any of Amanda's "re-run" stories....I guess, if I had to name one, it would be her 'birthing story' of Callum and Maira. Women love to talk about the experience they had giving birth to their kids. But she never brings it up of her own volition....ya know? Hmm....what DOES Amanda tell over and over again? The time she locked us out of our house the day before we closed on it with the realtor? The time she broke down in her 1903 Volvo on her way down to see my family and I? Her experience 'living' at a campground for about a month while Lin and Gorge tried to find a house to buy in Maine? Her first 5K trail-run race (dont worry Amanda....I wont tell the rest.....). There are tons if I sat and thought....
And then there is the whole angle of the stories only Amanda and I know.....and the stories only you and YOUR partner know.....
The amazing world of rerun stories. That never get old. Or do they...............................