Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emotional Growth: As Seen On TV

Something is happening to me. It's the kind of thing I expected to happen around the time of Christian's high school graduation or maybe when I decrease the time between my hair appointments to keep up the blondification of the increasing gray hairs. As it is, I am only 33 years old with only one silver eyelash---a persistent one I have to keep plucking out---and two little boys who still get excited about Legos. But still, something is happening to me.

Maybe I brought it on prematurely with the purchase of the Clapper, a product I've fallen in love with since its arrival at my doorstep last month. We have a wonderful working relationship, the Clapper and I. I stand in applause and it lights up my life, and then we do it again in reverse. As much as I love the Clapper, maybe it's the cause of the something that's happening to me.

The something is a haunting, a mild ache in my chest, a tendency to be sentimental, reflective, and quick to produce tears. It happens at inopportune times, like at Max's second grade class program a few weeks ago. The class was strung across the room singing a cheery song about being America's kids, America's future. I cried because it was true. It was very inconvenient. Most everybody else was chuckling at all the nose-picking and fidgeting of America's future. But I was crying. I was also crying because of the old wrinkled granny in the audience who was shaking her head and lamenting about the number of Mexican kids in the class. She didn't think they should be part of America's future. That made me cry too.

DSCN9079

In the name of full disclosure as I ponder this mystery, I should also admit that I have recently been outfitted with a Snuggie. I did it to myself. In fact, I outfitted the entire family in them for Christmas. We don them while watching movies together or reading books. Today I found Max in his tan church pants, no shirt, and his child-size blue Snuggie worn backward, robe-style. He resembled a young, blond Moses. He parted the couch pillows and settled into a cartoon. He's America's future, you know. I'm wearing my Snuggie as I type this, and I am comfortable declaring my affection for it. The Snuggies are wonderful. Ridiculous? Yes. The cause of my sentimental streak? Perhaps.

Maybe the combination of the Clapper and the Snuggie is the reason why, at plenty o'clock one morning I was alone by the Christmas tree, watching a movie about a family. There were funny parts that made me laugh and sad parts that opened floodgates of emotion. And instead of policing the emotion and rationing its release, I surrendered to it. I let the tears and heavy sighs have a free-for-all with me. I bathed in all of the wonderful sadness. If I'd had a spoon nearby, I would have eaten it. I was wrapped in an overwhelming feeling of content. My soul reached from the inside out, tugged at my ear and whispered, "Just FEEL!"

The feeling thing is a big part of the something going on with me. It's not just feeling emotions at classroom programs and midnight movie viewings, though. It's a new version of feeling, an emotional upgrade of sorts to my internal software. The emotions are accompanied by a new understanding that I have no need to transform them, explain them, or resolve them as I used to believe. I don't have to find ways to turn sad into happy, scared into secure, lonely into loved. Everything is what it is. Feel it, embrace it, and let it go.

Is all this written in the fine print of the Clapper user manual? I'm not sure. I throw away users manuals.

If it's true that these As Seen On TV products propel the aging process and its accompanying maturity, I'm conflicted. I'm enjoying my new outlook on life, not to mention the comfort and convenience of on-demand ambient lighting and soft fleece. But are there other, less-enlightening side effects headed my way? Hot flashes? Hip replacements? Bingo nights? Only time will tell.

In the mean time, however, I'm going to put off ordering the Perfect Brownie Pan or the Microwave Pasta Boat. I can only handle so much wisdom at once.

14 comments:

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

I sooo need a clapper and will never own a snuggie unless you count the ones that my MIL gave the kids with their Christmas jammies. Then...I guess we have them.

ps. Hi my friend!

Dede said...

Oh Tiff... you make me laugh.

Donna said...

Have I said it a million times? Your writing is fantastic. You should really let that silver eyelash be. It could be your Cindy Crawford mole, you know?

Enjoy the clapper and snuggie, be proud!

Leslie said...

I'm going to buy a clapper AND a snuggie. I so need to get in touch with my feelings instead of transforming them or denying them.

Christy said...

This is great, really great! What a beautiful message from my wise, wise friend.

P.S. Loved the part about Max parting the cushions!

Becky said...

Beautiful. I loved this. And I love you too!

Jesse C said...

I am seriously SO JEALOUS of your clapper. I need one.

Lindy-Lou said...

I think I found Max on the far left? Are they wearing the flag of their ancestry? Is his the Polish flag?
I wish I could have been there. I would have cried, too.

Angie said...

I think you are very wise, and yes, Bingo night is in all of our futures.

Angie said...

I think you are very wise, and yes, Bingo night is in all of our futures.

Mia said...

You have such a way with words. This post is beautiful. I think I will go cry now and totally enjoy it :)

Omgirl said...

Hahaha, welcome to getting old. I started it way earlier than you. I think it was when I was a teacher and I was teaching my 6th graders about the Statue of Liberty, and I started reading the poem that is on it, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazerus. And when I got to the part where it says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free..." I started having to fake-cough so they wouldn't see how choked up I was getting. Then I had to have a student finish reading it so I could go fake-adjust-my-contacts at the back of the room.

Old age is fun, isn't it?

robin said...

your writing is wonderful...

jani vegas said...

I love this post. I am also getting old. (You have probably viewed me as old for a long time!) I find myself choking up when my little family plays games together--especially when Josh is home. It really goes by so fast. What to do??? i guess I'll just surrender and buy a Snuggie and a Clapper and let Roger Whitaker serenade me into old age...

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