Monday, October 18, 2010

From the "Older I Get the Less I Know" Files...

We have been watching a really funny TV show called Modern Family.  It follows the lives of one extended family (that is made up of three families).
The head of the family, Jay, is married to a lovely younger woman with a early adolescent son.  Jay's two grown children make up the remaining two families.
I find this show to be enjoyable because the "family" is made up of a bunch of characters.  And isn't that relatable?

One of my favorite characters is Jay's stepson Manny.  Manny is about 11 years old and wise beyond his years.  He hasn't hit puberty yet, but is smarter than most adults.  He prefers to be in the company of his adult stepsister over his same age "step nephew" because he prefers the conversations they share.
Manny's character reminds me of my own brother!
On a side note - Dame was ahead of his time when he was a child, preferring a good book and cup of tea to a baseball game.  His best friend was our grandmother and he was always articulate and sensitive to people. ---

But, back to life lessons.

On one particular episode of the TV show, Manny wrote his Valentine a poem expressing his feelings for a girl his age.  In it, he remained anonymous, but asked the girl to meet him at the ice cream parlor for Valentine's Day.  Well, sure enough, another boy steals the poem and takes credit for it.
Manny is devastated and his step brother and family encourage him to tell the girl the truth about the author of the poem.
After many laughs and scenes, Manny confesses to the girl that he is the author of the poem, not the other boy.  The girl looks at the other boy who stole Manny's work and asks if it were true.  The thief admits that he stole the poem because it expressed his feelings that he couldn't put into words.  The girl looks blissfully at the thief and tells him how "sweet" he was for stealing Manny's poem.

At this point, the audience feels terrible for Manny.  Clearly, he did everything right.  He was vulnerable in expressing his feelings, he was put in an uncomfortable position of explaining that he was the author of the poem and then he was rejected.
But at that moment, when I was feeling pain for Manny, he became the character that I love!
He looked at the girl, then looked at his stepbrother who supported him through this ordeal and saw what really mattered.
He said to his brother, "this chick is crazy!  Let's get out of here!"
And just like that -- all the heartache and pain were gone and Manny moved on!

Now, it is just a TV show, but how many times have I been in that never ending loop and not been able to move on?

I have been in similar situations where I feel I did the right thing, even in uncomfortable circumstances, and still 'been rejected" in the end.  But, unlike this carefully scripted character, I continued to try express my point of view in different ways, just so I could be heard or understood.
When in reality, I could talk until I was blue in the face and it wouldn't change the outcome.

I am naive to think that "if only the person had all the facts" or "could understand the truth" that all things would fall into place.

Obviously, it takes great patience and communication skills to attempt to convey your message in a polite and respectful way.  I applaud people that have these skills.  Natasha is a master communicator and so it Jon.  They both have the ability to give information in a way that is both informative and interesting.  I tend to think that if I had their skills, I would face fewer difficulties with communication.

In many cases, I see situations where there is a clear misunderstanding between two parties - either a misinterpretation of words or an assumption that is not confirmed.  And I think "if only I could get them to understand then the problem would be solved".

There are times when that is not the case and this is the lesson I need to learn.
Sometimes, "the chick is just crazy" and the best course of action is to just let it go.


DamianC said...

"this chick is crazy! Let's get out of here!"
I should have said that 7 years ago!
Just kidding. This is a such a funny show!

DannyB said...

Oh, Dame. That one is going to cost you!