I watched the Tournament of Roses Parade with my parents. What a shameful spectacle. At least according to my mom.
"I heard one of these bands raised a million dollars to pay for the kids to come to the parade. They should have spent that on books."
"Look at those outfits. They just spend so much money on ridiculous things."
"I wonder how much those saddles cost. Too much. It's just too much."
My mom, bless her heart, has a talent for nosing out the negative in any situation. It is more of a habit than anything. Unfortunately, I see the same tendency in myself.
The whole meal goes wonderfully, but I tell everyone that the waitress forgot my side dish. The trip is a blast, but my story about it is that we had to wait 2 hours on the plane before takeoff. Waa waa waa.
The other side of this tendency is that, when I only say the good parts of what happened, I feel a bit like a fraud. Like I am leaving out something important.
In defense of the T of R parade (it is NOT the Rose Bowl parade - the parade came first! Sensitive? Yes.), I built a float for 2 years when I was in college. When I say "built a float," I don't mean "glued flowers on." I mean that we created designs, chose one, drew plans, cut and welded metal, did electrical wiring, plumbed hydraulic lines, raised money, made meals, grew flowers, affixed chicken wire, covered the chicken wire, painted, sourced and prepared plant materials and THEN glued flowers on.
In that process, I learned more than I did in any of my classes. It was the college experience that I will remember long after I have forgotten everything else.
Was it silly? Yes. Was it expensive? Yes.
But we can't anticipate which of our life experiences will serve us best. Sometimes the silly and the things that take us off our regular path are the things that teach us most.
I also believe that humans need spectacle, grandeur, crazy larger-than-life events to drag us away from the mundane and practical. Otherwise it is all mundane and practical, and who wants THAT life?
Opera. Theater. Parades. Fashion. Pageantry. Who needs it? I think we all do. I think it is a big part of what makes us human and I don't want to live a life without it.
There are new links over at Linkateria. I am also still asking for entries for True Employee Confessions. Past, present, just hit me with your best, funniest, most annoying employee stories. How about the best time you got fired or quit? Email them to snackishblogATyahoo(etc)