Random Thoughts / Funny bones out of whack
Published 2:26 pm, Thursday, May 12, 2011
I am sure that everyone will enjoy seeing my two-year-old grandson's rendition of "Ninkle Ninkle Little Star." And all viewers will be entranced to see my five-month-old granddaughter squeal with joy when she gets tickled, or watch my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter do a cheer for UConn's basketball team. My kids have sent me videos of all of the above, and I watch them over and over again.
Because I think these films are so entertaining, having nothing to do with the fact that they feature my beloved grandkids, I have shown them to some friends. It surprises me that these people who normally enjoy good entertainment can barely even feign interest when I make them gather around the computer and watch the videos. Instead, they keep asking me if I have any pictures. Yes, it would take less time to look at pictures, but a still photo does not capture the humor and charm of these children like a video does.
I love it that my kids can send me these wonderful little movies of the babies. The films allow a far-away grandma to keep track of the kids' growth and development and marvel at their adorableness. (and ability to carry a tune, if not get the words right.) It's wonderful that I don't have to limit myself to carrying a few photographs that are quickly outdated. When people politely ask me if I have pictures of my grandchildren, they can get treated to an enjoyable film clip instead.
My grandchildren have blogs on which their parents post videos and stories about recent doings. My daughter and daughter-in-law keep them up and they are both wonderful writers, so the blogs are very entertaining. At least I think so. Yet when I show them to these well-meaning friends who ask for news of my grandkids, they lose interest faster than my students during a lecture about writing essays.
I know that it is tedious to look at pictures of children who you don't even know. I realize that watching some two-year-old sing is not normally that fascinating. But this is different. Seeing and hearing my grandkid bellow "Ninkle, ninkle" is truly hilarious. Or is it just me?
It might be that I have lost all sense of taste and proportion and turned into one of those people who think that just because she has a passion for something, everyone else shares the enthusiasm. Could I be boring my friends?
Am I like those people who say, "Can you believe that game yesterday?" then go on to describe all the details of the baseball, football or basketball game they watched. They are stunned to discover that I don't know what game they are talking about, and that I don't really care about the Yankees (or the Jets, or the Knicks). They think everyone is glued to their TVs cheering for the team just like they are.
We do find it difficult to comprehend that the world at large might not share our particular passions. There are people who go on and on about the latest performances on "American Idol." They love to conjecture about who will be eliminated and who will make it big. They can get into heated arguments about the merits of a particular rendition of a particular song. And about J-Lo versus Steven Tyler. (OK, I admit it, I'm one of those people.)
When someone tells us they don't watch "American Idol" we look at him as if he had just said he's not interested in world events. We don't consider liking the show a matter of opinion -- it's a matter of right and wrong and those who don't tune in are just wrong.
When we really like something, be it a work of art, a movie, a sport, a hobby, or a person, we cannot be objective about it. The painting is magnificent and anyone who doesn't share our view is denying reality. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the beholder can't understand how others don't look through the same eyes.
Yet, though we don't understand how others can't appreciate the things that we love, we are impatient with those who try to push their passions on us. Can't people see my eyes glaze over when they obsess about the Yankees, or shows about nature, or the newest online game?
I don't want to believe that I am the grandparental version of these bores. But what am I to think when even when the kindest people I know push my cell phone back into my hand before the eight minute video of my granddaughter dancing is even over?
What I think is that all of my friends just have no taste, no humor, and can't appreciate a funny film when they see it. After all, these videos must be terrific. I watch them over and over again.
Carol Randel shares her "Random Thoughts" every other Friday.