7.15.2008

show, don't tell.

This was the most important piece of advice that my English 150 teacher, Lisa Boswell, wanted us to keep in mind when writing our personal narratives. "Show, don't tell." And she gave us numerous examples to ensure that we understood. Because I love The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian so much, I want to include my own example. I love the way Sherman Alexie writes:

I wanted to watch the sweaty Penelope sweat her perfect sweat on that perfectly sweaty day.
She stood at the service line, bounced the volleyball a few times to get her rhythm, then tossed it into the air above her head.
She tracked the ball with her blue eyes. Just watched it intensely. Like that volleyball mattered more than anything else in the world. I got jealous of that ball. I wished I were that ball.
As the ball floated in the air, Penelope twisted her hips and back and swung her right arm back over her shoulder, coiling like a really pretty snake. Her leg muscles were stretched and taut.
I almost fainted when she served. Using all of that twisting and flexing and concentration, she sma
shed the ball and aced the Lady Gorillas.
And then Penelope clenched a fist and shouted, "Yes!"
Absolutely gorgeous.


And obviously, (since I think everyone who reads this blog has taken ENG150) to tell, rather than show, would be more like this:

I watched Penelop
e play volleyball today. She looked really hot.

Okay, really, I'm getting to a bigger point. After a conversation with Mark, I decided to adopt the philosophy of "show, don't tell," to my entire life. I decided that it's not really that I talk too much, but that I vocally over-analyze life as it's unfolding around me. It is annoying and it feels annoying. And I know that I do it out of an insecurity and need for confirmation.

I feel like my kissing record (mentioned in my previous post) is, once again, a good example.
It's fine that I am deliberate in my actions. No problem there. I shouldn't kiss anyone that I would regret kissing. But, at further prodding myself about these situations, I really could deduce the implications of kissing someone by the way that "we" individually behave and communicate within our existing relationship. Sure, the future of the relationship may go differently than I can reasonably project, but having a long conversation about the implications of kissing is not likely to change that.

It has always been a sense of insecurity that has led to those long conversations and the destruction of those prospective cinematically romantic moments.

So now, I move forward. I do not need a verbal confirmation of everything. And I am so happy that I came to this realization.

Because no kissing situations are likely to arise in the near future, I've posted pictures of my favorite celebrity crushes; because I never do things this girl-y, and especially because when I name them by name, nobody knows who they are. (It's weird, but for some reason the topic of celebrity crushes keeps coming up.) The first one is Asano Tadanobu and the second is Melvil Poupaud.

3 comments:

whitney said...

Weirdest crushes ever.

Marie said...

I think this blog indicates that you are now overanalyzing by writing- it's OK that what writer's do.

Marie said...

Ack! An apostrophe error!