I have some kind of extra sentimental gene or something.
Which, in some ways, is completely antithetical to how I behave on a daily basis. I am not a gushy, excitable, over-the-top emotional kind of person. I sometimes see people - women especially - who seem to wear their emotions on their sleeves and they seem pretty emotionally healthy to me. At the very least, they're being emotionally genuine.
I'm too reserved to behave the same way. I just don't know when was the last time I displayed exuberance over anything. Is there something wrong with that? Shouldn't we all feel amazing and astonished and excited beyond belief at least every once in a while? The question is: Is "even" the best way to live your life?
Before this gets too maudlin, my life is filled with people I love, including an amazing husband and children I adore. And we don't live a life of austerity and glass-half-empty attitudes. It's just that I always feel a little 'controlled' about the people and events around me.
I have a Roz Chast cartoon in our refrigerator that mostly sums up my world view: "Rational Exuberance." It's hilarious. The people depicted are excited about mostly mundane things because that's about all the excitement they'll allow themselves. Feels very true to me.
So here I am, living my rationally exuberant, semi-guarded and safe existence, watching my reactions and appearance and speech. Remaining steady, reliable, dependable. Except for this: along comes the animated Christmas show, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on television. (Yes, I know its early for Christmas specials to be scheduled on TV by almost anyone's standards, except mine. Christmas is too wonderful a feeling to be relegated to three weeks a year as far as I'm concerned.)
And what happens? I watch what had to be the final 8 minutes of the show and tear up when the Grinch "stood puzzling and puzzling" about the meaning of Christmas. Then - forget it - when the dawn breaks, the Whos down in Whoville gather and start singing the Christmas song, I'm over. I'm a wreck. Is this normal?
I'm teary. I am overcome with the feeling that humanity isn't doomed. Enormously grateful for people like Ted Giesel and Chuck Jones who created this television classic and shared their own exuberance for this message with the rest of us. Thankful for the notion that even the most unlovable among us have some good inside.