All things come to a beginning

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mark my words

It boggles my mind how the family sitcom continues to work. The middle-class home, the overweight boorish dad, the stay-at-home MILF, a doofus teenage son, a sassy daughter and a precocious third child, a few obnoxious family members/neighbours thrown in, marinated in a blend of stale jokes, rusty stereotypes and tasteless repetition. One of the laws of tv, I guess: certain frames and set-ups can be trusted to work, regardless of how many times they've been used already. Fixed patterns, a predictable order of events, formulas. The A-Team coming up with a disguise for Face. Baantjer talking to his bartender and finding the solution to his case. Hyacinth being barked at by Onslow's dog. René saying "You stupid woman!". The Friends cast sipping coffee and acting constipated and self-centered. And of course, Carrie sitting behind her laptop and voice-overing "But I couldn't help but wonder...". One of those screen shots I particularly liked was the one going "Why are we should-ing all over ourselves?". In that episode, Miranda feels guilty about not enjoying her own honeymoon and they get into how-much-of-what-we-do-is-inspired-by-social-pressure. "Should" is a good one, but I think "could" deserves a spot on the list too.

Now that I'm a working girl and officially done school, I have my nights free for socializing - the only books that pass through my hands these days are fictional and may or may not have a shirt-bereft Fabio and a quivering damsel in distress on the cover. I've been out for drinks pretty much every night so far, and catching up with people I hadn't properly sat down with in ages. And it's on one of those nights that "could" dropped in on the conversation. What you could do. What could happen. The exact context was feeling frustrated at not being able to show people what I am capable of, at under-achieving. I quote: "People can't see what you could do". What an awesome phrase. No matter how many utterly brilliant ideas and plans take place inside your skull, they remain invisible to everyone else until you act on them. Until you communicate them, ask for advice, take steps in the right direction, put your money where your mouth is. There is nothing wrong with daydreaming, doodling and fantasizing, but in the end, isn't the actual doing ultimately more rewarding?

Speaking of which, a girl I went to university with is saying "I do" today at Leuven's city hall. I'm off to an open air music festival straight after work & spending the weekend at the seaside. I had some reservations about the invite at first, but soon decided to just go. It's a minuscule commitment compared to hers - but at 23, I feel far more comfortable with mine.


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