Realty or Fantasy?

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

May 16, 2010

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Categories: Family, The Green Life

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08:  The six short...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In my twenties, I embraced movies and literature that “pushed the envelope” trying to describe a piece of realty (often unbeknown) to me. I’m in my thirties now. I have a child. I am married. Now, when I look for something to read or write, unless it’s a specific subject I am interested in, all I want is fiction. Chick flicks. Easy mysteries. Stories where the bad guy loses and the good guy always wins.

In my twenties, I never would have dreamed there would be a day where I would want the predictable Hollywood film. I often thought, “Who would want that, it’s so trite?” Now, in retrospect, the movies and films I find trite are the ones that try to “daringly” push the envelope about some “coming of age” story.

One of the movies I enjoyed, but could not watch often, is Happiness. In it, you have three suburban sisters who face varied challenges in their respective romantic relationships. I enjoyed the movie at the time because I felt that it talked about things people don’t want to talk about. The stories though? They are hardly that of folks I know. In fact, they tell stories of rare instances in our society that only newspapers would grasp and make public because they are so far fetched the stories would attract attention.

I did have a clue, I think to one thing: how little we do talk to each other. The aforementioned movie not withstanding, how often do we not tell people what’s really going on. How often do we not tell people our frustrations. I think back to those years of me in my twenties, arrogant, thinking I knew it all, while also knowing I had a lot to learn. But, there were some things I swore I had figured out. When I see this behavior in others, some chalk it up to, “Oh well, s/he is young.” Like this arrogance is acceptable because we lack the years of wisdom to set us right.

Aren’t the older generations doing a disservice to those younger generations when they don’t share stories? Or is this my young arrogance talking again? What I wonder is how my perspectives would have changed if when, for example, asking someone why they preferred easy, predictable Hollywood movies, if they were able to articulate it better to me – the reasons they don’t need to see  a realty based movie. What would I have said if someone had explained that their days were filled with realty, changing diapers, arguing with loved ones, paying bills, looking for jobs, fixing dinner, cleaning the house, working, fixing cars, gardening, loving, caring, sharing. Would I have understood? Certainly it could have helped with a good story teller, someone who can spin a good yarn.

This particular stream of consciousness rant wondering why we don’t share, still. Why do we turn to false realties to explain our desired truths? Why can’t we tell stories to one another? Why do we focus or let Hollywood tell stories for us? Sure, escaping from realty to unwind, I get that. I watch T.V. But what about the generations craving those real stories? Why can’t we tell them our realties?

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