I’ve known some seriously obsessed, never missed a hometown parade people. I’ve also known a few regular rotation, TV viewing aficionados. I’m accidentally in the latter category.
I didn’t grow up gung-ho on parades. Exceptions were the 1776-1976 Bicentennial parade, and the yearly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Although I always enjoyed that turkey day morning tradition, I’m pretty sure it was used in a calculated way to keep us kids out of the stuffing chef’s way until it was time to set the semi-formal dinner table. Until my mid-20’s, my in-person parade experience was limited. One year, I glimpsed the annual NYC event from in between the shoulders of tallers on the sidelines. The next year, I tagged along to the 4:00 AM inflation, which was fascinating and cold. I also once (emphasis on sole) attempted to watch the New Year’s Eve Ball drop in Times Square, through elbows and push, frozen ears and watery eyes. The next immediate year following both, I front-seat parked myself back in front of the TV.
I learned through third-decade attrition: Senior Day, Home-Coming, Memorial Day, Independence Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, Summer Solstice, Parade of Lights, FestiFools, Championship Bowls, Ticker Tape. Hot weather, cold weather – there’s a parade for every season, and a few for no seasons, too. I absorbed the rituals, like deeply breathing second-hand smoke, but in a good way. Watching others enjoy, and being happy to help promote happiness.
Attached to holiday and tradition, approached as renewals and reminders; equally able to reclaim joyful childhood wonder and grow into patriotically serious adult respect. I became accustomed to the heart swell and admit to misty eyes each time our Flag would pass by.
At first, I clung to the original ideal: transference through love. Truly tried to make it a few times, envisioning arriving alone with the intention of meeting up with others, but eventually decided to drop out. Picturing being there hurt more than picturing not, especially when I became hung-up that my being might change the experience. I’m not claiming major influence. I’ve just been awkwardly considering from the side-lines long enough to believe showing up isn’t always for the best. Taking away from any enjoyable moment, not wanting to seem sad, not wanting to pretend happiness, having to explain, declaims any worth the experience may have had to offered.
I shake my head each time I am handed a health questionnaire that attempts to pigeon-hole present frame of mind. “Are you no longer finding enjoyment in the things you used to?” Consideration is supposed to light-bulb your brain into acknowledging you’re exhibiting an obvious sign of depression. Inapplicable for me, it’s a rather useless question. Answering, “Yes,” raises false flags. Answering, “No,’” just simply isn’t true.
That’s really not the point I’m trying to get to, though. The point is to recognize when it is time to declassify the past, re-future and re-program repetitive experiences as individually new. Projection, often the cause of unrealistic expectational holiday unhappiness, applies to nearly everything.
Here’s what I’m thinking: any awkwardness in life shouldn’t immediately be about “Let it Go” avoidance.
There’s a better pattern. Let it happen, deal with it, and only afterwards, decide if it’s worth trying again.
So, maybe next year, if I get up the nerve, and drum up appropriate support, I’ll parade again.
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:
Everybody Loves a Parade: http://brooklynology.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/post/2014/06/02/Everybody-Loves-a-Parade.aspx
I Love a Parade: http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/i/iloveaparade.shtml
About that Parade: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/parade.html