I Get The Picture.

Posted by admin on March 27, 2017 in Relationships |
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If it were up to me, I would speak entirely in analogies and word pictures. Even though I was blessed (cursed?) with an, at times, huge vocabulary that sends my friends to their online dictionaries and receives weekly plaudits from Grammarly for using more words than 95% of the population, when it comes right down to it, a simple analogy seems to do the trick.

It’s a good thing Kat also speaks in analogies and word pictures. Oddly, she has even reduced this art to a shorthand that can use as little as three words to achieve crystal clarity. On children being like their parents: Apples and trees. No need to go through the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” analogy, which itself a classic. No, she just shorthands it and I nod, knowing that she has cut it all down to the core. And yes, that is an apple joke.

Being a writer, my analogies and word pictures are never that brief. Often they can be fairly complex, a meandering journey through my mind that eventually dribbles past my vocal chords and out of my mouth, causing others to look very bewildered. Seeing this, I will edit, rephrase and then rephrase again until they finally nod their head.

I’m still not sure if they are merely nodding to get me to move on and quit trying to explain, or if my attempts to condense and clarify have finally hit paydirt.

I certainly found myself editing a lot a few nights ago. As we all probably know by now, I have not had great luck in the relationship category. If this were the Oscars, I would have received countless nominations, only to be turned away at the podium as I tried to claim my award for a performance that was finally lasting.

The wine was flowing and I was telling a story about my past, as usual, without provocation or purpose. But the truth serum had already kicked in. Now, stories of my past can get quite confusing at times, since Kat is not my first wife, but fourth. Or third, depending how I like to count it.

I know it’s hard for her to understand that this relationship is unlike anything I have ever known, except in fairy tales. We are truly a match made in heaven. Mind you, these are my friend’s words, not mine. I resisted all temptation to add superlatives to this relationship, or even drift into an analogy or word picture. Doing so would cheapen this amazing love we somehow found later in life.

But I had no choice the other night. I was cornered, leaving Kat feeling like she was just one of many, which is certainly not true at all. If anything, she is the first and only.

As I painted myself into a smaller and smaller circle that was quickly drifting to the corner, I finally resorted to an analogy. In the past, it may have been a word picture born out of fear or absolute necessity. Thank god my nose doesn’t grow, for some of the doozies I came up with in the past would have made great kindling.

In this moment, however, I simply said: “The others were Chaplain movies. You’re Singing in the Rain.”

Bam! Nailed it! I finally hit upon the difference. When asked about my past relationships, I have often said, and quite rightly so, that they are all in various shades of gray. They are not only gray, but in a soft focus too.

When asked about my past relationships, I have often said, and quite rightly so, that they are all in various shades of gray. I don’t remember much about them; they are just various tones of gray.

They are silent pictures in many respects. There are flickers of images flashing by but no narrative. And unfortunately, the piano player moved on some time ago, getting a far more interesting gig than accompanying my misadventures.

Yes, some of the comedic moments remain, but they are few and far between. The pacing is bad, there are breaks in the film, a lot of scratches and burn marks, but that’s really all. They were fascinating at the time, but the story finally flickered out and no one bothered to change the reel.

With Kat, it’s Singing In the Rain non-stop. We have our little dances but we never do a number on one another. I am the older song and dance man; she the young ingénue, a little less experienced but sweet and wholesome.

Of course, I fall madly in love with her. Even though I can be a bit of a twit sometimes, she still has that riveting look that pops right through the screen and smacks you dead in the eyes. You know that look, the one of adoration.

Everything is in glorious Technicolor. Even the most dramatic of scenes are splendid in their composition and form. The lines are never rehearsed, yet flow effortlessly. The steps we take in our morning dance of making coffee and tea is intricate, like watching a Fred and Ginger movie.

But we are careful never to step on one another’s toes. Instead, we allow each other to shine in our own way, finding our own place in the world and the relationship, all the while remaining one of those famous teams on the silver screen. We are a little bit Kelly and Reynolds, a little bit Fred and Ginger, and a lot of Laurel and Hardy with just a touch of Marx Brothers.

Thank you love of analogies and word pictures. You saved the day again.

Of course, it’s really the truth. The best part of analogies is that they are often grounded in a raw truth, because you don’t have any time to be a silver tongued devil. There’s the moment, and you need to call it as you see it, whether you revel in the maze of beautifully crafted words or just reduce it to its very core, with no shit or Shinola.

Who says they don’t make them like they used to? I am only glad that I found someone who gets me and I get her. I was certainly tired of watching the same old silent movies, that’s for sure. I don’t think I could have taken another one, at least not without lots of free popcorn and Junior Mints to see me through.

In the Emerald City, loving the CinemaScope that is my life,

  • Robb

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