Monday, August 17, 2009

Fourth Wall Breakage

I was watching an episode of Family Ties today while I was waiting for the load in the dryer to finish tumbling and I found myself thinking. I know. This can be very, very dangerous, but I persevered in spite of the "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dogs" signs.

The audience was having a personal moment with the Keatons in the middle of the night because Mallory was worried about one of her friends who had just discovered that she was pregnant. They were sitting around the table eating a chocolate cake. (Allow me to note here that this never happens at my house. On Golden Girls, the characters are constantly all getting up at the same time and inevitably end up digging into a cheesecake that just happens to be in the refrigerator. You just don't get up randomly in the middle of the night at my house without rousing one of our five dogs and causing no end of ruckus. There is also, regrettably, no cake involved. Instead there are drowsy questions and a desire to go to bed before you fall over. So I find the picture of Steven, Elise and Mallory sitting around the kitchen table eating cake together warm and touching, but highly unlikely. Same goes for Golden Girls. What group of women over fifty gets up at one in the morning to discuss a problem at work??? Most of the time, women over fifty get up and take another Advil and go back to bed which they never wanted to leave in the first place, let alone adding on another two pounds with midnight cheesecake which they're going to have trouble digesting anyway.)

But the cake wasn't the issue. It was the fact that all of the Keatons were in bathrobes. Seriously, what family actually wears bathrobes? I have one that I keep in case we have unexpected company or if I get treed in the bathroom without the necessary clothing. That's it. My family certainly doesn't walk around in terry cloth kimonos looking cute and Leave It to Beaver-ish. In my experience, people only wear bathrobes if they're cold or if they're having company.

The Keatons were wearing robes to indicate their familiarity with each other and their total unawareness of being observed, that being the whole point of the typical family sitcom. I, however, would have found the whole situation far more believable if Steven had showed up in old tennis shorts and a Bart Simpson t-shirt with a hole in the shoulder, rather than his pristine plaid bathrobe. So the whole point of television failed, because the fourth wall was broken and the audience became known. Otherwise, why else would Mallory and Elise have bothered with bathrobes? It wasn't like Steven hadn't seen them in their pajamas before, which I'm sure were of the cute and silken matching variety, that being what the typical mom and teenage girl wear to bed these days....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I found this on my old livejournal. It was written February 23, 2005


There is comfort in the dark
there is beauty in the rain
there is mystery in the fog
when nothing at all seems sane.

When everything seems hopeless
when there isn't any light
when there seems to be no joy
I can journey from the night.

Oh! When I come to the edgeof that dark, dank forest
I can remember lessons learned
and again find peace and rest.

If I can see love in the rain
and find joy in the darkest night
I know that with God for certain
everything will soon be right.


What a summer.

Ups and downs, sideways and backwards. The wheel never stops turning, and all those other artistic-y phrases that say something about how we humans keep trudging on through the days and weeks and years before we look back and realize where we've come from and how far there is still to go.

I'm going to try and get back into the habit of writing on here again. I do want a record of my life and thoughts -- they can be pretty revealing! For example, I just stumbled across my old livejournal that I wrote in when I was sixteen and stopped when I was eighteen. My thoughts were so different then, and my mannerisms are utterly changed. Dang, I was cute! All bubblings about clothes and hair and how grown up I was becoming. How did you guys stand in the face of my bubbliness? But I can still see me in the bubblings, which is a comfort. I certainly laid a lot more of myself out there in the open than I do now.

This has been the longest summer of my life, I believe. It's been fun and memorable for many reasons. Now I'm looking forward to my new life at Union University, which begins in nine days. It's so funny to be having a beginning when I'm technically at the end, namely, the end of my undergraduate years. When you graduate high school, you believe that that's the end of life to a degree. I don't mean death of anything, but you can't really see yourself ever getting older. That's still true. I look at myself and marvel at the fact that I'm moving out, even if it is only for a brief time. This is the beginning of true adulthood, not the sham independence that I've been experiencing.

I guess I'm still bubbling about clothes and hair and how grown up I'm becoming.

One of the greatest lessons of this summer has been about -- surprise, surprise -- the phoenix. I guess I forgot that the phoenix doesn't experience victory over death just once. It has to do it over and over again. Every time of darkness is a chance to learn about how the sparks will never truly die. Not really. As long as there is a Savior, as long as we know that Light that can pierce any darkness, then anyone can rise out of the ashes of their despair or troubles. Nothing that traumatic has happened to me, mind you. It's just something I've learned. Even when a way of life is ending, like mine is at Crichton and even here at home is, there is always a new beginning.

During this summer, I got to see a tornado first hand. I've caught up on Supernatural. I've been on my first date. I've learned about packing tape and moving trucks. I've gotten closer to my friends. I've learned that being strong for others never stops and that small Baptist churches still exist.

Let the learning continue.