A while back, my hubby and I saw the most amazing concert. The music, the showmanship, the banter – it was perfection. We drove home in happy silence and later looked up a few of the showman’s songs on the internet. The man was a super talent.
Now let me tell you about Halloween last week in our town. I knew there was going to be an impromptu show of parents and children in downtown Edmonds, so I grabbed my husband’s arm and pulled him to the door. “You have to see the kids and flash mob dancers.”
Hank frowned. The idea of seeing middle-aged women gyrating to Michael Jackson music did not thrill him, but he came along.
Soon we were huddled under a restaurant eave to avoid the drenching skies and parade of goblins. “Any minute now,” I said, checking my phone clock and praying for the dance squad to start before Hank got antsy and left. At 6 o’clock a group of forty-to-sixty-something ladies assembled in front of us. Music started and the troupe began to gyrate, not really as a dance, but more like a gym workout performed for our benefit.
I whooped in appreciation for their guts and awesome zombie outfits. My husband nodded along with the music and when the last note of ‘Thriller’ died off, I clapped loudly. “Wasn’t that great?”
This time Hank grabbed my arm and we took off for home. I couldn’t help but comment on the dance and thousands of costumed townsfolk, which brought up a memory. “Do you remember our kids’ holiday shows in grade school?” I asked. “I always cried at those Christmas and graduation events because they were a celebration of the ordinary. That’s why I love our little town. Edmonds celebrates the ordinary.”
I smiled a wide grin. “That’s why the perfect concert weeks ago left me cold. It’s why I never care for razzle dazzle movies. I prefer the ordinary. Where children don’t spout adult trivia. Where grownups don’t save the world. I prefer stories where righting a small injustice changes everything. Where tiny misunderstandings matter. Where love doesn’t cure all, but it makes life a tiny bit better. “
Now in a perfect movie, Hank would have done something profound, perhaps he would have bent down on one knee with a ruby anniversary ring. But nothing amazing happened. He ran home to get there faster and when I turned the corner, I heard his goofy laugh entertaining a group of trick-or-treaters. It was the same goofy laugh he used all those years entertaining our kids, who are now grown and gone for the most part. I bit my lip to keep from tearing up. It was Halloween, for heaven’s sake. Nothing extraordinary.
It’s time for you to tell your story. Don’t insist on telling it perfectly. Just enjoy taking 15 minutes to write about the moments and memories of your life. Your readers are waiting to say, “Ah-ha, that sounds like my life, too.” All you have to do is cherish the ordinary.
For this week's writing prompts, contact me here.