Little stories we tellMon, 22nd Oct '07, 12:25 am::

There doesn't seem to be anything similar between the two movies I watched today, I Heart Huckabees and Reservoir Dogs. Both are awesome movies that I highly recommend watching more than once. One little bit in both films that I never noticed before, caught my attention today - personal anecdotes. "An anecdote is a short tale narrating an interesting or amusing biographical incident."

Personal anecdotes are the little stories we tell others to give them a glimpse into the world as we experience it from our point of view. I would not be the same person today without my teeth-gnashing story about how I nearly lost my opportunity to come to the US in 2000 because I clicked the stupid "Reply" button in an email instead of "Forward." My dad would not be the same person without his story of how he ran away from home in this teens but was caught by an employee at my grandpa's company. We repeat our stories to every new crowd. We talk about that one time we got so drunk in Europe that we had to be taken to a hospital and almost missed our flight. When stories are really embarrassing, we only tell them to four people - one coworker that won't tell others, one friend from school who is already privy to a lot worse, one ex-girlfriend who is still amazed by our antics, and one stranger we're standing next to in a pub because hey, who is he gonna tell?

I blog my stories. I call up people and tell them myself. I wait for the right topic to come up at lunch before I can unleash my harrowing accounts from times begone. I tailor my narrations to best suit each particular audience. When repeating the same story to my mom, the girl with no clothes is nowhere in the tale. When reiterating it to my buddy, she is the center of discussion for a good 30 minutes. Stories change over time and usually get larger than life. The little computer nuisances I caused for my internet provider in 1999 can become incidents of nation-wide system meltdown brought about by yours truly after a drink or two today. I exaggerate and if you think you don't, you're full of crap.

This doesn't mean we're all habitual liars. Life doesn't always happen the way we want it to. That girl didn't give me her number, just her email. That guy didn't tell you that you were the best singer he's ever heard, just that you were pretty good. What we wanted to happen was a little more than what did happen. So my damned stories are going to end with the girl giving me her number and you can tell your grandkids that the guy thought you were an opera singer. Why? Two words: Big Fish. This is the next movie on my list. If you've seen this movie, you'd know the power of good story-telling.

 < Sep 2007Nov 2007 >