Thursday, March 28, 2013

hyperbole

Emily sent us this photo greeting on New Year's Day.   I think it perfectly visualizes the phrase "dramatic flair."  She is my soul sister.

In Woody Allen's latest film, Ellen Page's character (Monica) has a flair for the dramatic.  She habitually adds grandeur and tantalizing details to her otherwise ordinary stories.  As a viewer, she reeled me in with her tales, but maybe less because of the narrative and more because I do the same thing.  Sure, I am capable of stating only the facts, I just choose not to.  I prefer to add my own pinch of this and dash of that.  To quote Monica: "I like to embellish.. it's part of my creative charm."

Turns out, I'm predisposed to embellishment.

My dad is a writer: an author of books, countless articles, commentaries and letters to the editor.  He currently pens a column for his county's Journal magazine, in the "Better After 50" section. The column is called, "What Were We Talking About?"  My dad is so good at putting words together and feeding you satire and personal anecdotes like the dessert you always want after a meal.  In his January article, he wrote about storytelling and the art of embellishment:

"Can a story properly told be a lie?  Nay!  A story is an embellishment mixed with a dash of truth and a pinch of tall tale.  It makes the reality more interesting and buys you enough time to hide in the laundry bin before the full truth crystallizes into "I wrecked our car and the other guy's too."  Besides, with all the reality TV around, Americans have adopted the unhealthy practice of saying the first thing that pops into their heads.  Not good.  A story, on the other hand, takes the scenic route and allows you the time to get to the next county before Sally Whirlwind realizes where all this is going."

Taking the scenic route.  I like that.

Hubby and I are involved in conversations daily about our lives and the lives of others; and we often find ourselves repeating the same stories to different audiences.  Our stories used to sound very different from each other's, and at first it was because my husband left out all the details.  He claims it was because I embellished.  Both are probably true, but I'm starting to notice my flair is rubbing off on him, whether he will admit it or not.

What can I say?  I am my father's daughter.  

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