Friday, December 16, 2005

the wonder years

i don't cry. i haven't cried in a long, long time. i may have even adapted an overdeveloped sense of humor in some strange darwinian twist to compensate. i crack jokes under my breath at funerals (which reminds me of a song...). i am not proud of this trait. this is really more of a confession than anything else.

but there are days...and there are moments when i am overcome with emotion. i talk openly and often about these moments in the hopes that someone will someday say, "yeah, me too!" and then explain exactly why these moments hit me like they do.

like the wonder years. that darn show gets me every single time i watch it. i'm not kidding. i'm usually fine right up until grown-up kevin's voice over at the end, explaining what he learned from the bully in the hallway, or the loyalty of his friend paul, or his latest and most devastating break up with winnie...ahhh...winnie.

i used to go home for lunch just to catch the last 10 minutes of the show. was this some sort of sadistic act of self tear-jerkery? or maybe a hope for an emotional catharsis that i seem to be able to achieve no other way. i mean the blue screen ramblings of doogie howser m.d. do nothing to me. i actually find myself desiring to delete his hard drive. what gives?

but it's not just the wonder years. the other occasion that draws deeply from my emotional well is watching really meek, humble (and usually dorky) kids get picked on, pushed around, or worse yet, totally ignored as the rest of us go about our lives. i seem to have some sort of supernatural sympathy for these neglected souls, and again, i may even shed a tear. i'm actually quite thankful for this part of me, because there is clear and simple action that i can take. i can love those people. i can talk to those people. i can let them know that they are eternally valuable to God...and to me.

and then there's today. once every other blue moon, i have a day where everything brings me to emotional overflow. i can't explain it, but it's sort of refreshing. i mean, i sometimes wonder if my heart has gone the way of the grinch. but then days like today come along, and i feel deeply again. don't get me wrong, i don't think i could function like this every day, but it is nice to be reminded of my humanity from time to time.

well, i'd best be going now. i have to teach my students how to prevent another great depression.


Mary said...

great post, cory.

here's a couple things i thought as i read:

1) i cry all the time. and yet, at funerals, i'm probably always the first to laugh. death and i have a weird relationship.

2) maybe it's cause i haven't seen the wonder years in, well, years, but was winnie really that incredible? i had a friend in college who, years after winnie was off the air, finally worked up enough courage to send her a fan letter. he surely recognized the dorkiness involved, but really felt like winnie was the ideal girl. really? REALLY?

3) yea for loving dorky kids. they're among my favorites, too. did you ever see welcome to the dollhouse?

cory said...

yeah i loved that movie. i've had that girl in class several times, you know? it was weird, because when i saw it at the orpheum i was with a high school friend who also was that girl, but had grown out of the role. she had a hard time watching it i think.

as for winnie, i don't know. 12 year old crushes can be pretty intense. she was very briefly on the west wing (her character was pretty lame, and her acting remained at the 14 year old level), and i think some questionable photo i guess the best word would be "disillusionment."

kara said...

Winnie Schminnie. Now, Kevin...

the hamster said...

winnie cooper was the ideal woman of our young days. she was unattainable and that made her all the more worth pursuing. she kept the pubescent heart consistently on that tender cliff's edge of desperation that fuels so much of our growing. i mean, who of you didn't feel it when jon bon jovi sang "i'll be there for you"? we survived by the misery of love-out-of-reach. and if kevin arnold couldn't catch her, then i certainly couldn't. but, like kevin, i came back every week for one more chance to pursue the beauty that was winnie cooper.