Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Curb Your Enthusiasm

It just isn't cool to be so enthusiastic. For example, you read blogs. Maybe you read a bunch of them. Some you read religiously, others casually. Ok, enough distancing - I read a bunch of blogs. I've got a few daily reads, maybe six or so. Maybe more. The "must reads" vary with my level of infatuation and the business of my schedule. Others I read every few days, when I have the time or bloglines says there are several posts. I skim, looking for a post that speaks to me. (Stop shaking your head, you do it too.)

The first time I met one of my regular reads we talked about blogs because we didn't know each other enough to talk about much else. (Hold on, see, already I am shying away from full enthusiasm. I first typed "one of my favorite bloggers" but then decided that sounded to sycophantic. I mean, we are just becoming friends. What if she thinks my enthusiasm makes me creepy, like that guy you went out with once in high school but were frightened away from when he came on too strong. You'd see him coming down the hall and duck into the girl's bathroom to avoid his love notes and pathetic interest.)

But now I have met Debbie a few times and watched her son smile and wander and chatter. So we talked about other things, Portland, kids, clothes, kid clothes (including a cute idea she has for her shop), etc. But as I have found bloggers will do, we started to talk about blogs. She mentioned that she'd gotten some weird traffic from posting photos of her shoes (and subsequently took the photos off, which apparently failed to foil the shoe-fetishizing googlers). She started to say something about this post, and I butted in with "I think that is the first thing I read of yours!" - acting all gushy and pathetic. She probably didn't notice, concerned as she was that she'd made some kid-visit faux pas (which she didn't).

And if it wasn't enough to be dorky and effusive around new people, then there was that tuba thing.

The tuba that made Ellen and me wish we played

What grown woman gets so enamored of the idea of two hundred people tooting holiday songs and wearing coordinated stocking caps? Even though it was fun. Dorky, but fun. The only disappointment was not the tubas, and certainly not the octogenarian conductor (who was, as one would expect from a tuba-loving, family concert giving, thin and kindly man, funny in an incredibly corny way). No, the Christmas songs were the problem. For the most part they are really freaking slow. But rather than yell (as I wanted to) "PICK UP THE PACE, TUBAS!" I enjoyed the moment for what it was.

As further evidence of my utter dorkiness, I offer the following photo of myself at Tuba Christmas. Not only did I allow this photo to be taken of me (making this face and wearing this hat) but then I self-mockingly post it on my own site.

Ah well, some people really are gluttons for punishment.

So yeah, I just can't help myself. Despite being more easily embarrassed than I wish I were, I tend to be too enthusiastic in a way that the hipsters at the coffee shop down the street would scorn. Have scorned. But then Ada steps in to remind me that enthusiastic is okay. Because no one is enthusiatic like a toddler. Her joys are written all over her face, they radiate in the way she shivers with happiness when her PAPA! walks through the door at night, they leap from her when she declares "'ken!" (her take on "again"). As much as I might wonder about what makes her want to read that book 7 times in a row or play some little game over and over, it is fun to see her clear and unembarassed enthusiasms. Today it was the picture of the llama family in a book, her car, bear, and a little game with me and later with Chris in which we repeatedly hid under a blanket with a toy frog. Who we were hiding from, or why was not clear, nor were these details important. What was important was that we were in this game together, hiding under a blanket, laughing, getting kissed by a toy frog and one another, and emerging, just slightly over-warm, into the bright light before covering up again for another round.

When Ada's enthusiasm for this game outlasted mine, Chris took over and was deemed a good substitute. Lucky for us all, frog will play until Ada tells him to stop.


  1. If you're overenthusiastic, then I'm in hyperdrive. I wish I'd known about Tuba Christmas. It sounds totally tubular. (Sorry. Couldn't, Could NOT resist.)

    p.s. thanks for making me feel less of an idiot about being so boorish and overstaying the window the other day. :)

  2. Tuba Christmas. Theremin Christmas. Mellotron Christmas. When will the madness stop?

  3. I love that picture of you! You look like you are having an excellent time!

  4. Enthusiasm is good. It's a good thing, really. In fact, I wish more people were more enthusiastic. People are passionate about things but everyone fears looking like a dork. So, no one seems enthusiastic, even though they truly are. And enthusiasm is what stops cynicism, anger, wars. Enthusiasm starts hobbies, friendships, relationships, and marriage. Restraining orders... sometimes, but we're all human.

    I once had a chemistry teacher who would get so excited in class, he would teach by pointing one arm at one chalkboard, another arm, at the periodic chart, and his leg at a different chalkboard, all while babbling excitedly on his inorganic chem lecture. How can you not get excited about inert gase at a time like that?!

  5. We had a Tuba Christmas here and I SO wish I'd been able to go. I would've posted a similar picture of myself, I promise.

  6. I learn so much from my little person. I admit I get flippin' giddy over things so much more often than I used to, I think I have be to thank for that!

  7. her bad mother12/15/2006 7:27 AM

    I am jealous of BOTH you and Debbie.

    And I'm jealous of (for?) your hat. LOVE your hat.