There are so many ways in which being jaded is just the easy way to go. Not being emotional can often be easier than wearing your heart on your sleeve. Granted, I know these things more from the outside than from actually experiencing them for myself. "Emotionless" is seldom a word anyone would use to describe me.
Don't get me wrong - I'm totally jaded when it comes to a lot of things. Like politics. Or most of reality TV. But Christopher will attest to the fact that extremes of happiness or sadness pretty much show themselves whether I want them to or not.
Although there are times when I'd prefer to be a bit more Midwestern stoic, there are also times when I'm okay with the fact that I get emotional at Hallmark commercials or Christmas Folgers commercials or even the occasional (and, sadly, rare) well-turned phrase in pieces I work on at work. And I enjoy seeing that same level of emotional investment in other people.
Today, while watching the NBC coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I got to see the two different sides of things - the blase and the blissful - all in one segment.
If you don't already know this, the NBC coverage always has performances from a few Broadway shows in front of Macy's prior to the parade entering Herald Square. This year, one of those performances was by the cast of Pippin, and the performance started with Pippin (the title character) sitting in the audience singing the first song.
(For some reason, I can't get the video to link into this, so you'll have to click here if you want to see it.) (Believe me, you want to see it. So if the link doesn't work, copy and paste this into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WH_-sG_JBk)
If you opted not to watch the clip, here's what happened: As he started, the people around him were obviously focused on the camera filming them, and not looking at the singer at all.
His first move put him between some probably-teenage parade-goers, and they did a kind of basic (staged) hand slap, but seemed kind of baffled by what was going on. They obviously knew they were on TV, but they didn't seem to care that this guy singing with them was a Broadway leading man.
Finally, Pippin landed in the front row, and the young girl who was sitting just a few feet from him had a look on her face that kind of said "OHMIGOD! That's Pippin! And he's singing and he's RIGHT THERE!" She seemed to be moments away from breaking out into tears of joy. Seeing her made me *so* happy. (If you watch the video, you'll see her show up in her polka dot hat at about 1m20s, and the look on her face hits its apex at about 1m29s, as she puts her glove over her mouth.)
I realized right then that one of the things I am most thankful for is that, as Christopher would put it, I am a five-year-old at heart. I get excited about little things. And I love joy - both my own, and that of others.
And so, today, I am thankful for joy. May we all have a lot of it in the year to come.