When life throws you lemons, thank it for the snack

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cliched Movies

So many people use movie titles or lines, or some vague rewording of a movie title or well-known line, in their every day communications. I am sure that some people learned them from others without ever having seen or heard of the movie that is referenced. Examples include "Play it again, Sam" from Casablanca or singing some version of "Singing in the Rain" during a thunderstorm. One of the ones I encounter quite often is "the good, the bad, and the ugly" from the Clint Eastwood movie of that title. Yes, I have actually seen the movie, though only once and most of my memory for it is fuzzy. My daughter and I have modified it as a conversation starter for after school.

I got tired of asking her how her day went and getting the same noncommittal response of "fine" or "okay" even when things weren't so great. So, I tweaked the "'good, bad, ugly" into each of us talking about our good, bad, and odd of the day. I figured ugly could be interpreted as just adding a second negative, so we talk about our odd to mention something funny, weird, or interesting (either positive, negative or neutral) from our day. This has allowed us to learn more about each other and to spark more conversations than the typical "how was your day" would illicit. Also, it helps us balance pessimism with optimism by requiring at least one "good" to be found throughout the day. It's not always easy, but I have found that it helps keep us looking on the bright side of our day so we don't come home with too much stress or negative emotions. Plus, I'm regularly conversing with my daughter and encouraging her to keep me in the loop.

So, thank you to Luciano Vincenzoni and Sergio Lenone for creating one of the most cliched, yet relevant and useful titles I have ever encountered.

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