Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Stories We Tell

The woman and the young boy sat on the grass, relaxing together. They appeared to be picking something - perhaps the daisies that grow plentifully among the blades of grass in the park.

I thought, That's what kids need - adults who will lie in the grass with them and make daisy chains. They don't need electronics; they need time outdoors, to relax in the fresh air and use their imagination.

As we continued walking toward them, the boy stood up, and I noticed that he had something in his hand. It was a metal detector. The woman (his mother?) held a trowel. He was searching the ground with the metal detector. We heard a high-pitched noise as the detector found something. When it did, the woman dug up patches of grass with the trowel.

They weren't just enjoying sitting and imagining in the fresh air; they were using electronics.

My husband said, Someone fell for a sales pitch - they must have listened to an infomercial and bought that metal detector. I replied, Or someone found the metal detector in Grandpa's garage.

 And then I thought, So many assumptions in the stories we make up from the things that we see. How often are we correct? How many times are we mistaken? Does it matter? What makes a good story?


Elizabeth said...

I'll never forget being at the beach alone with Sophie and watching as a group of young, heavily tattooed and pierced kids came and spread out their stuff next to ours. I can't remember exactly what happened -- maybe Sophie had a seizure or something? -- but one of the kids (who I had inwardly written off as being thugs or worse) came over and spoke kindly to us. I remember feeling much as you did -- that my assumptions were completely off.

Ann said...

A good story is a story that connects people.

Karen said...

A lost wedding ring from years ago? The woman's neighbor offered her son and his machine to help find it? Possible even if not probable. The surface appearance is often so different from the true story. That is why we write.

Kim Andersen said...

I had the same thought as Karen - a lost ring. Maybe it was lost last summer and now the weather is good enough to search in earnest.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a great thought provoking post. I'm guilty of making assumptions and I should be working on that.
At our beaches, we see a lot of older people with metal detectors; now that I think about it, I think my Dad had one years ago!!! :)