September 12, 2016

The Disppearing Pleasure of Anticipaiton

    I miss television.  We haven't had one in years.  But the television I miss won't be found if we get a satellite dish.  I miss old television.  I miss Thursday night Cheers, Friday night Dallas and Saturday night Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  I enjoyed looking forward to certain shows and arranging things so I would not miss them.  I didn't center my life on TV, but everyone knew that if you missed the show when it aired, you'd have to hope to see it in re-runs in the summer - and that was hit-or-miss.  Television wasn't "screen time" then; it could be a group event.  "Do you want to come over and watch Mork and Mindy?"  I have many fond memories of waking up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons with my sister.  We couldn't just google them on Youtube then.  We looked forward to it!  We had special junky cereal for the event!  It never occurred to me that my parents probably looked forward to it as well for their chance to sleep in.  When we couldn't watch whatever we wanted "on demand", perhaps we weren't as demanding.

    I miss film.  I don't mean watching films, I mean camera film.  Remember cameras?  Remember putting a roll of film into one?  Remember that delightful click-whir rewinding sound when you took the last shot on the roll?  Remember holding that cylinder of potential enjoyment in your fist?  A tiny time capsule!  Remember dropping off the film over a counter and the glorious anticipation of the week-long wait for the pictures to be developed and printed?  Printed!!  I often opted for week long processing even after one-hour became available.  Partly because I was a thrifty student, but mostly because I believed that one hour was too short a time to enjoy looking forward to seeing how they turned out, re-living the memories, sharing them with the people in them.  Oh, I know all the benefits of digital photography - and I find them to be largely outweighed by the drawbacks within them. Now, rather than 36 prints of an event (at most), I have 2000!  None of which will ever be printed, despite the promise of "someday I'll go through those".  So, I seldom see them.

    This love of anticipation is probably an undocumented family tradition.  My mom has been known to keep her quick-pick lottery ticket safely in her purse for days after the winning numbers have been announced just so she can enjoy the thought that she might be carrying around the winning ticket!

Image result for slow ketchup pouring image    This is not some secret knowledge.  I remember that TV commercial (remember TV commercials before you could just watch your show on Netflix or record it and skip over the commercials?  That's when we went to the kitchen for a snack!) for ketchup that used Carly Simon's song "Anticipation" just to make the point that their ketchup is so thick and slow moving that it was worth waiting for.

    Fortunately, there are still areas of life where instant gratification is does not prevail and anticipation can be fully savored.  Waiting for a baby to be born is among these great events!.  If you have ever planted a garden fresh you know the feeling of watching the fruit of your labors ripen over days, while you look forward to the moment you can sink your teeth into it!  Those who have baked bread know that yeast can not be rushed.  Nor can the baking.  You just have to wait.  Wait and inhale the growing aroma of your baking loaf of delight!  A journey's end is the culmination of the journey.  One can endure the journey as a dull and unavoidable period to be distracted away or a time to heighten the joy of arrival.  A time to anticipate the moment when you will see your loved one face-to-face.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said! Yes, I remember when watching a TV show was an event, and commercial breaks were 3 minutes of incentive to get ready for bed quickly so you could watch the end of Brady Bunch (Who knew what might happen to Marsha in those last few minutes???). My mom used to get us all excited for the annual broadcast of shows like "That's Entertainment" or "the Sound of Music" or any number of holiday favorites. We would pop the popcorn, get our jammies on early and settle in for some family TV time...and if you had to go to the bathroom, you had better hold it to till the commercial! Anticipation is making me late, is keeping me waiting...but I like it. :)


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