Monday, November 3, 2008

The Aftermath

Before I get to the main topic, I wanted to relate a conversation I overheard in the next parking aisle while sitting in the car waiting for Julie to finish shopping inside of WalMart.

Woman: "You knew we were going shopping! I told you that! And you pick now to start undressing in the car??? (pause) Patrick, that is why you are always getting in trouble. Do you understand?"

I can only hope Patrick is a little kid and not her husband..

Yesterday I wrote about taking an online test to measure how impulsive I am. The YouTube video I chose for that entry was the ending scene from The Graduate in which a very impulsive Ben (played by Dustin Hoffman) drives all the way from UC Berkeley to Santa Barbara (actually a church in Sierra Madre) to try and change Elaine's (played by Katherine Ross) mind about marrying another guy. On their wedding day, no less. And a very impulsive Elaine runs off with Ben even though the pastor has just officially pronounced her and the other guy as husband and wife.

In case you missed it, here it is again:

That's one of my all-time favorite movie endings.

I love the very last part when the awol couple board the bus, Elaine in her bridal gown and Ben in his casual clothes, and sit down at the very back. The camera closes in and captures their expressions.

Ben is one happy guy. Only in one moment is there a brief look of uncertainty on his face; other than that, he's beaming like a kid on the way to Disneyland. Elaine, on the other hand, alternates between happiness, relief, and uncertainty, like, what did I just do back there? She's pondering the future and the consequences. But in the end she gives a look of trust and confidence towards her white knight.

Ben, meanwhile, has probably not a thought about what happens tomorrow. For him, the thrill is in the moment and what's just happened is the grand culmination of every day he's spent since meeting Elaine. How is he going to handle the future and dealing with the consequences of what happened back at the church?

He'll cross that bridge when he comes to it.

I originally had a different YouTube video posted but I woke up early on Sunday morning thinking it just didn't seem like the right one. Perhaps I had been too impulsive in picking it, haha. Despite being really tired from having stayed up too late the night before, telling myself I can go to sleep later because daylight savings time ended and we get an extra hour of sleep (which of course staying up later negates that extra hour), I lay there in a groggy state trying to think of something that really fit.

Then the ending to the Graduate came to mind. I told myself to remember that, then I went back to sleep. When I got out of bed, I edited the entry and made the substitution.

I watched that video myself a few times. I thought about Ben and what went through his mind and concluded I've resembled him more than a few times in my life.

Maybe that's why I have dreams of not having gone to my college class all quarter, having fun instead, having done no homework, having no idea of what the final is about or when it is, and having no term paper written but hey, I'll deal with it before the class is over. And I do deal with it in a way; I wake up. Or why I asked G to go to the Chicago concert and decided I would much rather go with C so I asked her too but never broke it off with G. The concert date grew nearer and nearer and I didn't know what to do except I was feeling like Ben, happy to be going there with C. Luckily for me G called and said something came up and she wouldn't be able to go to the concert.

Are those cases of being impulsive or irresponsible or immature or having no sense of delay of gratification or a combo of all of the above? That book I read, The Impulse Factor, says it could well be in my DNA. Well, whatever it may be, on the one hand that sort of worries me but on the other, channeled the right way, it's not too bad being Ben.

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