Saturday, March 29, 2008

Makes-Me-Smile Monday

I learned about Makes-Me-Smile Monday from Jane. Even though, this says it's about smiling, there is a line over the above picture over on Jane's blog that reads: The Thinkin' Blogger's Carnival. Now, this leads me to believe that there may be a requirement for some serious thinking involved. I'm not even sure that I want to commit to writing every Monday, let alone to thinking every Monday. However, I'm impressed that Jane's done all this work and come up with topics for a few weeks in advance. Click on the picture or here, if you want to read about the future topics.

The topic for today is from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way ...

Now come on! Does reading this make you want to do a happy dance? Did anyone smile when they read that? What were you thinking when you came up with that topic, Jane?

And, just as I thought, even though this is supposed to be Makes-Me-Smile Monday, this topic is not only bleak! it's going to require me to think - and on a MONDAY, no less! I feel as though I were back in school and I had a book report due, and I had failed to finish the book!

Okay, so what can I say about this... The first time I encountered these words, I believe it was in junior-high school English, and I'm sure that I had to write up some sort of paper. Being so young, do you think I caught the irony of the piece? Probably not. Back then I was more interested in talking with my friends on my new princess phone, because you know it was so much more important to know who had the latest crush on whom! I certainly didn't want to read something so dark and dreary...

School, however, was one of those times that was "the best of times and the worst of times." Looking back, I would say that I had some good times, but while I was in it, I would have told you, "Life sucks," except that wasn't an expression that we used in the dinosaur era.
I was an Air Force brat, meaning that I moved every time we turned around so I never really got settled into a place. It's hard to have close friends when you're always the "new kid" in town, but I usually managed to have one or two kids that I hung out with. I was basically a good kid - this translates into "I was afraid to get into trouble, so I did the right thing" - so I didn't hang out with the really wild street kids. Because of moving so much, I was shy, so the popular kids didn't know I existed. Of course, popular kids kind of live in their own world ,surrounded by their subjects, don't they?
My last two years of High School were a different thing, altogether! We moved to small town, USA. The kids were friendly! They accepted me into their inner circle on the first day of school and I changed from the shy one into the one who thought she was Funny! Oh yes, I began to get into Trouble with a capital T! Speaking out in class, coming home after curfew, sassing my parents, fussing at my baby sister - where was it going to end?? My parents didn't know what had gotten into me. They met with the school principal who assured them that all was okay - their quiet daughter had just turned into a normal teenager! They didn't know what was in store for them. This was the late 60's and when their daughter hit college, she turned into a rip-roaring, tie-dyed, bell-bottomed, full-fledged hippie, complete with patches on her bottom and embroidered pantlegs! Oh, yes, those were the best of times!

Now, I will try to work on some serious thinking about Mr. Dickens and the "Two Cities," this morning - I'd like to be a part of Jane's Thinkin' Blogger's Carnival. I'll be back if anything comes to mind. In the meantime, see what you can do with this topic - does it make you think? or bring a smile (why??) to your face? If so, then go write about it! or do something artsy with it. Be sure to tell Jane if you do, and I wouldn't mind hearing about it either...

1 comment:

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Well, Toni, I think you nailed the irony pretty well already, even if you didn't want to "think" about it. I'm glad you got to enjoy a normal high school experience in that small town. There's nothing like a small town to either embrace you and make you feel you belong. (or to totally ostracize you, but that's a different story).

I always enjoyed the books we read in school -- even when they weren't the most cheerful things ever. Of course, now I read mostly trashy romances, so maybe I'm making up for all that good literature.

As I was thinking of Dickens, I remembered how my friends and I nicknamed two boys Charles and Sydney after the two love interests (if I'm remembering correctly). I guess we were dorky enough to enjoy just about anything!

I'm glad you participated, and hope you will again. We've got some TV quotes coming up, so maybe that'll tickle you more.

Oh, and on the carnival name. I was under the influence of works-for-me Wednesday when I named it, and then I figured one could smile wryly or derisively or happily.

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