The Story is Everything, Folks, Especially for Olympic Gold

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In case you haven’t been paying attention to the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. won their first Olympic Gold in Ice Dancing yesterday, thanks to the fantastic Meryl Davis and Charlie White. As there is a pretty good chance that this will be the ONLY medal in an individual skating event for the U.S. in Sochi, and we hold the bronze in team skating primarily because of their achievements, I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate them. Yay Meryl! Yay Charlie!

Moment aside, the Candians, typically known as the friendliest people around, have some people who don’t think Charlie and Meryl should have won. Thankfully, this seems a small minority. But still, people. These two deserved it. They have clearly worked their butts off since Vancouver. Furthermore, I just like watching them better than the Canadians. (I liked them better last Olympics too.)

Meryl and Charlie are more interesting to watch, not simply because of the crazy lifts they do, or the fancy twizzles, but because every piece of theirs is distinct. They become new people, and tell a different story every time. Can you find two dance styles more separated than the quirky and energetic Bollywood and dramatic and passionate Phantom of the Opera (their Vancouver program)? Or the bubbly, sweet My Fair Lady and the mysterious, majestic, and sexy Scheherazade? They have a performance range that their training partners up north lack. Furthermore, they do their homework, working with Derek Hough of Dancing With the Stars on their Foxtrot and Quickstep, and a Persian dancer (whom I would love to meet) on their portrayal of Scheherazade. There is such detail in their dance that reflects the story and background of their pieces.

I’ve never felt that with Virtue and Moir. For back to back Olympics, they’ve done pieces that felt the same, and told similar stories. They rarely play with their style the same way that the Americans do, and when they do, they can’t quite pull it off. (See their Carmen program from one of the last two Worlds, I can’t remember which one.)

I have no knowledge of the technical aspects of Ice Dancing. I have learned that twizzles are important, and that you’re supposed to dance them in sync. Outside of that piece, I can only evaluate the performance aspect of their shows. Meryl and Charlie are, hands down, the better performers. They tell me stories, and I love to sit down and watch and listen.

Here’s to you, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Congratulations, and thank you for your excellence, and your stories.

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Expressing my Emotions is not Crazy, Boiling Bunnies is

I caught a few minutes of MTV’s Girl Code this morning. It’s not something I normally watch, but my neighbor had it on.

They were discussing the “cycle of crazy.” A common denominator in many women’s lives, the cycle of crazy starts with a woman reacting to something, be it large or small, with lots of emotion. The guy in her life doesn’t know why she’s upset or thinks whatever she’s upset about is not worth getting bothered over. To defend himself, he terms her reaction “crazy,” which only makes her more upset. She reacts again, and the cycle continues. 

The problem with the cycle of crazy is it happens everywhere. It’s not just between husbands and wives. It’s boss and employee, classmate and classmate, really anywhere that men and women occupy space together or work together. It’s really visible in male-dominated fields. Worst of all, women can put other women in the cycle of crazy, too.

 So, to you who are dealing with someone with very passionate, fervent reactions: Please don’t call your friend/love/coworker crazy. They’re really not. They are human beings, who are allowed to react to life with emotions. It may be difficult for you to handle, especially if you’re not fond of confrontation, but you have to understand that this is normal. And healthy. 

I learned all of this from my Dad, who, no matter how riled up my Mom gets, always tries to make her happy. More than half the time, he has absolutely no clue of what is actually upsetting her. But he will spend a morning or afternoon looking for probable causes and eliminating them. He does the same thing for me every time I visit. He never tells us we’re crazy or overreacting. He accepts that we have real emotions, and that we need to express them. 

So remember, if I’m yelling or saying angry things, I’m upset. Not over-reacting. Not crazy. If I’m boiling your daughter’s bunny, then I’m Glen Close from Fatal Attraction. Then I would be crazy.