For years I’ve been trying to delicately share with folks how the overuse of the exclamation point is seriously becoming an American epidemic of great proportion, yet the non-existence of an explanation mark is a crime when it comes to our language smart-phone syntax
“Call me!” sometimes can be the surrender between an actual return phone call and an unintended audial eye roll
“Where are you!!”, is simply not a question anymore, but moreover an accusation of something complicit, fantastical or maybe even sinister, depending on who is double exclaiming this question on the other end of your line
Is it my mother? Well this can’t be good, is what I would think if I got this text tomorrow morning (not sure if this sentiment implies immortal childhood perception of wrong-doing on my behalf or not, I expect it might be, but my story is currently about how explanation over exclamation points is a much needed mark in our digital world today)
Is it my best friend? Better used if it is, because then this text would imply I’m missing out on something fun and must get to them as soon as possible is what I would think if I got this text tomorrow evening
Is it my boss? Nothing but anxiety and virtual non-stop “what did I not do or forget this time?” would be the never ending symposium of employment fear is what I’d think until he or she got back to me a few days later and they forgot why they sent it in the first place. The ability to have enough self discipline while having the understanding of nothing more than life isn’t perfect might be the only thing delegating our fear of failure from our virtuous instincts for success, I guess this is why most entrepreneurs take partners at first only to realize how big of mistake that decision was later. I too made this mistake in my twenties, I will write a story shortly about how little we truly know about people until you become partners in business
Now to let my Mommy Gah tell it, my use of the exclamation point over her explanation point is no better received than a back-handed insult from a front-handed finger pointing you in the right direction yet forever repelling everyone because of my actual use of my finger to begin with, is a dialogue my mother and I have had for years
“It’s not what you say Michele that is the problem, it’s how you say it that messes things up for you”, was a daily hymnal of my mothers as a child.
Life in the eyes of inflection can be as frustrating as a hang nail on a toe you can’t reach anymore and you’re too embarrassed and old to go ask “tickle-tickle” to dig it out for you
You see, for years I’ve worked with my younger sister Alice, “the baby of my middle age-youth”, as I called her when she was four and I was seventeen.
And although there can be no other living soul I love more than my Mommy Gah, it has been the children in my life that bring me the most amount of joy, yet fear of failure or fatigue was always a head stone away from me while helping raise them. I often talk about my biggest fear in life, the loss of a child is truly almost a daily disability thought for me, and yet I suspect the only social security we can give to this notion is what my mother said to me the other day,
“Michelllllee, a kid is going to be exposed to a lot of things. Hopefully they never get hurt but there are freak accidents that happen no matter how safe you think you have brought up your children to be, just like Chris’s head injury off his tricycle two feet from us and your accidents, like the tree falling on an entire t-ball team. There are enough things we can worry about without going off the deep end on little things like sledding at Pine Oaks that yes can end up badly but in this case did not. Please for gods sake have more respect for your sister’s mothering abilities than you obviously do. Worry, ok. But don’t go further than necessary by always telling her she is wrong about everything. Just think how stifled you would have been if we had kept you from doing everything that could have caused you injury. I guess you think I was a terrible mother”
Now I will never share too much without sharing too little, but my Mommy Gah still has affects on my soul more than anyone ever, and I suspect her strategy may not be too far from what my Nonnie use to say to me when I was ten,
“SHELLSTEINAVINSKY, you have to think about things much harder than most. Yessssss, you have been given the gift of gab and I have taught you a lot of things about idiots and people but knowing when to hush might be the difference between success and failure for you in your life. Now go put on some music and let’s talk about why THE HELL I go to the trouble of making these perfectly cooked tacos only for you to break the shells every time I put them in front of you!”, my Nonnie always laughed, sipped and said as she’d take such genuine care to make my toasted taco shell dinner warm and fun, carefully filling them without breaking her shells, only for me to squeeze ketchup all over them and take my hand and fork to bust my shells into a million pieces, while she walked away cussing, laughing and smoking to Evergreen.
Especially since my Nonnie, my Aunt Patti and my Ma-Maw have left us for greener, more heavenly pastures in my MilkyWay sky, I cannot stop imagining how it’s going to feel when I have to say goodbye to my parents. What will come of me when I have to face telling them I love you for the last time, is a daily fear-thought I cannot seem to put away anymore? Will they understand how much I love them and how many affects they have had on my life so far and how the effects of their love shown have carried me through my young person school days to my adult days of business, beers and financial shuffle board?
For the record, my sister Alice’s exclamation point has turned into my explanation point, I will explain on this point later but for now just know, it is the love I have for my family that creates my lack of business fear of anything, because just like when holding hand grenades while sitting on closed a toilet seat, fear can be an overwhelming mountain to climb if you do not take heed of it’s existence and strategize against the overwhelming proportion of it.
Yet, for the last few years Mommy Gah has continued to educate me on the difference between lecturing and educating, and how I might improve my delivery without a load-bearing, implicating, implicit and over-abundance of exclamation point punctuation
“Michellllle, you go from caring to insulting then nobody listens because you put them on the defensive. Learn to teach, not lecture and bully, because they don’t answer you the way you want”, has become a monthly Mommy Gah class of mine for years and yet for the life of me I cannot see how my Mommy Gah doesn’t see things my way?
Yes I know, I know, none of you face-lawners understand why I keep face-telling and posting my stories and understand the great frustration it must be for you that I never seem to end with a period but always a comma is for some of you a very frustrating thing. I on the other hand, never get tired commas,
Commas and exclamation points are like Opera singers and parrots, there is a very fine line between the two
I cannot begin to explain to you how much frustration I am having with things these days, and frankly based on the volume of drugs and alcohol being consumed, along with the countless scotch pills being given out to young and old, via the Walgreens and the CVS, I sense I might not be the only one with self imposed life-impedimenta at this time
It always made sense to me that bootleggers and whiskey-runners became Wal-greeners from Chicago, medicine alcohol being what it was in the thirties is exactly what most Denver folks must be saying about medicinal cannabis, why bother but if you make it too regulated and taxed, I’ll still buy from my unlicensed guy off the streets
Now I’m not going to get started on the hyperbolas of idiotic thoughts when it comes to the regulated growth, sell, state taxation, federal prohibition and disproportionate lunacy of spending money to lock pot smokers up in the pokey; for now let’s just leave this assessment of fear, hypocrisy and stupid to our government
To be continued,