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August 5, 2010

Livin' in a world of "get a life!" ...Everyone seems so uptight. Nothing's wrong and nothing's right...

That title is from one of my favorite songs by En Vogue-- Giving Him Something He Can Feel. You go online for the lyrics and it says "...livin' in a world of ghetto life..." but in the first liner notes on the first tape I got it said, "livin' in a world of 'get a life'" ...and that made sense to me so you know that is how I sing it loud and proud in my Jeep.

Everyone says "Get a life, man!" and what does that mean anyway?

What is a life? Get a life! I think what people mean when they say it to you is, "Be more like me!" "Get a life I approve of!" "Be less freaky to me, because anything different makes me question myself and I don't do that navel-gazing bullshit!"

Whatever, it's a song.

So the very first piece of existential philosophy I ever applied to real life came from the movie Top Gun. Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer at the hotness, and personally my favorite ever Meg Ryan role. I was twelve.

See, in the movie Jester gives Maverick flight-school hell for flying below the hard deck. No one goes below the hard deck! You get penalized for flying below the hard deck like that crazy Maverick! And I realized in my family -- and at school, to a lesser degree, and in all relationships -- it seemed there was an invisible emotional hard deck inside all social groups and we are not allowed to go beneath it. We all join in on an implicit agreement never to go below the hard deck in polite conversation.

Before you get the idea I was special and gifted at age twelve please recall I spent an hour every morning applying so much blue eyeshadow I could have passed for Papa Smurf.

But it was an apt philosophy. Families and relationships and even whole companies develop an emotional hard deck which no one is permitted to fly below. People have personal hard decks, I have mine. Above the hard deck I'll share and give, below is a different story. You start making low-flying recon missions below my hard deck and I shut it down faster than a block party in a swine flu epidemic.

If I ever had the desire to return to college I could freak out the professors with my life lessons and social anthropological mores learned from 1980s films. This is just the tip of the crazyberg.

Do you have an emotional hard deck? Does your family have one? Have you ever dared venture below it, dared to fly low and dangerous?

And what do you think, are we livin' in a world of ghetto life get a life where everyone seems so uptight?

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Edited to add in what surely must be irony considering the last sentence, above, that yes thank you to commenter who pointed out I must have been older than 12 if the movie came out in 1986. I looked online to be super accurate because all that matters clearly is the exact age I was when I saw Top Gun and I was 14. Also, Meg Ryan is in the movie and she plays Goose's wife. It's a small part that I personally liked.

Now I am closing comments and taking a nice long break. Goodbye!

Posted by laurie at August 5, 2010 7:31 PM