“I’m the Human Version of the Pop-Up Video” Club

I’ve recently realized that I’m the human version of the VH1 pop-up video. This thought dawned on me when I found myself whispering “extra or background information” into my son’s ear in the middle of watching Moana. Talking during a movie, sacrilegious, I know, but I really thought I was adding to his experience, just like a video thought bubble.

This blasphemous cinema behavior got me thinking about other times I might exhibit this questionable behavior. There are the movies and TV shows at home, of course, when I, usually in command of the remote control, pause at my discretion to inform other watchers (husband, son or daughter) of something related to the plot, show, actor, actor’s girlfriend or children, or occasionally have nothing to do with the show at all. Sometimes I inadvertently need to deliver this information in the middle of a crucial scene where I’ll pause mid-word because it has suddenly struck my fancy to discuss next week’s play rehearsal schedule or ask my husband if we remembered to add “return grout” to the Home Depot list.

Likewise, in the car, mid-soundtrack or chorus, I’m the first one to pause (once or a dozen times) to discuss something.

The thing is, I value the human dialogue above all else and merely use the media as background noise or conversation starters. What’s the point of looking at a field of tulips in Amsterdam if you can’t turn to the person next to you to say, “Isn’t that the most fucking beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?”

The constant interrupting is a souvenir of my “old” habit of interrupting conversations, which I did entirely out of well-intending reasons. I never meant to imply my comments trumped whoever was speaking, I purely struggle with vocal restraint. (Think Kristen Wiig’s ‘surprise character’ from Saturday Night Live.) My patience is immature and when I think of something pseudo-interesting to say, I tend to blurt it out right away. PS: I also hate surprises.

The other night at dinner, we put on the Moana soundtrack for entrainment, and the music ignited conversation about the movie: where it took place, how many years ago, from which Disney universe did it evolve, and my son, my disciple, demonstrated that he too had inherited the “pop-up bubble” gene. He paused almost every song to provide pop-up insight. I could tell my husband and daughter were annoyed that he kept stopping the song in the middle of the crescendo, but I totally got it, dude. When the thought strikes, pop!

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