“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be yours’ – Beverly Clark from Shall we Dance “
The movie may not be especially memorable but this quote resonated with me. I guess the statement speaks to the social animal within all of us. One of my closest friends and the only one who puts up with pretty much all my crap was visiting me on Christmas weekend. It was a lovely, lazy, sleep late, eat much and chatter lot kind of 4 days. Now that I’m back to work and dreaming and ruminating, I realized I kept telling her mundane bits and pieces of my daily life.. like what I eat for breakfast and how the grocery guy is a cheapskate or the prices of onions are hiked up. And as usual she responded to it as if I was telling her I won the Nobel prize. Ever since we have been friends we have usually discussed the hefties like philosophy and impact of art on life and psychology and relationships. This, however was embarrasingly banal. And it stopped me short.. why was I doing this?
And HBO had the answer .. because I live alone. Now dont get me wrong. Its by choice that I do so and for the most part I enjoy the freedom and control it allows me. But at the same time, I am human… and by default ..need social ties. Or more precisely need a witness. Because one day it might happen that no one knew what my life was like.
And suddenly, I truly appreciated the genius of Facebook.
PS: to those who post updates about how their dog pooped for the first time, I shall never scoff at you. Even silently.