By Wakeelah Crutison
Anyone who knows me can tell I’m not a very dramatic person. This year, the more I try to stay drama-free, the more it pops up.
And by drama I don’t mean the significant yet inevitable plot twists life tends to dole out at the most inopportune moments. I mean the aggrandized version of life people insist on living.
As a nation, we feed on drama — whether it’s our own or (most of the time) someone else’s. When there is nothing of interest going on people tend to find it anyway: often with needless secrecy, hidden agendas, passive aggressiveness, gossip and nitpicking for things to complain about.
I know conflict is an integral part of the storytelling structure, and I also know that people, by nature, are curious. People salivate at the chance to hear someone else’s business and inject themselves into other people’s lives.
I admit I’m the same way. I am an aspiring journalist after all (not to mention an avid “Grey’s Anatomy” fan.) But you can have too much of a good thing, especially if it leads to excess complications in one’s already complicated life. In this instance, drama can only lead to headaches and stress.
People often exaggerate the mundane and exalt the commonplace to a point where they’re neither recognizable for what they are or at an acceptable level of importance. If people freak out about the slightest blemish, how will they react to something with the potential to really scar?
I bring this issue up quite often … with myself. I don’t have many friends with whom I wax philosophical (which is probably for the best).
I understand the need for escapism but not when it leads people to resort to the superfluous sugary confection that is sensationalism (See, even I’m doing it. That sentence was way overstated.)
Sure, the extra dose of intrigue takes away the sting of monotony in our own lives, but it’s getting to the point where people should walk around with the commercial disclaimer “dramatization.”
Because will all know that art imitates life, it’s no surprise that there are glaring examples of amped up monotony all over the media. Shows like MTV’s “Teen Mom” and A&E’s “Intervention” exploit serious real-life situations and dub them entertainment. Take the recent movie release Catfish. It’s a documentary about twenty-somethings being duped on Facebook and the most intriguing part is their belief that their lives are interesting enough to warrant documenting.
As you’ve probably gleaned from this column, I have a habit of overanalyzing, and in turn I tend to be a bit indecisive. Sometimes I end up skipping breakfast because I can’t choose between Crunch Berries or Honeycombs. You can probably imagine how I am with the big things in life: I’ve changed my major six times, on weekends I hang out with at least three different groups of friends, and don’t even get me started on how long it took me to choose which college to attend.
I’m a senior, and May is just around the corner. As of now, I have no plans for post-graduation. My conscious effort to eliminate the stress of post-graduation by weighing the pros and cons of every option has left me with no concrete plan. Oh, the irony.
I can’t help but think that my indecisiveness is just my subconscious way of holding myself in suspense in regard to my future — my own little way of pausing for dramatic effect.
Alfred Hitchcock once said “What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.”
Life has enough suspense without us adding to it and enough crises without us creating more. No one likes the person who awkwardly gasps during the movie at non gasp-worthy moments. So don’t be the gratuitous gasper.
Nothing good can come of living in a state of perpetual hyperbole. I encourage my fellow students to take the time to enjoy the drama-free moments because apparently they are few and far between.
Wakeelah Crutison is a senior journalism major from Arlington and a copy editor for the Lariat.