Mad Libs

7 Jun

Now these were HILARIOUS as a kid.  We used to giggle over private parts (come on- you did too!) and my zany cat’s pink cream-filled toothpaste dinner.  Or something.

Filling in the blanks was fun.  Filling in the blanks was funny.

Now, I’m not so sure.

I still LOVE a good giggle but, I wonder:  How good is it really for us to complete the picture?  How does it serve us to fill in the spaces, details, experiences about our friends, colleagues, day-to-day?…


I’m really coming to believe that Mad-Libbing is better off left in a book.

Reality:  When we fill it in it is ALWAYS about us.  We want to simplify.  We want to know better.  Even when we want to understand, it’s on our terms.  Our way of seeing.  Narrow.  Underlined.

And, sometimes we get it right.  Wahoo.  But, we are not listening.  We are just theorizing.  Narrating.  We are not present.

Sure, being author is a safe way of living.  Because we get to write the narrative.  Maybe even the ending.  EXCEPT, it’s not entirely our story.  It never is.  There are SO many players.  There are SO many blanks.

Or, there are none.

Who are we to think we can pen it all?!

Reality:  I remember how upset I used to get when my family fills in my blanks.  Yes.  They’ve witnessed SO much.  But let me say it.  Live it.  Write it.  Let me be heard.  It is my story.  And, then, let me hear yours.  We are all connected.  It’s cool that I’m a part of your narrative.  How is that for you?

And, when we blow into each others’ lives, can we be fluid?  Do you need to pin me down?  In my life, I watch people again (and again and again) fill in the Mad Lib wrong.  It’s not baking.  You will not get it right.  You cannot sift an exact amount of past, present, hurt, hope, and belief and pull out a Jamie-cake.

And, that’s okay.

So, dear players, can you stop writing others’ tales?  Can you be yourself – a player – and not need that mighty pen?

Are you good at ab-libbing? 😉

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