ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 24

So cliché !

By Smriti Daniel

There is a reason clichés are clichés, and it's this – more often than not – why they're true. There does tend to be a fire where there's smoke (or at least a very poorly maintained vehicle), whatever will be, will be and of course there is truly no place like home.

Exceptions do abound, and it takes only a little thought to come up with ten different explanations in which the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be rather unfriendly – representing a quick, messy, painful death instead of hope. But on an ordinary day, a cliché represents the collected wisdom of the human race…and so is not to be dismissed lightly. Take for instance, the clichés you tell yourself when:

Things are going wrong:
Get out your umbrellas and raincoats, because for some inexplicable reason, most of the clichés that relate to hard times are pretty darn wet. Take for instance, behind the clouds, the sun is shining (no kidding! That really helps….). Alternate versions have it that every cloud has a silver lining and of course, after the rain comes a rainbow.

If you do like rain and can't understand why no one uses ideas of escaping blazing heat in their clichés (don't let the heat get you down, wait for the clouds), perhaps these options will sit better with you: Tomorrow is another day (and another chance to muck up), when God gives you lemons, make lemonade (not a bad idea really) and one of my personal favourites, if this doesn't kill me, it'll only make me stronger.

These ought to cheer you up, offering as they do, reason for hope. If not, this too, rooted as it is in annica, might work. No? Then try this one: Life's not so bad…when you consider the alternative.

When you fall in love…and then fall out:
Love is the kind of fertile soil that guarantees a fine crop of clichés. It accounts for many a physical anomaly (blindness, glowing skin, winged feet and light hearts to name a few); and of course a corresponding number of emotional anomalies (soaring, and plummeting emotions, determined optimism and charitable feelings towards all the losers out there, are known symptoms.)

Unfortunately, all this seems to disappear and is later blamed on temporary insanity (no other excuse doing justice to the madness of love).

It is at this point, where one's heart lies in teensy weensy pieces at the feet of the unworthy beloved, that it is time to harvest the next crop of clichés. Any senior citizen in the vicinity loves to assure a young person that 'there will be another one' – which considering the extreme agony of your current predicament, does not appeal.

Then there's the stuff you love to tell yourself, (and don't quite believe). For instance, he wasn't worth it anyway or single is the best way to be. As you progress from heart break to diffidence, there are plenty more fish in the sea always comes in handy…but it is only with maturity that you can stand up soberly and declare it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

When you think you're ugly:
There are days when everyone wishes that god had an exchange policy in place. Days like that make you just want to cringe – and it doesn't help that the despicable person doing all the judging and name-calling is yourself. Climbing out of these depressing phases is truly a triumph of the human spirit - in this case yours, and needs to be admired.

What are the thoughts that turn the tide? Well it always helps to begin with it's what's inside that really matters. Time tested and true, this one ought to stop you from obsessing about your lack of muscles or your disastrous perm. Follow it up with beauty is only skin deep, but try to forget the Jean Kerr quote ("I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want – an adorable pancreas?")

At this point, your sense of humour has kicked in and you're beginning to enjoy being you.

As you remind yourself not to judge a book by its cover and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you're more than half way out of the dumps. Worst comes to worst, reassure yourself that 40 years down the line, no one will be able tell what you looked like anyway, thanks to all the wrinkles...its not that far away really - time flies.


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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.