How much sentimentality is too much sentimentality? At a lovely English wedding recently the beaming couple could not have looked more happy. And during his speech the groom could not have not sounded more in love. It was very much a “you complete me” moment right out of the the movie, JERRY MAGUIRE.
I loved it !
The groom extended this circle of love to include his mom, “Frank” as he refers to her, explaining that she is notorious for always beginning any important discussion with the words, “To to be perfectly frank, darling.” Both she and his new mother in law, who share the same petite size but powerful presence, were profusely thanked for the wisdom and kindness they had always demonstrated toward him. His father was honored as his heroic role model. And the affection he held for his sisters, the groomsmen and his new farther in law was made abundantly clear.
So did others.
But some found it surprising, this speech from the heart. An actor from a popular television series was speaking to my husband and neither were quite sure what to make of this emotional drawer being opened so wide. It was certainly refreshing. But very personal as well.
These men are English, of course. I am American. So for a moment, I thought perhaps this was a clash of cultures. I appreciated the outpouring of sentiment. I get weepy hearing the Star Spangled Banner.
Then I was reminded of my Dad who I asked on one Valentine’s Day, “Poppy, do you ever tell Mom that you love her.” He looked me straight in the face and said, “ I told her once. Should I ever change my mind, I’ll let her know.”
Okay, but, not saying “I love you” ranks number 12 on a list of common life regrets compiled by the internet site viralnova.com.
How many times have you heard people say, after a funeral, “Gee I wish I had told (fill in the blank) how much I really loved him.”
Take at look any internet social site and you will see people sharing all sorts of information about themselves that could range from the most innocuous comments, “I am having coffee” to the most intimate, “I hate my life.”
Facebook alone averages 1.3 Billion users per month according to Craig Smith and his DIGITAL MARKETING RAMBLINGS. Lots of people clearly feel pretty fine telling you all about themselves.
Maybe the emotional reticence experienced at the English wedding I attended was a guy thing. But, the groom is male too. So, then it must be an issue of age, the groom, being considerably younger than my husband.
Although we might perceive those who are sentimental to also be weaker, softer versions of ourselves, sentimentality is lurking amidst even darker regions of our society as well. “ Douglas Todd writes in the Vancouver Sun that “The acclaimed HBO series, The Sopranos, frequently captures the sentimentality of Mafia members. It portrays Tony Soprano and his cruel cronies weeping about their mothers, sniffling at old movies, idealizing their children, lamenting the loss of tradition and being fiercely protective of their wives (on whom they systematically cheat with their “goombahs,” ie. mistresses).”
Why some people shy away from sentiment is still a mystery. And I don’t like emotional sloppiness. But I do encourage the expression or feelings. Especially good ones. There is no one who doesn’t like to hear that they are well-liked, or admired or loved. And if that’s the truth, why keep it to yourself?