I have a tendency to talk too much. No, no. It’s not a problem admiting that I have a gift for gab–much to the chagrin of those who must listen to me pontificate on every subject known to Man. I am at one with my wordiness. My verbiage. My Adjectivian Flourish. My droplets of wisdom. That is, metaphorically speaking. But nothing truly captures my art at entertaining words like my favorite pastime: speeches.
It often begins with a roll of the eye, a suck of the teeth or a sigh of frustration. Nothing gets my juices flowing more than complete contempt. But rather than begin with decades-old morality tales or tired parental cadences that begin with “When I was your age” or “Back in my day“, I prefer the subtle nuance of the metaphor. Like a seasoned painter, I first prepare my canvas with simple images. Then, I catch you in a lesson well before you realize that I am teaching it to you. Like the deceased Bob Ross, I’m guiding you gently toward making “happy little trees” in your mind so that you can hopefully reach your own conclusions.
This week alone I’ve had to invent a few metaphoric pieces to speak to Sara (Carlos’ daughter) who at seventeen, thinks better in pictures than in words. So here is a quick example of how I would go about my metaphor-speak:
Her Dad’s Love Is Like A Cake:
I guess love between fathers and daughters is always a unique concept. A father often feels that can’t just put his arm around his daughter and ask her to fix stuff in the garage. He also can’t punch her in the arm or tossle around without feeling a little weird. At the same time, the daughter can’t ask him for advice on dating or what color lip gloss to wear at a party. So to soften the rough edges of Carlos, I had to explain it to her this way: Your Dad’s Love Is Like A Cake. To which she gave me that same you’re crazy look that all teenagers give adults at one time or another. However, Carlos’ love for his daughter is extremely strong. Even though he doesn’t always express it in a conventional way, Sara is his world. Likewise, Sara can speak her mind to her Dad with reckless abandon, knowing that he will try to help her out in whatever way he can. The problem is that there was a rough patch. So Sara, I explained, used to be the icing on Carlos’ cake. And just as she was getting past the yummy layers, she balked. So now, she’s the wick on the candle. She has to learn to eat her father’s crumbs until he can once again share his slice.
You may be asking, did this corny stuff really work? The short answer is, yes. The long answer is that it’s a bitter pill for Sara to swallow right now. You see? I’m a metaphor fool…somebody stop me!