I really like reading humorous biographies and amazing true stories about people. The books don’t always stick with me, but the stories do, when told well. I’m impressed with the story telling of a hitch hiking gone bad; of a starving woman and her boyfriend spending hours trying to knock a fruit out of a tree, only to find that the fruit is not edible; of a father going on a TV game show and winning nothing, even though he could win the jackpot every time he watches the show. Interesting, no?
Lacking amazing stories myself, I once stumbled upon a way to make my mediocre life sound really interesting and amazing through the story telling. When you leave out boring details and make broad statements, you can really turn an ordinary event into an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Or somewhere in between.
For example:That hot summer day, I found myself speeding across the Nevada desert in a temperamental vehicle, breathing the same air of a man I wasn’t sure I knew anymore. He had seemed so nice and normal when I accepted the ride. That is, until he hastened to reveal to me what he was carrying: a gun. A real gun. I felt fear. Why did he have a gun and what was he planning on doing with it?
Doesn’t that sound terrifying? It really happened. I promise. But let me fill in the details.
The man was my good friend. He had been visiting friends in California. I had been visiting my family. So we were road-tripping from California back to Utah to start a new semester. Somewhere in the Nevada desert, he told me he had a gun in his glovebox. I really did feel a little bit of fear because I’m not a gun gal. And I really did wonder why he carried a gun. When I wondered that out loud, he told me it was for protection.
The truth is boring. The detail-less truth is much more exciting. Try it out. Tell me the truth about your day, but leave out the boring details that make it sound oh-so-ordinary.