take two

I know I blame Hollywood for all things wrong in the world short of the atom bomb, but this weekend made me think about a part of life that is usually drastically different from what the movies would have us expect.

The time to say goodbye.

A buddy of mine recently got demoted, and we were discussing his plan of action over lunch. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, he said in the last meeting with his bosses before he quits, he wants to remind them what a bad decision they're making, and "walk off into the sunset." Whether he does it or not, the essence of his comment epitomizes what we've all grown to believe:

There's nothing in life like a grand finale.

A nail in the coffin. The final word. That perfectly timed quip right before the music swells and the credits role. We crave it. In the movies their voices never shake, and they never stumble as they walk away. If we're angry, we want to leave on a real TKO of a verbal slap, striding away defiantly as they shamefully realize their mistake. If we're feeling bittersweet, we hope for a lingering last touch during a meaningful silence before slowly walking away without turning back. If we're sad, we want to be the last thing they see as the plane/train/automobile door closes, trying gamely to smile as a single tear escapes.

I'm just saying... Rhett Butler frankly not giving a damn in Gone With the Wind? Powerful exits are legendary.

I was all geared up for a particular bittersweet goodbye this weekend. I had a my choice lines picked out and everything. And while the banter was sufficiently poignant and a lingering touch occurred, what I had hoped to be a grand finale felt more like fireworks in the rain....not quite how it was meant to be.

But in real life, no one yells "CUT!" as you walk away. Goodbyes are rarely plain and never simple, and I'm not even sure with a million takes I could have said everything I wanted to say.

I guess that's the blessing and the curse of not looking back...you'll never know if you were right to move forward.

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