Nick Hornby gets it. Painful as that is to admit, for reasons lilywhite indeed, he does.
His Fever Pitch is essential reading. A rare moment where football writing resembles cricket writing – a colossal if not obscure compliment from an American especially.
His tome, ostensibly a life told through a love of the Dark Side of the North London force, has many nuggets of wisdom amid its winks and giggles. The following is but one:
Life isn’t, and has never been, a 2-0 home victory against the League Leaders after a fish and chip lunch. — Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
And so – not for the first time in recent posts – I return to the topic of ideals.
It isn’t how good a day was or was not; it’s how our memory of it becomes almost unrecognizable after layer upon layer of polish.
Often, our exaggeration is rooted in a sincere desire to convey meaning.
For them to fully get how amazing that was to me, I may need to add a little something. This is natural.
Were I to have an amazing day today, there would be at least two factors at play.
First, there would be whatever happened.
Second, there would be a collection of other memories, through which whatever occurred became special in a way only I could fully sense.
How does one share such a subjectively glorious emotion?
It sucks to not share your joy, but it’s far worse when another fails to grasp why whatever happened affected us so.
So we…. season the memory. We add a pinch of this or a little of that. And I’m here to say I think that’s fine.
The reason Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby works is not because Francis Scott secretly had a thing for Jay-Z. At the same time, Fitzgerald did not see his world exactly as we would see it today.
Face it: We are, many of us, romantic as hell, but we’d leave Gatsby’s as soon as we found out he didn’t have WiFi.
So is updating something OK? Is it necessary even?
For me it’s an emphatic ‘yes’ and a fairly cautionary ‘depends.’
Updating can, as I’ve argued above, allow others access to that which we hold dear. Always assuming they need the help, however, shades towards condescension.
Don’t assume others can’t follow you. Just don’t feel that a few bread crumbs is some kind of betrayal either.