After breakfast and watching some of the national news, Connor and I will often catch a few videos before heading off to school and work. The other morning, we happened to catch two distinctly different perspectives on one of life’s toughest situations: having your heart broken. It is part of life. Everyone goes through it … but people go through it very differently.
The first video we watched was Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. Her story is of rejection, loss and heartbreak, told from a very dark place. The video is cast in low light, with ballet dancers in flowing costumes, amidst gloomy street scenes and rolling fog. With Film Noir and German Expressionist influences, Christina sings about regrets, the light being stolen from her eyes, and hoping the cause of her angst will catch a cold in his icy soul. By the time the slow tempo ballad winds down, I found myself wanting to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head. Out of the corner of my eye, I observed Connor as he watched the video come to its conclusion.
Next, the screen brightened and was replaced with Cee Lo Green singing Forget You. His story is of rejection, loss and heartbreak, but told very differently. The video is up beat, brightly lit, and with pastel costumes, neon trim and characters that provide a slightly cartoonish feel to the R&B / neo soul musical soundtrack. Cee Lo is singing about his repeated rejection from the object of his affection. After suffering through childhood, teen and college heartbreak, Cee Lo finally decides that the object of his angst simply isn’t worth it and he moves on, with a clear gloating at the end as he has become successful, leaving her sadly pushing a broom outside of a dance club. With his pleas of “Baby, baby, baby, why do you want to hurt me so bad?”, he doesn’t claim to understand any of it, but instead tells her to get lost and gets on with his life.
Connor processed the second video and thought about it for a few seconds while drinking the last of his milk. As his cup hit the counter, my son of few words issued a quiet proclamation, “Well, I have to say I like the way Cee Lo did his video much better than that Jar of Hearts thing.” I believe his statement provides insight into how he plans to face and deal with heartbreak and adversity in his life. He realizes that each of us will have to make our own choices, and there will be times when you choose between curling up in a ball and retreating, or dealing with life and moving forward. It is possible I am reading too much into his statement, but knowing Connor, I doubt it. I think he is saying he fully intends to live his life, deal with what crosses his path, and keep moving forward. What a wonderful thing for a parent to hear … or at least hope they heard.