Don’t you just love those people who are such storytellers that, even when you inform him or her that you’ve heard the story told before, he says, “Shut up and listen to my story,” and just keeps telling it?
And we always end up smiling at the same parts, rolling our eyes, laughing out loud, calling out “Oh, whatever!” at the same parts. And every time you hear the story it seems somehow like the first time. And somehow it gets better. And that’s because it is. He’s been tweaking it for years– changing out a word, rewording a description, describing with a new metaphor.
It stays fresh. And he knows you’ll find it so; that’s why he makes you listen and watches you react to the same parts, and a couple of new ones. And he never gets recognition, outside of his familiar circle, for being the skilled writer that he is. Or she is.
So, I just want to take a moment to offer thanks to the undercover writers out there. Some of them may not even know. After all, before writers we had the oral tradition. It’s an ancestor and a cousin and a companion. Don’t forget to tell that hilarious or dramatic storyteller in your circle that you appreciate it.
My dad is a storyteller. His flair for the dramatic grips you. My mother is a storyteller. Her candid humor rips you. I just realized while typing this that while neither of my parents are writers, they’ve both influenced or contributed to my love for telling stories. Well, how about that! Life is full of surprises.
I’ve heard my dad tell the same stories over and over again, and I find no reason to remind him that I’ve heard it before. I know it’s going to be good; it’s always good. And my mother, who’s a bit on the quieter side but relishes any opportunity to be hilarious, has created some sort of storytelling duet. He brings the drama, and she inserts commentary that makes our eyes water. She always manages to keep a straight face just long enough for us to question and sometimes she’s laughing as the words come out. And we’re all twisting in our chairs, gripping our bellies, mouths wide open, sometimes no sound coming out. And we’re all wiping the tears from our eyes.
Storytellers deserve a place of honor. In my culture, storytellers are always asked to present, or else someone invariably steps forward. They stand up practically always, talk loudly and point their fingers at members of the audience. They make the audience a part of the story. You were there, you were the villain. And you were there, the naïve runt who got taken advantage of. And the Storyteller is the god, the one everything and everyone revolves around.
And it’s highfalutin and full of flurries and dramatic pauses, and it’s just the best. I love storytellers.