F. Scott Fitzgerald told us, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Some believe that the seasons represent a sort of life cycle, and that each and every seasonal change brings some preconceived value with it. We all walk around in the crisp air with what we think is an enlightened sense of being.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer,” said Fitzgerald. I guess some might read these two quotes and think that Fitzgerald is contradicting himself, but in reality, it is not the season itself that inspires us, but rather, the shift of seasons.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I love the fall; it’s my favorite season.” We believe that we love the warm-colored leaves, the crisp air, the pumpkins, apple picking, Halloween, warm sweaters, hot apple cider, etc. Soon fall turns into winter and everyone goes around saying, “Look at the snow! How fun is this?” and two weeks later we see that same person miserably slugging to class through that same snow they once deemed beloved.
In the springtime we are so grateful that the weather is warmer, but we don’t stop complaining about the constant rain that seems to occupy all of April. Many claim summer as their favorite season, but suffer from inevitable sunburns or whine about a traumatized life without air conditioning.
The solution to all of this is not to move to California where the weather is consistently pleasant, but rather, to embrace the irrational, inconsistent, temperamental being that is New England.
The same goes with people. Too often, we will meet a new person and initially decide that a certain quirk is weird or unlikeable. Everyone does this without realizing it, myself included. As much as we try, we may not realize that some quirks can be good ones, since it’s not always as easy as the movies depict it to be. F. Scott Fitzgerald isn’t always there to tell us what to do.
We are taught in movies that all quirks are cute and that they are meant to make us more likeable and even sometimes, more attractive. But in real life, I’m not so sure that this is always the case. In the movie “500 Days of Summer,” Zooey Deschanel plays Summer, who is very neat and organized. Her favorite Beatles member is Ringo, and she wears bows in her hair. She is the epitome of a quirky girl in a romantic movie, but the fact of the matter is that if Summer was an actual person, from what we saw in the film, we didn’t really get to know her entirely.
If Summer was a real person, she might eat her chips really loudly in class. She might bite her nails. She might have a really obnoxious laugh. She might have a terrible cold and cough on you all day without noticing. She might make embarrassing jokes that aren’t at all funny.
Like the seasons, we far too often romanticize an idea, whether it is a person, a memory, a dream, etc. We should not be looking for a flawless thing, but instead, an acceptance of those flaws.
I do not agree with anyone that says we love people because of their imperfections. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder; it is not some flawlessly fantasized image of Zooey Deschanel, but rather, a burnt tongue from apple cider on Columbus Day weekend.
Katie McKenna is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.