@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Jumping Up and Down with Excitement
Anthony, my five year old nephew, gets really excited watching action movies, so much so, he gets off the couch to jump up a down. It mirrors how I used to react, when I was younger.
“I don’t remember you jumping up and down,” Lisa, my older sister says.
“That’s because you would yell at me for blocking the television and I had to go to the side of the room to jump up and down and then I’d return to the couch.”
This is true. Neither my brother or sister leaped from the couch to do jumping jacks when watching a cinematic adventure. In fact, I didn’t even think that was an odd thing to do until a close friend pointed out that it was recently. This is the way. Many things you did or your family did as a child you won’t realize are abnormal in any way whatsoever until you grow up to learn that other people didn’t do that all of the time. Though I’ve out grown jumping up in action movies, my muscles will tense up and sometimes watching sports I will do a little dance when my team makes a big play. Nowadays few things make my heart leap with the jubilance of the inner child more than an ocean animal encounter. Dolphins are never shy to jump up out of the ocean in their celebration.
After a month being in Florida, waiting out what we hope has been the worst of the pandemic, quarantined at my parents house with them and my sister and her two young-ins, I have returned to the epicenter of the brave new world in my New York home. It’s bittersweet.
Shocked to find I had never been married, my nephew is convinced he’s my “Prince Charming,” making persistent proposals to marry me. “Would you please marry me, I just love you so much! You’ll always be safe with me!” Some things are equal parts cute and creepy. Man, my sister is watching way too many princess movies with that kid.
I suppose jumping up and down with excitement seems like a level of joy so far away from any adult right now, fretting over the uncertainties of the future, some of us in a sheer panic about money— holding a lens into future options that are either one you never desired or completely unknown. And in that case, there is only one option: Unknown.
Perhaps you’d disagree. Perhaps you’d choose known even if it’s not what you wanted over chance. While I wouldn’t begrudge someone for doing so, for me, this is not the way.
There are times now I rue the day I became a comedian, if you could call me that anymore. Then again, in moments of lucidity in the midst of this pandemic crisis, I realize I could have pursued something I had no passion for whatsoever for years in my youth, and lost whatever that may be to be in this exact position… suspended in limbo, too afraid to look forward, too sad to look back. Besides the weight of worry, which I heavily brought upon myself, usually to an unnecessary degree, it’s not a decade of my relatively short life wasted. In fact, there were many moments that made me literally jump up and down with excitement. Maybe it was a call for an audition or passing at a new club, a rise from my writing partner, finishing a screenplay, good news from my manager, opening for an idol or killing with new jokes. In privacy, even in adulthood, I would hop around in throes of ecstasy.
What makes one jump up and down in excitement? I suppose it’s really a stressful moment that surprises you with a splendid outcome. And when I see my nephew jump up and down in excitement, I laugh at him, not in mockery but with empathy that this rapture will occur to him again and again and that maybe he’ll chase that feeling and get up every time his heart gets broken knowing he will jump up and down with excitement again.