The Man and I have an ongoing in-joke about various TV programmes hitting certain cliches: a catch-phrase bingo as it were. Reality TV shows are the best for this. Take Strictly Come Dancing, for example (and this is the best known)”It’s been an amazing journey”, plus “I think this will be the best ever year”, “He’s such a fantastic partner, I think we’ll always be friends”, “I know we say this every year, but this year it really is too close to call” etc. (The X Factor is known in our house for the ‘dead Granny’ card – see if you can figure that one out).
The one that always makes me twitch a bit is the line “I think this has been the best day/experience of my life.” Not so much because of the exaggeration, after all, I haven’t walked in their shoes, perhaps it truly is the best day of their life. It’s because me makes me think of what people normally cite as being the best days of their life: their wedding day, the day their children are born.
Now, my wedding day is still the best day of my life but, despite the fact that having each of them has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me, the days my children were born are the two worst days of my life. Without question, equivocation or exception. The very worst days of my life. The day my son was born was the day I felt most violated and under threat, the day my daughter was born was the day she and I nearly died.
Do people just say that the day their children were born is the best day of their life because they feel they should say it? Because they’re talking about the eventual outcome rather than the day itself? Or is this just something I’ve missed out on? Can you let me know? Please…
Don’t feel too bad for me, though, because although my wedding day has been my most memorable best, I have had many many ordinary days of love and fun and family since then and I anticipate many many more. It’s not about where you start, is it, but the journey, and this is such an amazing journey.