I was listening to This American Life while running the other day and the episode was about Infidelity. I don't think there has been a time when I wasn't feeling engrossed in a TAL podcast, but after listening to the first act I was feeling pretty disgusted, not that it was explicit or anything like that, but the subject matter was just so disheartening. The problem, however, was that I still had about another thirty minutes to go and I had deleted or listened to everything else on my Ipod, so I just kept going with it.
I'm glad that I did. The next story was about a married couple traveling in Germany who met a pair of sisters in a train station that they spent the rest of their vacation with. As always with TAL, the storytelling was fascinating and real, and it's told from the perspective of the husband who is in complete agony the whole trip because the reason they even started traveling with the women was because he couldn't stop staring at one of the sister's because he thought she was the picture of beauty. At the end of the story his wife parts with one of the sisters back to the hotel, while he is left with the one that he is struggling against. As the two of them head back for the hotel, he fights every urge he has to indulge in the opportunity of adultery, and heads back to his wife with the satisfaction of not having cheating, but the disappointment of the total awareness of his weakness. I just loved that story, I guess, just because it felt so real.
It's kind of one of those times where you absolutely know what the right thing is to do, and you summon the strength to do it, but even in victory over your darker half, it still feels like defeat. In the moment, sometimes doing the right thing still feels like you've done the wrong thing. It's not until some distancing has occurred when you realize how right that decision was.
Anyway, that particular story came from The Moth, which is a storytelling group based in New York. They have had some rather famous people come and perform stories, and of course, they have to be the hyper-liberal crowd whose world views I largely disagree with, but there are a lot of other contributors who are really great. They have a free weekly podcast that you can subscribe to.
I just thought I'd put that out there for anyone interested.
Man, I love me some good storytelling.