My daughter and her friends use the slang “Tots obvi” [toe-tz ahb-vee], no doubt derived from texting abbreviations, that has replaced “I know, right?” as conversational agreement. Many things are obvi when you are 14.
I was reminded of my own “obvi” behavior the other day in a team building exercise where I was supposed to talk about myself in a stream of consciousness way with a partner. My partner knows a few things about me and the prompts were designed to try and make deeper connections between us. Most people over 18 in the western world have experienced some similar exercise in school, college or in the workplace.
Being familiar with this variation on a theme, when it was my turn to speak I had a Keyser Söze moment. I looked at my partner and anything in my field of vision became the content of my conversation. If you haven’t seen the movie The Usual Suspects I won’t spoil it for you. It’s fairly old, 1995, and an excellent twisty, mystery story with a slew of great actors. Highly recommend.
What the exercise reminded me of – and why I called it a Keyser Söze moment – was it was one of those times when my hyper observation made me casually state the solution to the mystery 20 minutes into the movie. This made my husband furious.
He had already seen it and when it came out on VHS (remember those?), and then we watched it together at home. There was something one of the characters did not too far into the movie that made me say “Oh, so-and-so is Keyser Söze” and sure enough I was right. I think the real problem was that not long before we watched Citizen Cain and I immediately put together that (spoiler alert) Rose Bud was the stupid sled. I don’t know how I missed seeing Citizen Cain for all those years, I guess we all have cinematic lacuna, but when I did I was all “meh”.
My point is that with most movies the clues are usually tots obvi so the audience can weave it all together at the end. I just weave faster than most. I can’t tolerate movies or books where there is a big reveal at the end and its something that was hidden from the audience all along. Not fair play and I won’t play with that author or director twice.
Puzzles for me have to be in the shape of people, stories or narrative. Then I will happily engage in puzzling and teasing apart. Crossword (my husbands favorite), or other brain teasers, keep my attention for the 30 seconds it takes me to determine I don’t know the answers.
Something I try to remember – We all bring different skills and perspectives to the problems & puzzles of life. Tots obvi.