|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Go Ahead, Spoil The Surprise!
My mother and I can’t have a conversation without her telling me the end of the movie I am about to see or the book I am about to read. She doesn’t mean to. But it will just come out, as in: “Honey, I just couldn't help it, I sobbed when the horse broke his leg and they had to put him down...right on the racetrack, by the finish line."
I am not the kind of person who hangs up on her mother. But I sometimes pretend the stove is on fire and drop the phone and run off screaming. Now, I can just stay on the line; knowing the ending actually improves a person’s enjoyment of a film or book. A recent study by researchers from the University of California at San Diego, Reuters reported, gave reader stories by John Updike, Roald Dahl, and Agatha Christie, only with two versions—the original, and another with a "spoiling paragraph" inserted in the text.
The verdict: readers preferred the amended stories. My kids of course could have explain this to me—without words even. One look at their bewitched, glazed expressions as they watched Dinosaur Train, the underwater episode, for the millionth time proves the whole entire theory. (Just to increase your enjoyment: the little fish without any names do get eaten by the big friendly dinosaurs).
From now on, I will enjoy my mother's plot references, as long as my mother does not find out that I am enjoying them, at which point either I will be compelled to admit or she will be compelled to point out that—like our long hot endless childhoods visits to Civil War battlefields—this is officially for my own good.
At last: a proved route to wisdom.
The back-from-vacation ah-ha moment!
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.