There is a scene in Despicable Me 2 where Dr. Negario, the aging mad scientist (Gru’s righthand man) decides to venture out on his own. After a series of heartfelt goodbyes and a fart gun salute, he gets into his motorized wheelchair, straps on his safety goggles and says, in what feels like it will be a dramatic rocket-booster departure, “I miss you already.” He then proceeds to inch his way into the air, in a prolonged and awkward, and thus completely hilarious, manner.
The phrase “I miss you already” has become a part of my family’s language, used with a dramatic flair whenever one of us is parting ways with another. It is especially funny when said, only to have the person who was leaving return mere seconds later because they forgot something.
Humor is something enjoyable that we borrow from story. Making the humor carry over into reality is a way to lighten the seriousness of reality given there is a mutual understanding of the fictional context. In this case, it shows an exaggerated goodbye when a simple, nonchalant goodbye would do. It is a larger-than-life expression of love and care for someone, enjoyable because it isn’t necessary or expected. An extra smattering of love.
There is another scene from this movie that I personally like to quote. It is flashback of little Gru on the playground, where he is trying to give a flower to a girl he likes. He shyly and daringly approaches the girl with his huge blinky-eyes saying in his one-of-a-kind voice, “Lisa. Uh, excuse me, Lisa.” When she doesn’t respond, he taps her on the shoulder to get her attention. It makes big tears well up in my eyes whenever I see it because what follows his vulnerable risk is the mass panic of kids freaking out because “Gru touched Lisa. Gru touched Lisa. Lisa has grooties.”
When I use the phrase, “Lisa. Uh, excuse me, Lisa.” What I am relaying is that moment when you put everything on the line at the risk of being misunderstood, humiliated, or denied. Summed up in those five words I can capture a picture of vulnerability and weave it in seamlessly to reality. Or when I’m facing my own vulnerable moment, I can think on this scene and harness some comic relief, because if Little Gru can live through it and go on as an adult to find his own way, then surely I can live out my own playground scene moments.
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