young girl.old hag

Leave It to Beaver

young girl.old hagMany are familiar with the drawing; Young Girl or Old Hag. When one observes the picture, they see either the young girl or an old hag. Rarely is one able to simultaneously see both. Based on experience and perspective, each of us may choose to view the world differently than the next person.

As a child I watched the television show “Leave it to Beaver”. Week after week, and year after year, I observed that Beaver was oblivious to the fact that Wally, as the older brother, was dangerous and not to be trusted.

Decades later, with the advent of TV Land, I was able to revisit the adventures of the Cleaver family. I was now faced with a shocking revelation. Wally, or even the fearsome Eddie Haskall, never intended any harm to Theodore. What I had seen as a child didn’t exist except in my view of the world.

I’ve long been aware that I held certain actors in disdain. In this case it was due to some physical resemblance to a big brother of mine. At some point in time, I realized that although they may be creeps, they were not connected to my creepy brother. I can now watch Gregory Harrison or Cliff DeYoung without the slightest fraternal animosity.

Gregory Harrison                           Cliff Deyoung                           Vincent D'Onofrio

   Gregory Harrison                                                      Cliff DeYoung                                                        Vincent D’Onofrio

Recently I’ve encountered a stronger challenge, the creepy cop on Law and Order Criminal Intent. He not only bears a physical resemblance, but exudes that arrogant, sarcastic demeanor. I concluded that he would always send shivers up my spine. After reading the actor’s biography and the show synopsis, I decided to watch Law and Order C I. Just as with Beaver on TV Land, I viewed from a new perspective. This guy was more Columbo than big brother.

We all view the world through the lens of our experience. Sometimes we see young girls, and sometimes we see old hags.

Suppose I watched reruns of the Grandpa Davey Show, and discovered that big brother wasn’t a creep. That would be weird!