Deb: I have a few Donald Ducks in my life. Allow me to explain. When I was a kid watching the Mickey Mouse Club, Donald freaked me out. Yes, I was very young, but still. I was always so confused at his anger and jealously towards Mickey.
I find myself to this very day confused and confounded by the Donald Ducks in my life. People who cling to jealousy, who can’t let go of a grudge, who don’t know how to forgive and forget. How do they function with all that hate and anger? The best life lesson I have learned to this point is forgiveness. It’s the lesson that keeps on giving. Heals you, heals the other guy. It is what brings me peace, and I think/hope it has helped me on my quest to be a better person.
I have always strived to be Mickey with his sweet optimism and Pollyanna spirit. Mickey is a lover of Man and Mousekind who doesn’t have a bad word to squeak about anyone. He inspired me as a child and still as an adult I was always enthralled with the idea of “Anything can happen day” on the Mickey Mouse Club. I try to look at my journey as an “Anything can happen Life” where every day is a new and positive adventure. And in those moments of my life when I was jealous, vindictive or envious, I thought of Donald with his angry scrunched up sweaty face and I thought, “Yep, that’s what I look like inside and out”. I hated that reflection and the realization that in those ugly moments, the only difference between Donald and me was that I was wearing pants.
Last year I made a big decision to change something in my life that was causing me to see Donald’s reflection in the mirror on a daily basis. It was a very painful decision, but now when I look in the mirror I see Mickey with his huge hopeful eyes. M,I,C––see you real soon, K,E,Y––why, because we love you! M O U S E.
Barbara: That’s at once funny and painfully sweet, Deb.
We’ve spoken many times about the best way to handle things when life gets tough. There’s often a Donald/Mickey quandary, isn’t there? Do you Donald it up and say what you mean and truly feel, and in so doing let that little scrunch-faced-bare-butted brat have his way? Or do you Mickey it, look on the bright side, decide you’re going to be okay if you don’t make those twenty valid but demeaning points, pull up your little be-buttoned shorts, and put your best paw forward?
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been tempted to let Donald have his quacking way a few times over, even wished afterwards that I’d been “brave enough” to fully unleash his voice (even sometimes long afterwards), but I can truly say now that I have not regretted a single one of Mickey’s good-natured victories.