• December 6, 2009
  • Georgia Keighery
  • Blog

You have to be clear about things. Being that I’m not the most sensitive or intuitive individual in the world, I know what it’s like when you’re expected to just pick up on something, or get a hint. Generally, I miss those hints. Subtlety is not my strong suit. Mostly, you need to be very clear with me. And I truly appreciate people who are. If I’ve annoyed you, upset you, you need me, tell me and I’ll move mountains to be there or resolve it. But please don’t sit silently and hope that I’ll figure out what you need with my incredible extra sensory perception. I wont. Not matter how hard I try. In fact, many a time, I’ve fallen all over myself trying to help, and ended up doing the opposite.

It was for reasons of clarity that I took up the “Ta-da”. It was about 6 or 7 years ago now, and I’d just finished a conversation with my dearest friends. We’d been saying that the responsibility of friendship is, in part, about showing someone else how to care for you. I realised that there were a lot of moments that left me wanting in terms of attention or praise (I am a hog of these two things). If for example, I had just mixed drinks for some guests, and there was no “thank you” or “Mmm, yum!” … I would quietly feel unloved and unappreciated. The truth is that I was neither of things. More likely, my guests were distracted in conversation. But most importantly, they didn’t know that I needed a “thank you” in order to not have my drink-making turn into proof of my deepest fear that I am worthless. The guests didn’t even have to mean it. After all it wasn’t really about what they felt – it was about what I felt. Like a child, swinging, unwatched, on the swings … Why aren’t they looking? Mum, watch me swing?!! … You see, it may be that I have failed to emotionally mature, but I still often feel like a kid. I need Mum to watch me on the swings damn it. The only thing that has changed really, is my ability to hold that need in, and use it as secret ammunition against myself and others. Not nice. So I began to use the “Ta-da” as a way of signaling to others the part where their involvement was required. “Please love me now” if you like.

Like a child who’s just performed a double somersault, or a magician that has just pulled a rabbit from a hat: “Ta-da!” … If I place a nice meal on the table and there’s been no appreciative comment, I can just “Ta-da!” and sure enough, people will take their cue and either compliment me, or better still, clap! If I stumble on a broken footpath, but catch myself just in time and you fail to notice, “Ta-da!”. If I’ve got a new party dress … “Ta-da!”

Some days, when I’m finding it particularly challenging to just be me, I’ll sidle up to a friend and, without saying or doing anything else, I’ll “Ta-da!” … And because they’re the best and most patient friends in the world, they’ll “oooh!” and “ahhh!” and applaud… And then I feel better. Because sometimes you just need a little applause. Sometimes, even though it looks like it’s not taking any effort on your part, it really really is. And we all want to appreciate each other and be appreciated – it’s just a matter of when and how. Well, with me, you can rest assured that you’ll always know when and how: After the “Ta-da” and with applause. Simple.

… Ta-da!


12 comments on “Ta-da!

  1. ‘Ta-da’ works wonderfully for me too! That failing, a keen slap around the ears also appears to get results. Such glorious work here Miss Georgia, very inspiring!

    Looking forward to catching up with you and Luke on the 31st!

    JR xx

  2. Spot on Keighery. Again you have me grinning like a small child with your insight and humour. You need to be writing a regular column in a national magazine immediately, preferably a cool one that isn’t too girly for a boy (me) to buy, so the Frankie/Yen end of the spectrum is fine. Okay? Good, thanks. How do we make this happen?

    Jimmy x

  3. This really hit home for me Georgia. Right now my littlest one, now 18 months, loves to pop up from behind the arm of the couch and shout, ‘ta da’ with a huge grin on her face. And that huge grin comes from knowing what will be next – rapturous applause from her mum or whoever’s nearby. So, don’t we all need that from time to time? Perhaps we just lose the confidence to ask for it. Anyway, I’m not sure how to ‘cyber applaud’ you but here you go <<<>>>>. Might try popping up from behind the couch shouting ‘ta da’ tomorrow (hmmm, or maybe not?)Great blog and a wonderful site you’ve got going Georgia. Candice (from the ASA seminar)

  4. I applaud you and your writing. It’s inspirational at a time in my life where I’m very much in fear of getting it wrong (as you put it in an artshub article) and much in need of people around me to tell me otherwise. On top of that I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately to try to figure out how to quash this fear and need for appreciation which in turn makes me beg the question, am I getting that right? Probably not, but I’m sure as hell not loosing anything by trying.

    Keep up the good writing because from what I can see you’re certainly hitting the nail on the head in that respect.

    Warmest Regards,

  5. Sorry for the awfully late reply lovely commentators!

    @ azman – [insert curtsy here]

    @ Jimmy Rainbow – You’re too kind my friend, and it was a delight to catch up with you whilst in Australia.

    @ James Rogan-Hall – Ahhh, it’s been too long sweetheart! Thank you for your divine support.
    … Note to self: Get regular column in national magazine (James deserves it).

    @ LisaLoo – Lady! I love that you took up the challenge. I’m applauding you right now.

    @ Kate Ferguson – Ta-da! 🙂

    @ Candice – A standing ovation for you Candice! Support from such a delightful literary woman makes me feel like a lucky kid. You’re site looks fabulous too! Bless the cotton socks of the ASA and its people!

    @ Marilyn Cromack – What a delightful thing to say. You’re a wonderful lady who should return to her pen and page as soon as possible – I’m sure they’ve been missing you too.

    @ Anna – I curtsy to your applause, and I offer a round right back to you: brave acknowledgment of fear deserves that. In the immortal words of William Thackeray, “Bravery never goes out of fashion” … You’re a fashionable lady Anna! Thank you sincerely for reading.

  6. Chetwax. You know who you are, and I’m not just bandying the metaphysical. Much less am I bandying the legs. When are you coming to visit me? The thing with the tea-cups and Vo-vos, polite conversation and how many spoons. Comparing notes on recent surgical intervention, perhaps a display of scars and notes about the efficacy of the Vitamin E cream. I had dinner with your cousin in Bay St Port Melbourne, the Thai Orchid last Thursday. She is besotted by Meeka, the baby elephant. Apparently it means Spirit of Co-operation or some similar saccharine cloying nauseating gush. Anyway, this elephant IS terribly cute, and she wants to buy it some item of pink wooly clothing. And repaint its bedroom. Metaphorical or WHAT! I’m not complaining, maybe she’ll have a son who might like to inherit UM’s range of power tools. Someone who would be glad to see me gone, but not solely because they would be shut of the nagging. How about you, you buying bundles of peppermint eucalyptus leaves for a cute baby koala, or painting the baby thrush’s nest pink with white discharge? I want godfathership, or hood, please. Maybe there’ll be two boy second cousins sharing the UM power-tool cache! Hope springs etc. I come from haunts of coot and tern, I make a Sudden Sally. Always wanted to meet her, she sounds like a real goer,
    I’m going home for tea, wishing it was in a cup. And that you had made it.
    Love n biscuits UM

  7. “Ta-da”…. it just came out as i popped up the stairs with my hands in the air to greet your precious boy having a tasty bevvy with JD & Coxy, here in Aussie. Certainly brings out the giggle.. priceless! luvs & hugs xo

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