Dates, Dates, Dates – and I’m Not Talking Food

Some people are blessed with good memories. I’d like to think of myself as one of those people. But I ain’t got nothing on my spouse. His memory is not only good, it’s freakishly detailed, calendar-oriented, and scarily accurate. Don’t argue with him about what happened in June of 1985. He will win. Every time. I’ve seen it at family gatherings – his mom or dad will mention some memory of when he and his brother were little and it starts. Bro-in-law throws out a date, spouse counters, and it’s on. It’s on like Donkey Kong – and keeps going until my spouse has not only refuted all other opinions, but thrown out five, six or ten pieces of supporting evidence that also occurred in the vicinity of said event on the timeline.

He’s probably some kind of memory-date-savant. Cause for the really important dates he can also give you the time of the event, give or take fifteen minutes or so.

Not so with me. My memory is more photographic, and centered around important events. I can remember my kids’ birthdays, elementary school teachers, anniversary, stuff like that. But my memory is more relative, as in, I can do the math and figure out what year Empire Strikes Back premiered – but don’t have instant recall.

This post is going nowhere. Stick with me, it’s Sunday night and I am slowly meandering to a point. It goes back to my student planners I found in my desk box the other day. And for the one or two of you who will read this, maybe you can help me out.

Memory is subjective, right? Back in high school I had a couple of English teachers who made us learn about all of these different ‘isms’ in literature. Existentialism, transcendentalism, nihilism, etc. etc. I couldn’t tell you what any of them are right now (but I could Google it) – but I remember learning about one philosophy that still freaks me out. The basis being that there is, in fact, no reality. What is real to each one of us is just a figment of our imagination. Very Matrix-like. The point being that no one really knows what happens and that an objective view of any situation is impossible. What I see and experience is totally different from you. Ten points to anyone who can name this philosophy – it’s been bugging me for years.

Back to memory. So in reading through the mundane to-do lists from my life as a music major, there were a few important events scattered here and there. But I wonder – does anyone else remember them? It’s funny how something can seem so life-changing to one person but be completely overlooked by another. Huh. I guess it’s all about subjectivity. I give value to that which I deem important, and forget about the rest. It’s just kind of weird to think that the major stuff has been forgotten. And that moment in a conversation when you ask ‘Do you remember last year, when…?’ and mention something that was really fun/important/memorable. And the response is ‘Not really.’ Awkward. Wonder if everyone has those moments, or it’s just me. I guess it’s my self-centeredness that assumes that other people place the same value on memory as I do.

Life lesson #456. They don’t.

Has anyone else ever thought about this stuff? What if you were the only one that had memories of certain times in your life?

1 Comment

Filed under Life Changes, Memory, Philosophy

One response to “Dates, Dates, Dates – and I’m Not Talking Food

  1. I would have to say I have a memory like yours. And I've had plenty of "awkward" moments in conversations with others…either they have no clue what I'm recalling or they think I'm nuts for remembering too many details about it.

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