“How do you know which of your memories are genuine and which have been altered over time or even made up?”
On Friday nights I’ve been participating in zoom trivia hosted by a local business. A couple of times they had 80s theme nights. There was a question about a cartoon with a picture of the characters in it. It was called the “Get along gang”. Seeing the picture I remember having the doll that was a cheerleader. It was a dog with a white sweater, red skirt and white and red shoes. BUT I couldn’t remember the character that Janet had. I think it was the moose but honestly I’m not sure.
I was talking to my cousin recently and we were reminiscing about the first time they met us. I told her I remember her husband giving us cowboy boots (he was in the shoe business). I wasn’t sure of our exact age but I think we were around 9. The thing about memories is although I can’t remember the specifics I remember the feeling I had while wearing the boots. How special they were. It is interesting how after many years I’m not sure if some memories are genuine. In my mind I see this person in a yellow and black polka dot dress at my cousin’s wedding in 1988 but there are no pictures to prove it. And yet there are things that happened that day that are as clear as if it happened yesterday. The thud of my cousin fainting.
Whenever I get together with my Mom’s younger brother we usually end up talking about my grandmother’s boxes of margarine containers. Why would you need that many for 2 people? With both of these family members our memories are connections to the past and the people that we loved.
I think memories soften over time. A teacher in public school still remembered the first day of grade 1 when I screamed the whole way because I was going to be separated from my twin. A friend of mine told me years later I shouldn’t be embarrassed because that was love. We both shared that experience but she can see it as an outsider looking in.
I’m the type of person that likes the candid photo. There is a photo my grandmother took on her polaroid of us dressed in our Sunday best and I had to sneeze. She caught it at the exact moment and my hand covers most of my face. It makes me laugh. Nowadays we can capture every moment on a cellphone. We edit out the ones that are imperfect. We can’t alter our memories but in my experience I’ve learned from the good and bad.