Golden Memories


A while back I was digging through some old photos and I came across a picture of my friend, Dean, and me at our high school Sadie Hawkins dance.  Here it is.

Yeah, I was fat.  Say something to me about it.

Anyway, I smiled nostalgically and paused to let all the memories of that fun filled, care free evening wash over me … but the wave didn’t come.  It didn’t come on account of the fact that I had no memories of that particular evening.  Not even one.

So, I paused a little more, this time putting a little elbow grease into conjuring up any sort of recollection, anything at all; a song, drinking in the parking lot, falling down some random set of stairs, you know, all the normal school dance stuff.

Nothin’.  Crickets.

For the next 20 minutes I sat there racking my freakin’ brain, but the only light bulb that went off in my head was the one that illuminated my slow descent into senility.

This is how it starts, I thought, with a forgotten moment. Then the next thing you know, you’re lost in your own backyard, which is scary because I don’t even have a backyard, so exactly whose yard am I standing in?

But then something came to me.  My shoes.  You see the blue stripes on my shoes?  They were really white.  I colored them blue with a pen.  I remember doing that.  Why that, of all things?

Then I started to think of all my memories from school and most of them were ridiculously trivial, like the light brown stretch pants my English teacher wore practically every day.  Or my friend serenading me in the hallway to the Blues Brothers song, Rubber Biscuit.  “What do you want for nothing, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrubber biscuit?”

Why are those my memories?  Why not the stuff I actually learned in school, like the capitol of North Carolina or who Andrew Jackson’s Vice President was, or how many feet are in a square yard?

I read somewhere that a memory becomes solidified thanks to a burst of adrenaline in our systems at the time of the incident.  I totally call BS on that.  Why would the sight of my decrepit old English teacher’s stretch pants trigger extra adrenaline in my system?  Okay, don’t go there.  Don’t even go there.

Still, there must be a reason why we remember worthless things like writing on our shoes, and forget bona fide events in their entirety.  ‘Cuz believe me, that Sadie Hawkins dance was a bona fide event.  It was the only one I ever attended, because Dean was the only guy I could find who was stupid enough to take me.  I felt TERRIBLE that I couldn’t remember it.

So, I sent Dean the picture and I go, “Dean, don’t get mad, it’s nothing personal, but I can’t remember anything about the night we went to Sadie Hawkins together.  What did we do?  Did we have a good time?”

He goes, “We went to Sadie Hawkins together?  I don’t remember that.  We must have had fun.  Look, we’re smiling.”

And then I suddenly felt better.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still convinced I’m in the beginning stages of old timer’s disease.  But I’m comforted by the fact that I’m not going down alone.  And one day, when my friends and I are staring at each other in some nursing home, at least we won’t have to sit there and listen to each other’s “golden memories” over and over and over — because we won’t have any – which is okay, because I don’t think anyone wants to hear stories about my shoes … including me.

Missing Missoula

CC the Trained Monkey

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BIO:  Carol Chrest is a bitter old spinster living in Los Angeles. When she’s not working ridiculous hours at her cruddy day job, she writes screenplays.  She drinks.  Back to CC’s Blog homepage.