Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I Can't Remember

I've been thinking about my friends today.  Old friends, current friends, new friends ... all sorts of friends.

Then, I pulled out my Memory book from my senior year in high school.  I can't seem to find my silly yearbook anywhere right now, but this is actually more personal.  It was to be filled with pictures of my classmates, memories from the year, notes from my friends, graduation announcements ... all sorts of things.  I looked through some of the notes that people in my class wrote to me and just laughed and laughed.  Girls that I didn't know all that well ended their notes with "Friends forever."  Well, I never saw them again after I moved out of town.  Ok ... they were at the ten-year class reunion (the last one I attended), but we weren't friends - we were never friends.

That same girl wrote, "Do you remember in 7th grade when we fought all the time and your mom hated me?"  Oh good heavens, what a riot.  Because now, I don't remember any of that.  It's all gone.

Other friends made comments about things that must have made sense once upon a time, but are now so far out of my memory that I just stare at the words and wonder what we had been doing.

I love that taking pictures has gotten simpler for kids these days.  They will have images to trigger their memories.  I thought I took a lot of pictures in high school, and while I have some, there are so many things I would love to be able to see again, but the images are only a faded memory in the back of my mind.

There is no picture of my senior prom.  The one I attended with a girlfriend, because the mother of my boyfriend at the time decided at the last minute he wouldn't be allowed to go.  So, Mary and I dressed up, our mothers bought corsages for us, we drove to Oskaloosa for dinner and back to Sigourney for the prom. I wish there were pictures of that evening, because now that I'm far away from it, the pain is gone, the memory is barely there and it makes for a great story.

Our Senior Class trip is not recorded in the annals of my life with pictures.  It was quite a trip.  We went to St. Louis and the partying was extensive.  I bought some postcards at the zoo and at the Arch, but I don't have pictures to remind me of the cramped hotel rooms, craziness on the bus and passed out, drunken high school friends. Were the sponsors really that oblivious?

My memories of those years are so much stronger than my sister's memories, yet even so I have lost so much.  As I look through the book, I see names and pictures of kids that I should remember and I barely even register that they were in my class. 

Throughout the years, people have moved in and out of my life.  Some of them I remember well, others I can sense a niggling in the back of my mind that tells me I should remember and I don't.  There are employees that I hired and fired throughout the years at Insty-Prints and I have no idea what their names are any longer.  I'd give anything to have photographs reminding me of their place in my life (well labeled photographs, please).

Even today, I need to be more conscious of taking pictures when I am doing things so that in ten years I will remember the events and the people that I spent time doing things with.  If you see me and I look at you blankly, please don't be offended, just tell me your name again and I'll do my best to remember everything I knew about you.

Now ... where did I put that Memory book. 

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