I have, lets call it, a ‘challenged’ memory. I go upstairs, into the kitchen, out of my office – with purpose – and regularly have absolutely no sweet clue why I’ve done it.
I often like to accompany this with sentences that start with “..why am I…what did I…damn.”
The only solace is that I believe it’s fair to say a veritable plethora of my friends have done the same, on as regular (how I hope) basis.
All the gods help me, should I attempt to enter a grocery store without a list, as chances are I will end up with eight items I didn’t go in for, and not the eggs I did.
I was a professional server in a swanky, high falutin, resort for far too long, really, and I could remember the order, including appetizers and drinks, for a table of 10. Now I need to make lists to remind myself to check my lists.
What am I trying to tell you? That my memory simply is not what I remember it to be. Age? Sure. Too busy? Yep. Too many balls in the air? Definitely. The result of some abuse in my misspent youth? Absolutely.
But in as much as I know that I’m not alone in that, I also know that I’m not alone in this:
Nothing jars the memory to a specific, detailed, place or time like music.
Ah, music. Play me some Lowest of the Low, or Luscious Jackson, and all of a sudden, I’m back in my coolio (yep, I said it) apartment at university, making dinner. Anything by All Saints, and I’m back behind the bar at The Mars, in Portsmouth, and it’s 1997.
Duran Duran, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, or Bon Jovi, (yes, I realize I’m dating myself here) and I’m getting ready for a school dance, or hanging with friends on a Saturday afternoon.
I laughed while in Canadian Tire recently, while my husband was browsing the tool aisle. Hits of the 80s were on the stereo system, and I remarked management clearly had their key demographic locked down.
The music made my wait thoroughly enjoyable, as I was carried through my high school years, sharing several memories with my tool seeking better half, much to his chagrin.
Couple that with the ability to quote any John Hughes movie for any occasion, and thinking of my entire teenage years when I hear Ducky Dale say “This is Otis. I love Otis,” only to then launch into lip-syncing some Otis Redding, and my life somehow seems to slip back on track.
And maybe that’s really what the memories of what life are about.
Don’t worry so much about why you went into the kitchen, or that you need lists about your lists.
Because, with a little Barenaked Ladies background music, the important stuff comes rushing back, and those are the memories that are worth saving.
And really, I’m just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world.
See you next week.