Can I be honest a minute…

I really don’t remember you. I know we went to high-school together, but neither your yearbook photo nor your name even jogs my memory.

And, you? They tell me we even went to middle school together too? Sorry, I don’t remember you. I wish I did; you seem nice.

And to you, the friend I have known since first grade. I know I am smiling and shaking my head, doing all of the right things, but I don’t remember a lick of this story. I wish I did – it sounds really funny. You say I was there?

Maybe it’s my old advanced age that is effecting my memory. If you knew me in high school, which you say you did, then you also know I made some questionable decisions about the substances I put in my body. I do have some vague memories of faceless people at crowded parties, (sorry, I dont remember if you were there) getting alcohol poisoning. That’s stupid; I mean you’d think when you couldn’t stand up to pee anymore; having that 42nd drink would seem like a bad idea. And yes, there I was, judging you from the corner, because marijuana does not poison; marijuana enlightens. Clearly, you, my drunken friend, were on the wrong team. Chances are, however, that you at least remember who was at that party before your fifth beer. I, on the other hand, could not tell you who I was with or how I got home, let alone whose party it actually was. Remember this was the 80’s! Think Weird Science meets Risky Business plus the epic party from Sixteen Candles (Hey, Sexy Girlfriend!). That was pretty accurate for me, that much I remember, the details, not so much. (I am also forced to remind you that this is the second movie in which my boyfriend John appeared.)photo sixteen candles john cusack   Google Search

I jokingly say I have “mommy brain” or my brain is like a sieve ( Thomas Dolby song, don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging.) I think all of that is true to some extent; however the problem lies in my almost total amnesia of anything prior to 1988. I’d love to blame it on the drugs ( which my auto correct wants to change to Druids – I would love to blame it on them too) the problem is, and don’t tell anyone I didn’t stop the drugs in 1988. Admittedly, heaviest usage spanned 1989-1993. When I say usage, don’t get all high and mighty (oh, that was funny!). All I did was inhale, with the occasional bout of Xanax maybe a hallucinogen of only the natural form (for those of you straight edge folks that would mean “magic mushrooms”). Yes I was also a judgey judger if you “rode the white horse” (that would be the cocaine or anything that required administering using a foreign body). Thing is, ya see, I remember 1989 to present day. But ask me to tell you a story, any story from when I was six, and I will look at you with a blank stare. I always suspected this. I had some other friends with memory lapses as we would reminisce about our high school years – yeah, we all did the drugs but as our stories would stretch back to jr high or elementary school your memories became quite lucid, while mine became a fog. That’s not really the right word. Absent. That’s the right word.

I would be lying if I didn’t cop to one or two memories, I remember my favorite 7th grade english teacher. Yes, I was already an English geek then, and reading “All Summer in A Day” by Ray Bradbury. Wow, if you haven’t read that one, you don’t know what bullying is. The things I remember are the things with the strongest emotion tied to them. That story was so intense that I felt the hurt inside of me. I loved Mr Weinke and hated him for introducing that story to me, it still causes me pain to remember, in my mind I am that girl locked in the closet. I also have vague memories of being bullied by the in-crowd (not how kids are bullied today) for breaking up (after the requisite 5 minutes required to establish a junior-high romance) whose heart I apparently broke. And from then on, I had 5 friends. I do remember our song, “Babe” by Styx. Dude, listen to the lyrics: that should have been your first clue.

I remember my best friend in 4th or 5th grade, her mom was an alcoholic trophy wife. They lived in a well-appointed shit-hole. I think the concept of cleaning was completely foreign to her. Although she was a trophy wife, he must have blown his wad on the trophy because housekeeper was clearly not in the contract. I also remember thinking she was beautiful. Her name was Roxanne (the trophy), and she smoked More cigarettes – remember those really long, brown ones? Ashtrays were full of them all over the house. They had this awesome stereo cabinet, in lieu of dining room furniture. When the song “Roxanne” came on the radio (Ah, thank you, Police for the period reference; this must have been 1979, so place us in 5th or 6th grade), time would stop and she would just belt that song out in her cigarette-induced rasp; in that moment, I worshiped her. Looking back the irony of that song being about a prostitute is not lost on me; I wonder if it was on her.

I also remember, I was probably ?, and my neighbors evil brother shot our co-owned bunny (Thumper, of course, because we were ? Your guess is as good as mine). The bunny survived; that showed him. I don’t know what happened to the brother, with any luck he became a Hare Krishna. I also remember the first time I had a tornado dream, these have been a reoccurring theme in my life, I have tied them to times I feel out of control. The first time I was…hmmm….I am guessing 11 maybe 12? I am trying to gauge my age by what car we had because in my dream I was sitting on the trunk of my mom’s car as I watched a tornado coming closer and closer to our house. I think I know the origin of this nightmare. Being a very sensitive child, and living in the midwest; the constant tornado drills in elementary school were very real to me. I was so sure a tornado would happen, and when it did I would be alone, without my family; scared to death in a hallway with a textbook covering my head.

Those are snippets of what I remember. But do you know what is missing? Adventure, funny stories, -good times, folks, good times. Why am I telling you? You are clearly not my analyst (ahh Woody, what I wouldn’t give for the days of analysts).  But lately, my son, the wackadoodle pyromaniac has been asking me to tell him stories of when I was younger. You know, fun stories, stories of adventure, or better yet, mis-adventure. I have been at a loss. My sister has shared what she could, although being the evil older sister I was, she was not allowed to participate in my life, so the stories we share are few. I haven’t even admitted to her: I don’t remember the most “famous” one. I have tried to glorify the few stories I remember, but I have to admit, they’re pretty boring. They usually end with him saying, “And what else?” Then me saying, “That’s it, Honey.” Followed by “Oh, well will you tell me another story then?” Now of course the men in his life have much more exciting stories, and that might be the cause of his inquisitiveness. I don’t think he’s figured out yet that his sex is the destructive, living dangerously, lucky-to-be-alive sex. But as someone who has nothing to give other than “I remember loving to sit outside in my yard and picking apart mushrooms to see what was inside,” I’ve got nothing. He wasn’t even impressed with the tornado dream. I bet my analyst would be. 

Just incase you can’t live without my musical references……

Seriously? He didn’t see it coming?

My Brain Is Like a Sieve – Aliens Ate My Buick
White Horse – Good Vibes – The Very Best of Laid Back
Roxanne – Outlandos d’Amour (Remastered)
Babe – Styx: Greatest Hits


48 thoughts on “Can I be honest a minute…

  1. I almost think that’s normal. I remember a few things from my time as a kid, and some things I guess I remember more of people telling me about it rather than REALLY remembering it. Strangly, a lot of things I do remember have to do with books.. well 🙂

  2. Wait…what…who are you again. I’ve been there and done that…more times than I can honestly remember. I guess it’s a good thing we don’t always remember everything from our childhood…because somethings really are worth forgetting.

    • Yeah….I guess I feel a little sad that I can’t remember more. My husband and sister are full of great childhood stories for the boy. I am starting to think I’ve got to make up a childhood.

  3. It seriously made me feel better to read this because I can’t remember much before 1988 either. I always feel bad when people play the “remember that time?” game with me, because I usually wind up saying, “Are you sure that was me?” This was before I got mommy brain, too. I can remember snippets here and there if I force myself to think about it. My analysts(!) always told me there was a reason I was blocking it out. I figure it’s just because it was boring, lol. I like the post. I hope it makes you famous! 🙂

  4. I used to have a really good memory before I became a pregnant. I can remember tons of stuff from my childhood but not what I had for lunch yesterday!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  5. Where was Duran Duran in your memory collage? Def Leppard?

    I wrote something similaresequelikekind and I appreciate you stopping by. I’m glad I found your place. Maybe next post we can talk about our drug years and grunge music.

    • Music memories thru the 1980’s….we begin with Pop music, including a HEAVY dose of Journey (some randomness because my father was an audiophile), moving into New Wave…a brief bout of Punk Rock (so not my choice), then back to the 60’s and 70’s with the Grateful Dead. Meanwhile I had my brushes with Def Leppard because as a smoker (that was a requirement) I hung with the metal heads too. However once again, not my choice, one of the things my Bro-in-law and I get into it about. Also, I have a love hate relationship with Duran Duran, as in I know I’m supposed to love them (new wave), but other than Rio…..well what can I say? I think you need to join me for Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday…..

  6. I have lots of memories of my childhood, I think it’s because I would sit around the dinner table with my siblings and we would rehash and laugh about funny times when we were younger. I need to write the stuff down though because it isn’t as lucid as it once was. I also kept a journal from 8th grade through my freshman year in college so I have the memories of the end of middle school and all of highschool pretty well-documented (albeit, most of it is boring stuff like–today I went to my job at a clothing store and I saw a cute guy wearing green shirt, jeans, ball cap etc. ?!?! why?!?)

  7. I truly remember too much and more than I would like to at times. It is what someone asked me 5 minutes ago to do that gets lost in translation for me. Probably, because I am just doing to many things at once, but still love going to get something and truly forgetting what I was going to get in the first place!!

  8. I’ve never been able to remember anything, but my sister remembers things that I swear happened before she was old enough to talk. I think she makes half of the stuff up because she knows I can’t argue with her.

  9. Wow, you are right about bullying in “All Summer in a Day” – we actually saw a movie version of it, and I remembered every single detail about it. It was *that* powerful – but we saw it in 4th grade I think.

    Then I couldn’t remember the name for year, or even if it existed outside of my imagination until thank GOD someone invented Google and I was able to put the plot into that magic box and come up with an answer.

    • I know exactly what you mean! I would ask people if they knew what book I was talking about and everyone was like: Are you sure you aren’t making that up? Horrifying!

  10. I don’t know what is worse, remembering or not remembering. When my kids ask me about my mis-adventures, I claim selective amnesia. Great post!

  11. Oh how I relate to this. But for me, 1989-1993, 94, 95 would be the golden years of “what happened?” Good thing we wrote a lot of it down. When my husband tells me I should write a book about those years with the band I tell him he’ll have to be my memory jog consultant. How come I didn’t realize you were a musician? See? Tell me more, what do you play? And Twisted Mixtape Tuesday sounds interesting.

    • Yeah….funnily enough I do recall many of my drug addled stories. Some are total losses, but luckily some are there, and the stories I could tell…..Meanwhile I play the flute, did a lot of jazz improv in some no-name clubs back in the day (early 90’s). I learned to play the piano, and guitar, never well and was always sad about that…I think I was meant to play the guitar, so instead I taught myself how to play the ukelele. That’s been lots of fun, cause it’s easy and my mind is full of holes. Mostly I like to sing though, which is why although a excel at playing the flute, it was always bittersweet. You can’t sing and blow all at once.
      Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday is lots of fun… I mean for me…I was the mix-tape maker when mix tapes were made. Then I made mix-CD’s…then came iTunes and I got frustrated with my 200 song playlists. My inner mixer needed to be released! So since it’s not a real hop or anything I encourage everyone to join in one of two ways, create your own post, put your link in the comments and I will put the link in the actual post, or just comment what your songs would be to fit the category, or your own category, whatever. A mix has to move you….so you don’t have to listen to me 🙂 Would love you to her your two cents!

  12. It’s really frustrating to try to recreate those memories for your son and to come up with nothing. I don’t have that many memories either, but I’ve got enough to share. Despite having enough I find myself playing along with my son who will specifically ask about a memory of something I never did, like the time I took a swim board into the bath with me, stood on it, did a little dance, fell, bumped my head and my mom told me not to do it again (tell me that story – he instructs me). My point is, if your son has a vivid imagination maybe encourage him to tell you what story he would like to hear (so it’s not like you’re lying to him) and then play along.

    • I really have to thank you Katia! That is the best advice I’ve heard yet! I am sure we can think up something. We have a 40 minute drive to a Dr appt every week, and I dread it knowing the inevitable question will be asked….

  13. This just happened to me, so I completely relate. My cousin just sent me a picture of myself from right after college. I literally had no recollection of anything going on in the picture I didn’t remember the trip to his mother’s house. I actually didn’t think that I had ever been to that house. I didn’t remember the child in the picture who I was evidently playing with. I barely recognized myself. It scared me!

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