Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Very Odd Side of a Detailed Memory


This might be a little odd, like many aspects of my personality, but I am facebook friends with a few old girlfriends.  The three I am thinking about are all happily married and have been for a long time.  But my quirky detail memory remembers many little details about the time I spent with each of them and some of those details have either escaped their memory or are intentionally invisible to protect their spouses.  I totally understand that but it still makes me laugh.

I was just stalking their facebook pages, for no particular reason, and noted the caption on a picture of one of them with her husband at a baseball game in the city where they live.  It is a shot from this summer and notes that it is the first time at one of their home team’s games.  She moved to that city shortly after she and I broke up decades ago and has lived there since then.  I did see her there on one road trip stop the year after we broke up and, well, she and I went to a game.  Hmmm.  Does she not remember?  Or does she just not want to tell him about the time she did go to a game?  Or maybe it’s just the first time they went together.  Either way is fine and they all make me laugh.

Another one happens to live in my part of the country now.  She has been happily married since two years after we split decades ago and I spent some time with both of them a couple of years ago (a separate odd story all its own).  After a little initial awkwardness, that day was very pleasant and it was obvious to me that things turned out great for her; they are an awesome couple.  The funny part is that I was talking about an upcoming visit to Las Vegas and she said something like ‘you’ve been there before, haven’t you?’  It was all I could do to not point out that I had spent three days there with HER.  Internal laughter.

A third former girlfriend and I connected by email and facebook a few years ago and occasionally chat online.  Last time I saw her decades ago she had just started dating the man she married and he is probably the best thing that ever happened to her in her somewhat troubled life.  She and I took her son to his very first concert back then and he is now grown, married and a father.  I have pictures of him standing next to my bass guitar, which was taller than he was.  She has nothing to hide from her husband.  But I reminded her of a day when she, her son, her first husband (the son’s father) and I had lunch together once.  She had broken up with me to try to restore that marriage.  I don’t know whose idea it was for me to meet him, but we did.  And at some point near the end of that meal, her son asked his Dad if he liked me, then asked me if I liked his Dad.  Wow.  Only a four-year-old would have the curiosity and fearlessness to ask a questions like that.  None of them remember that at all.  In fact she barely remembered having that lunch.  I remember the lunch, the fact that it was mid-afternoon because that’s when I got off work at that job and it was at a Denny’s.

I am not sure what is more unusual … that I remember these kinds of details or that I’ve met future lovers of some of my past lovers.  I have many more stories like this in my life … I think I’ll save them for my book.

I don’t have any bad feelings about these relationships ending, although I know I did at the time.  In each case, things worked out better for everybody.  Sometimes we find the right people for the wrong reasons or the wrong people for the right reasons.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes the people we want in our lives at any given time are not the people we need then or later.  And sometimes we find that a person we want and a person we need are one in the same.

I rarely regret anything from my past.  I can’t change things anyway. But I do sometimes wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had changed some of the details.

Drawing from song lyrics for a partial answer to that question, as I often do, leads me to turn this Darius Rucker song up every time I hear it:
For every stoplight I didn't make
Every chance I did or I didn't take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn't know
Thank God for all I missed
Cause it led me here to
This

And this Hunter Hayes song …
The world makes all kinds of rules for love
I say you gotta let it do what it does

I guess I got off track a little with this post.  So I’ll just end it here by being myself: a little odd, a little quirky and laughing at the details.

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