I know that memory is tricky, a slippery slope of bits and pieces of information that we think is a whole truth. And I know that we each often remember the very same incident differently with unique meanings, feelings and implications.
Yesterday, Rick Clarke (my first 7th grade crush) sent me an e-mail that he had just attended a memorial service for a high school classmate, Bob Blakey
The information hit me in the gut and sadness washed over me. I had forgotten Bob.
Rick’s e-mail instantly triggered a memory from my 40th high school reunion where Bob approached me. I didn’t recognize him. He saw me squinting at his name tag and said to me, “Bob! BOB!, remember I spilled coke all over you after the dance?!!!” I hadn’t remembered . . . until that moment.
I flashed on the scene after the dance sitting at Googies, a local coffee shop that served hot fudge banana royals and Bob spilling his coke all over my splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats.
I don’t remember if I asked Bob or he asked me to the dance. I don’t remember the dance. I know it must have been a BIG important dance – like a junior-senior prom – because I wore the splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats.
But Bob remembered, remembered me, remembered my splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats, remembered knocking over his coke. He remembered my mortification even though I didn’t remember being mortified.
Tonight I’ll drink a coke in remembrance. Here’s to you Bob.