The Things We Remember

The mind is a funny thing.  With just a sniff of a fragrance or the tune of a song, the brain brings us back to another time or place as we recall a moment of our past.  In an instant, we are back at the prom wishing someone would ask us to dance or we’re replaying that fight and wondering if the hurtful things said had any truth to them.  It’s as though we’ve sat down in front of our television and started streaming a movie only this time, the movie is our own tale.

Within the last week, two of my ex-boyfriends have had birthdays.  Though neither one of them are a part of my life anymore, I remembered both occasions.  And no, it had nothing to do with a Facebook reminder.  The significance of those dates just happened to pop into my mind and I didn’t feel anything regarding either of the days.

Recalling these two guys on the anniversary of this birth did nothing to excite me.  I wasn’t about to contact them with good wishes or long for the times when we were together.  Rather, I noted the meaning of the day and then went about my own.  It was as if I saw a commercial for a show I’ve seen a dozen times.

So why do I still remember these days?

I’m not pining for a reunion or even wondering about how these guys are, but I will always remember these days just as I do for every other man I have been in a relationship with.  And even some I have not.

Some people can remember faces or names with a certain affinity; I have a knack for birthdays.  Cards are always sent to family and friends to honor their special day and I am the first one to be asked whose birthday is when.  I’ll know the day and always will, but I don’t know why.  What is so significant about birthdays that my mind locks that data in an ironclad space and reminds me every year like a reminder Siri has set for me.

There must be something special about the act of recalling such trivial information, but I can’t think of what it is or why it is so easy for me to remember.  I could tell you the birthday—as well as astrological sign—of every relationship I have ever had, been it family, friends, or boyfriends.  My mental Rolodex is chock full of dates and as each page of the calendar flips, another memory is recalled, whether it be one of my three brothers (January 2nd, January 31st, and April 21st), my favorite Spice Girl (Ginger—August 6th), or my first celebrity heart-throb (Devon Sawa—September 7th).  *Note: none of these dates were fact-checked, but go ahead and test me.

Over fifteen years later and I still remember their birthdays.

More than fifteen years later and I still remember their birthdays. Thanks, Bop Magazine!

I guess it really doesn’t matter why the brain remembers some things and not others, but I’m sort of glad mine remembers these days.  It allows me to recall a time when I was happy in love or learning a hard relationship lesson.  I will always be grateful to these people who came into my life and added a chapter to my story.

So thank you.  And happy birthday.

4 thoughts on “The Things We Remember

  1. jansenschmidt says:

    Well isn’t that interesting. I can’t remember my ex-husband’s birthday; not the month, the day, or the year. I do, however, remember his middle name and that’s about it. I wiped that dude from my memory bank.

    But, I do sometimes remember something silly or strange from days gone by and wonder why on earth I suddenly remembered it. The mind is indeed a strange thing.

    So, my birthday? March 24. Got it? Yes, that makes me an Aries, but just barely. Of course if you truly knew me, you’d see that I am really pretty much an Aries all the way around, for better or for worse.

    I’ll be expecting a card.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Jessica | Defining Wonderland says:

      Oh believe me, Patricia. There are plenty of things that I forget. I was at a wedding last weekend and the bride’s mother kept talking about the bride’s Sweet 16 party that I was at with an ex-boyfriend. I have absolutely no memory of this. Like none. Whatsoever.

      March 24th… added to my memory bank. Send me your address and I’ll send you a card. I’m good like that. 🙂

  2. susielindau says:

    I know you can reprogram your memories so you’re not haunted by them. I always think of my best friend from school on Valentine’s day. We had dropped out of touch way before I got married and left Wisconsin. It would be so cool if we could wipe unneeded memory to make room for more!

    • Jessica | Defining Wonderland says:

      I’ve always been fascinated by the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and the memory erasing procedure they have. How simple it would be to forget things that are no longer a part of your life or cause you pain. But then you run the risk of not being able to fully appreciate the good things we can remember. It’s a conundrum.

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