With the two of us, we are 120 years in combined age. You’d think we’d know something by now. And, I am sure that we do. We just can’t remember it.
Our memories are pretty good about things long past. I recall them distinctly. So Sal does her memories. Strangely, since we did so much together, we are puzzled greatly by the differences in our recollections. It is almost as if we lived separate lives sometimes. We do agree on the two ‘other persons’ named Emily and Ben but virtually everything else is open to creative interpretation – on Sally’s part, anyway. I know what happened.
And I am secure enough that I can say, “Oh yeah. You are right. It was you who fixed the car in that winter storm. How silly of me to think it was me. Just an old man’s prerogative, I guess, making things up as I go. I am just glad you remembered your tools, being with child and all at the time. I remember dozing off, now that you describe the scene.”
Sal also remembers sarcasm well. She glares at me even when I confirm her recollection of things. “Don’t take that tone with me. I remember perfectly well I used your tools and it was a blizzard and I had Ben in a snowsuit on the roof of the car while you slept in the back. I remember because I was pregnant with Emily and had a hard time getting close to the engine. Broken fan belt, it was. I was in flip flops and it was in the dark, too. I think I had a broken arm at the time. You didn’t care.”
I usually apologize at that point. It’s easier. Worse, she may be right!
Doesn’t matter the memory, we each have our own version of it. Except the recent memories, of course. They are completely missing. “Did I bring the hammer or did you?” “What hammer? Why do we need a hammer?” “Uhm…….didn’t you want something hammered……….?” “Hmm…….I think I did………now what was it……?”
Seems, according to research (the source of which I cannot recall), we are getting smarter as we age but remembering fewer details. I guess we are getting better at the bigger picture. Makes sense, really. That is the way my eyes are working. Can’t see the details but the big blurs are more easily interpreted.
This aging thing does not have a lot going for it but according to the same research, we get happier as we get older. Seems we sense our own mortality and prefer to dwell on the positive given that time is short. I think that is largely true but it is hard to discern from the dour and sour facial expressions of most of us over 60. The mouth turns down, smiles are less frequent and the topics are all health related. Doesn’t seem happy, does it? (I discarded smiling years ago when someone asked if I had Bell’s Palsy. I now try to hone a deadpan delivery instead).
But I am happier. I really am. I think it is because there is a residual buildup to Prozac. You know, take anti-depressants for a couple of decades and a reserve of ‘happiness’ is caked on your nervous system like rust deposits. Ergo: a kind of deep happiness. Kinda. Whatever………like, who cares………….
Where were we………….?