As we have been preparing to launch the blog portion of our website, my wife and I have been talking about what we would like the blog to be or not to be, and we have talked about the subject matter and topics we want to share with our friends, family and followers. The type of person that I am, I like to educate people and share my knowledge. I like to research things in depth before trying them and then I try to compare my results or findings with as many other people as I can to see if there is something I can improve or change out-right. My wife loves guys like Sean Dietrich who tells stories of his childhood and observations he makes in the world around him.
The truth is, I want to write blogs more like the ones my wife likes, but I have a little fear in putting things out there for people to read. I don’t rely on my memories. That’s not to say I don’t have memories or very vivid ones. It’s just that the scientist part of my mind knows that only about 30% of what people remember is accurate. I know that as time creeps past us, the memories we hold onto generally have purpose. We either want to remember things because they were wonderful and exciting and beautiful, and we store those pictures deep in our mind so we can recall them when we want to smile or when we want to share a piece of ourselves with someone. Or, we hold onto tragic memories that caused pain and heartache, because we want to avoid circumstances that cause us grief or because there is something about that hurt that we need to hold onto to protect our hearts. In either of these cases, time has a way of romanticizing the playback of the video rolling behind our eyes. The memory is sometimes worse than it really was, or more fantastic than what we actually experienced.
I have been giving this A LOT of thought over the last few weeks. I am terrified of laying my heart out in my writing and then having someone that co-existed in that memory read it to find that their recall was very different than the mind-video I played through. Science tells us that this is exactly what will happen. The people that went through the same experiences with us, were always at a different place in their life when the experience happened, therefore the memory they catalogue (if they store it at all) will vary from the point of view I had. I am just going to accept this as fact. I am going to write about the memories I have had, from the viewpoint that I remember. If it is different from how someone else saw it, that’s OK. I would love to hear their version of the memory, and it would even be fun for my scientific mind to compare and find conclusions on why the memories may be different.
First and foremost, we want our blog to bring joy. Hopefully, people will use our posts to search through the recesses of their own mind to remember things that they had forgotten. Our hope is that as our stories are read, people will interact and let us know how they have been touched with our tales. We will do our best to limit each blog to about 1000 words. Research says this is a good length that holds people’s attention. We will from time to time have educational based blogs that explain how to raise mealworms or grow Maca root outside of Peru. We hope these blogs will touch people as well.
My personal favorite memory of all involves a little teenaged girl with braces in a dusty-rose dress. I can remember every detail of that day. Her hair teased and curled high and flared on the sides, the way her scent smelled like the sweetest flower and how she held on to my arm like I was the greatest 17 year-old guy that had ever lived. She was my best friend. My platonic date to the Junior prom. My dream date.
My dad let me borrow the family’s yellow 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis tank. He had bought this car for my mom just a couple years earlier, right after she was diagnosed with cancer. That ended up being the last car she had before she died, just a few short months prior. It was an honor to pick up such a beautiful girl, and to drive this behemoth to the prom.
The sky was perfectly clear and it must have been exactly 75 degrees outside. I love 75 degree weather. The time of year that isn’t hot and it isn’t cold. The time when you don’t even have to think about it. There couldn’t have been any wind either, because everyone’s hair stayed perfectly in place.
I wore a gray tuxedo with tails and a bowtie and cummerbund that perfectly matched my dates dusty-rose colored dress. That night, I was the best-looking man in the room. I was the smartest, the funniest, the most charming and most importantly, the best date. I pulled out my date’s chairs, opened her doors and walked with her arm safely snugged in that crease you make when you bend your arm and hold it awkwardly in front of you to properly guide your female partner.
That night I smiled. The previous few years didn’t hold too many days I could smile, but nothing else was on my mind THAT night. I was only concerned with the joy that existed in that moment for a teenager that had grown up with not a lot of confidence in his looks or personality. A guy that had survived the ugly cancer that had taken his mom just eight short months earlier.
THAT night changed my life. I felt like a real man, for probably the first time in my life, and I admired the girl that had agreed to be my date when I was just miserable inside. To her, I was the prize. I was the best date. I am sure I have romanticized that memory in my mind, but that’s the memory I want to hold onto.
Almost exactly, to the day, thirty years later, I would have the honor of marrying that girl who is more beautiful today than I ever could imagine I would deserve. And now, we are going to have the honor of sharing all of our memories, both old and new, with you. They may differ from how you saw it on that day, but we hope something we share will make you think back to adventures you have had or grandparents or the tank that you drove the most beautiful girl in the world to on your junior prom.