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It’s possible.

A man’s memory can be his best friend or his greatest enemy.  What he remembers is significant as well as how he recalls the memory.

Stay with me here.

Take this picture for instance.  My cousin Jenny, the one on the far left (your far left), sent this picture to me earlier this year.  I’m the one second from the right in the plaid shorts (your plaid shorts, er, I mean, your right).  How do you think she remembers this picture?  She remembers the playhouse in the background and how I was such a nasty cousin.  I remember how much I hated those plaid shorts, for one, but also that this was a day that my older cousin treated me like one of the gang.  I am a few years younger than him, but don’t ask me how much.  Three, I think.  Phil was a senior in high school when I was a freshman.  I kicked his butt when I had to wrestle him in gym class that year.  It took him years to forgive me for that.

One memory leads to the next.  I see a photo of my cousin and a few seconds later I forget about that day.  I think about a day some eight or nine years later.  My memory goes where I want it to go.  Or so I would like to think.  Doggone it.  I wish that were true.

There are things I remember that I want to forget, that I have stuffed deep inside, so deep that they pop up when I least want to remember them.

Know what I mean, Vern? Made you remember Jim Varney.  Thank me later.  In Ernest.

Take Vickie Thayer, for instance.  The first word that comes to mind when I think of her is regret.  What a dumbass she made out of me.  There were a lot of girls vying for my attention but I could see nothing else but Vickie, a brunette with killer blue eyes and long legs.  I did a bunch of totally stupid things to get her attention and she just strung me along like the puppy dog I was.  Funny thing is that I only remember that she looked good.  I don’t actually have a picture of her in my mind any more except for how her face looked the night she sat across from me on a Sunday night at her parents’ dinner table, staring at me with a disgusted, angry look on her face.  That is the face stuck in my memory.

“Why do you eat like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like…. THAT?!!?”

I eat one thing on my plate until it is gone, move around the plate to the next food item, continuing until my plate is clean.  It’s efficient.  And it annoyed Vickie Thayer to the point of disgust.

I know that is not the most deep revelation I could possibly share.  Umm…. sorry.

That’s what I remember about Vickie.  There are a few other things. For a girl I dated for over a year, I don’t remember much besides that.

What I remember the most about Vickie is not how she looked.  I only have a vague rememberance of that.  It is a struggle to remember much about what we  did together or even how she looked right after our first kiss (I asked her first.. that I remember).  What I remember about Vickie is how she made me feel.  Those feelings come flooding back to me at the strangest times, washing over me as if I felt those feelings yesterday, not almost thirty years ago.  I remember what it felt like when she broke up with me by walking past me in the college cafeteria holding the hand of a big football player who just happened to live in my dorm.  With tears of rage in my eyes I flung a full cup of chocolate milkshake at his back, the shake splattering over the both of them.  John took one look at me, saw the look in my eyes, and kept going.  The rage and hurt still boils in me.

What did I say again to begin this blog?  Oh yeah, let me reach up and bring it back to here.  Hold on.

A man’s memory can be his best friend or his greatest enemy.  What he remembers is significant as well as how he recalls the memory.

Guys like to recall exploits. They embellish them.  Some actually tell of said exploits the way they remember them.  Interesting.

Get the barf bag out.  I’m giving you fair warning.

I have been married for twenty years.  I can still recall vividly my wedding night, how the package was unwrapped before my eyes, meant only for me, white stockings up to perfect naked hips, her white dress falling around her as I kissed her there, the rest of the package unwrapping before my amazed eyes.  Her sighs the most precious music I have ever heard.  Oh my was that beautiful.

I see the vision of those moments played out in my head as I write this.  The emotions I felt swarm over me.  There are few moments in my life that compare.

This is when my memory is my best friend.  How I remember that moment is significant.  For there are times when that memory brings me the same joy I felt then and there are times that I hate that memory.

Once again, stay with me here.

Marriages can go stale, especially after twenty years. I think back over those twenty years  and realize that I don’t remember a whole lot of passionate moments beyond that first night.  That memory turns to sadness.  Dang.

And I also realize the wisdom of saving one’s self for marriage. I  remember the passion but not the face of a whole lot of women.  Too many.  And let me tell you that it makes that last paragraph more rough.  It’s an unfair comparison, totally unfair, passion remembered that involved nothing else but that.  But a man remembers those moments of passion and wonders why his wife doesn’t live up.  No wonder some guys turn into philanderers and cheaters or try to force their wife instead into perversion.  They are living on how they choose to remember.

Downer, eh?

A smart man remembers the commitment, remembers each time or each way his wife has told him that she loves him.  Passion, strong passion, is spread out over the years, not wasted in a few moments that a man’s brain takes him back to.

We’re stupid that way.

It’s possible.

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