A week ago today I was sitting across from a dear old friend in a New York restaurant. I hadn't seen him in 13 years, and he looked exactly the same. It's funny how your friends don't age. He said that I was the same, right down to the hand gestures.
We did the catch-up dance: How are you, Fine, How are you, Great with child, I noticed but didn't want to say. And then we started talking about the olden days.
He and I worked on the high school newspaper together. It felt like war or summer camp; it tethered us forever and made us strong. My freshman year in college I had this crazy idea that we should maybe lose our virginities to each other. I was always coming up with these kinds of impractical and wholly inviable ideas. But to my surprise, he said yes.
So he drove up to my dorm and we very awkwardly and minimally made out. I mostly just remember being nervous and falling asleep.
So we were both recalling this story, and he looked shocked when I mentioned the sex intent. He didn't remember coming up for that purpose at all. And he told me what I said to him after we kissed, which I don't remember in the slightest. These huge details that are burned in one memory are completely absent from the other's. In his incredulity he exclaimed, "I tell that story all the time!"
It made me wonder how many other stories we don't remember correctly. I think there should be a TV show called "Memories: Debunked!" I don't need people to unravel the Bible or some conspiracy theory. Landed on the moon, didn't land on the moon, it makes very little practical difference in my life. I just want people to tell me, Hey! You don't remember sh*t!
Or maybe I don't. At any rate, here's a Venn diagram I made of the incident and others like it. Enjoy!