Monday, March 2, 2009

memory a good thing?

So here is the thing I've had a few occasions these last few days that have made it very clear to me that memory is a different experience for each of us.I do think we all tend to assume everyone we associate with has the same perception of memory and therefore memories as we do.Here is an example.I went a few nights ago to dinner with my father.We went to a place were I had worked as a cook as a teenager.I was in high school at the time,because the owner(I'll call him Sam) was/is a close friend of my father he hired me though I had no experience at all.It was my first real job.I learned a ton about food,friends,work ethics,work environments,organization,reliability,money and reality.I loved the job,the environment and the atmosphere of the kitchen and the restaurant business.I almost chose it as my life's calling.So over all I consider this an important time in my life and have very vivid memories that I can recall easily and in life like clarity.
The other night while waiting in the foyer of the same restaurant for my father to arrive I was transported back in time.Waiting in this place that had been so much a part of my history was very interesting,remembering things that had happened where they had happened.In any case after a time the owner came out to check on things at the hostess station,He looked at me and I could see he was trying to figure out why I looked familar to him.It seemed a little odd to walk up to him and launch into a big reintroduction, I knew he'd figure it out when he saw me with my Dad.I knew he'd be over to visit when my father arrived.I waited.Dad arrived and we headed in for dinner.As I had expected Sam came over as soon as he saw Dad and at that point he did realize who I was.We exchanged fun and friendly conversation, it was great.At some point Dad and Sam started to retell stories from their time woking together there in the very same establishment.They worked together for Sam's Dad in the kitchen fifty or so years ago.They were teenagers in highschool at the time.They told their stories with the same vivid clarity that I remember mine in.It was clear to me though that the vivid memories I had of my time there were not so much in Sam's mind.Had I not been there with my Dad I could have gone in got a table and been all but invisible to Sam.
Now don't think I'm sad or bitter about this.I am just so interested in how we all have our way of perceiving our own reality and that what seems like a super important time or event in my life may have been all but forgotten by other people who had been right there with me.I think this goes to show that memory is a great thing for stuff like "this is who I am,this is where I come from,these are things I've experienced,this is what I know".It is really important for things like how to make customers happy,how to do you're job well, and when your next meeting is.It is important to keep it in perspective and not let it turn into a reason to hold a grudge,or to let it keep you from making a change for the better,or to let it keep you from moving forward in life. Don't be sad when you figure out someone else hasn't held on to the same things with the same fondness you have.If you have the chance remind them of the good times and relive them together for a time.If they have forgotten that time it maybe for a good reason maybe it's not a good time in their mind,and I guess it's a good idea to forget some memories.
We had a great night Dad and Sam and me.The food was great and it will go down in my memory book as an excellent time.

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