The Hub has a theory about Facebook. I won't go into the details but basically he says we're not supposed to have all these renewed connections. That what was in the past is supposed to stay in the past. But because of Facebook, we have a new pathway into old memories. Stories we'd forgotten come tumbling back when we reconnect with high school cronies (yeah, I said it). Pictures we'd long burned to ashes in our minds get tagged and posted and commented on. Friends we thought we'd never see again (and have a darn tootin' difficult time recognizing even with the helpful hint of their name right there in black and white) suddenly pop up in our inboxes and want to catch up on the last 10, 15 20 etc. etc. years. He thinks it's weird. Truly. And may just cause some sort of strange shift in societal norms.
And I really couldn't agree more. Well maybe not about the societal norm stuff but definitely about the "it's weird" stuff. Just this past week a childhood friend posted a picture of me, her mom and my mom on Facebook. I was maybe 16 when the picture was taken. I can only place it in that time frame because 1) I have on my class ring and 2) I'm wearing my dad's wedding band – which I only started wearing after he died when I was 15. Other than that, I'm a total blank when it comes to this photo. No idea where it was taken or why. We seem to be dressed up – sort of – but then again, it was the 80's… didn't we ALWAYS have to wear shoulder pads? It's really bad, this picture. I think I have on a dress. A dress with some sort of pattern on it. and on top of the dress I'm wearing a jacket – a short-sleeved jacket. And it's red. And the sleeves have gathers … like they are puffy. I mean, what was going on? I have no idea why Suzy chose to post this picture, the caption only read "Mom, Jenne, Barb". Of course, once a picture is posted to Facebook, friends can comment. The conversation beneath this particular photo went like this:
Jenne Nan Beecher Fromm
wow. really? wow. what the hell am i wearing? so many questions ...and why do i looked stoned?
Carrie Beecher Castino
And what is in your hair? Devil horns?!
Jenne Nan Beecher Fromm
oh god ... i think it is a bow.
A bow. In my hair.
For about 2 years after my dad died I have no memories. No recollection. Nada. I don't remember anything significant or insignificant. I can't remember friends or vacations or basketball games or classroom pranks. It is a wide open blank in my mind. Sometimes when I'm with family someone will mention something from that time and I just sit and stare blankly. Sometimes friends will be talking about something that happened, some story or tale, and I'll be convinced for a good long while they are pulling my leg until I realize what they are talking about happened in those un-recallable years. I've dug through pictures and yearbooks trying to jog loose those memories but still I have nothing. It's like I was participating in my life without logging any of it into my long-term memory bank. I've heard this can happen when someone experiences intense shock or suffering. It's the mind's way of coping, of making the unbearable bearable. For years I've assumed it was the trauma of my father's death that caused my amnesia.
Now I'm convinced it was the trauma of my wardrobe.