notquiteold

Nancy Roman

I’m Greatly Experienced

I was saying “Happy Anniversary” to my brother yesterday, and I remembered a happy little experience from his wedding.

I danced with a man I did not know. But not just any man. A big tough-looking biker type – (although he could have been an actuary for all I know) – who wore a leather vest over his great bare chest. And not just any dance. With this rather scary looking thug (although he could have been a flight attendant for all I know) – I danced the chicken dance.

How many people can say that? How many people are allowed a memory like that?

I am very lucky indeed.

Last week I met a talented famous woman who charmed the hat right off of me. And I am allowed to keep that memory too.

I have had a few “important” experiences: I flew on the Concorde, which no one will ever be able to do again, and I attended a meeting at the top of the World Trade Center, which no one will ever be able to do again.

And I have also had some “medium” experiences – not crazy rare, but still stuff that not everyone gets the opportunity to do. I attended a World Series game. I saw Peter Paul & Mary in concert. I rode a cable car in San Francisco. I watched dolphins play in warm Delaware waters. I shared an elevator with Donald Sutherland – and he wore a cape, for heaven’s sake!

But for me – the very best experiences are the simple personal things I got to do and see that have meaning to just me.  Like my chicken dance with the biker dude. Like the restaurant encounter with the wonderful old producer. They are MY experiences. My memories. I can share them if I wish, but their meaning is special only to me. And even if I share them, I don’t give them away. I get to keep them.

I keep small memories like:

– My parents surprising me one Christmas with a gift of oil paints, brushes and canvasses. At sixteen, I was overwhelmed by the idea that my parents thought I was an artist, good enough to paint with the real thing.

– Going with my family to the Drive-In (a precious memory in itself) when I was nine, and having my three-year-old brother fall asleep in my lap. I remember watching him sleep and being astounded even at that young age by how completely I loved him.

– The Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time – on my 13th birthday.

– Looking up from my morning coffee one Sunday a few years ago, and seeing the face of a little bear pressed up against the glass patio door, looking in at us.

– Taking my oldest nephew (now 41, then 6) to see E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. And Oh My God, being completely destroyed as he sobbed uncontrollably when it appeared that ET had died. I took him in my arms and assured him that the little creature was not really dead and he was about to show everyone how fine he was. I never ever want to make a child cry again.

– Overhearing my husband telling someone that I was smart.

– Tasting creme brulee for the first time – in Paris, no less. How amazing are the French people for creating such a beautiful city and such a delicious thing to put in my mouth!

– Going to a nude beach and not dying of embarrassment. Actually loving it – and loving my body and everyone else’s.

– Publishing my first novel. Holding it in my hands for the first time. Knowing that I did it. I wrote it. And knowing it’s good.

–  My father walking me down the aisle on my wedding day. Seeing friends and relatives all smiling at me. Seeing my husband smiling at me.

All these experiences are more than a part of me. They ARE me. Along with thousands of others – thousands of kisses from my mother, hugs from someone else’s children, small victories at work, road trips with my husband, playtimes with pets, giggles with my sisters, beach days and snow days.

And the incredible thing is – that every one of us has our own unique experiences. Little and big events that are ours alone. We are memories that mingle and merge and become human beings.

How fortunate are we that we get to be human beings?

 

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58 Comments

  1. Drive-ins were great, went to them a lot. Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I got the feels at this post. Yeah easy to forget the wonder of life. Thanks for the reminder

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t get too many “important” moments, so I try to love all the little bits of love and fun we have every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know folks don’t like the word “awesome” anymore, but this post was no less than that. 🙂

    Like

  4. Ray G

    To me, what’s really interesting is what is most significant to any person, and why. Whenever I hear people talk about they really remember most, I wonder why, though quietly. It is a “window” into what one feels is most important. Some of the stuff, though, is out of the reach of others because of the intensity of the memories. I envy the few who can talk about their deepest memories without choking up.

    Like

    • Be thankful for the memories that choke you up. Far and few in between.

      Like

    • I think it is fascinating how family members or close friends can “remember” the same event so differently. And you’re right – it is a window into their psyche.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

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  6. I hardldare ask about you, the pony and the sea. I know there’s a story there…

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  7. I keep all those memories in a drawer I have on top on a cloud, and the bad ones shut tight with duck tape, When I am feeling gloomy, I open that top drawer of all good things, whether for a moment or a while they all made me smile, and I come back. Loved !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christine

      Perhaps meeting the producer Nancy began to remember all the good things. Putting those memories in a drawer that you can open, reminds me of “Rebecca” when the girl said there should be an invention that could bottle up memories like scent, which when uncorked, could be like living that memory all over again. So folks have recognized this for a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • What a beautiful way to express it! Thanks, BitchenPhoenix!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And blogging, the experience of sharing with strangers and having them tell you how they relate to your experience, and how what you’ve written made them laugh or feel less lonely. We’re so lucky to have that experience. Loved this post. So sweet.

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    • Oh yes! Writing can be such a solitary experience. But not blogging. It is so full of companionship and connection!

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  9. Christine

    Another nice thing to add to your memories, is that you always get a lot of comments on your blogs, with many people relating to the stories. And I’m sure after this one, you’ve had many folks looking back onto all their pleasurable memories so everyone reading this is bound to have a good day.

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    • It’s one of the best parts of blogging: The Connection.

      Like

  10. I agree – our memories are who we are; what makes us unique. Sometimes I lament the fact that I don’t remember as much about my childhood (or my teen years, or early adulthood, or my children’s earliest years) as I would like to. But if I sit quietly and let my mind wander, events and special moments often slip through the clutter and I DO remember – and relish – them. Thank you for sharing some of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am fortunate to have had a sweet loving childhood and I remember so much of it. but sometimes an event, a word… even a smell… will trigger a long-forgotten memory – and it is such a gift to have it come back!

      Like

  11. bkm

    The guy you danced with is not a biker or a flight attendant, but does software development. He is gay, fosters abandoned cats, and is simply s big teddy bear. I’ve known him longer than almost any of my other friends, having met as freshmen. Just a few weeks ago, we did kitty introductions by Skype – we had our cats waving at each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. anderskermod

    “… even if I share them, I don’t give them away. I get to keep them.”
    I was struck by that. I’m writing a story at the moment in which my narrator doesn’t want to describe an experience he had because he’s afraid that, in doing so, he’d lose the memory and in future remember only the description.

    Like

    • That is such an interesting concept. There are times I have to make myself put down my phone and stop taking photos… I am afraid I will forget how marvelous it is to experience something with my own senses and not framed by a camera.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful piece. I love your outlook. Also wondering who the charming famous woman was…

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  14. That photo is fantastic all by itself. Put it in your will to have that photo displayed at your memorial service–it says so much about you–spirit, joy, excitement, adventure!

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    • Thanks… it was taken in Jamaica where I was having the most fantastic time on a “horseback swim” – it was so much fun I laughed all the way through!

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  15. incredible picture–and you were right–no words needed.

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    • Thanks… I can’t remember anything that was much more fun than that “horseback swim”!

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  16. Simply Amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Our memories are as unique as we are, and also one of our greatest gifts. I loved this post!

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    • Thanks… even among people sharing the same experience, the memories can be so different! I love that!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Delightful memory-loaded accomplishments, Nancy. I too danced the Chicken Dance. I donated my newly deceased mother’s piano to a senior center. The local ABC TV station did a bit on it and there I was, doing the Chicken Dance with someone far older than I and when it was time to move on down almost to the floor for part of it, I threw my back out but did not DARE let anyone know it had happened. I’m sure if I could get a copy of that news video and focus in on my face, the pain would be VERY evident.

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    • Oh my! I am glad I danced the chicken dance, but I am also glad there is no video!

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  20. My daughter still likes to go to the drive in there is one about 45-60 minutes from us and they charge by the car so doesn’t matter if there is one person in the car of six people in the car.

    I have never done the chicken dance, I know shock horror but nope never done it…………..

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    • How about the Hokey Pokey?

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  21. love the photo; I want to do that: Ride a horse, in the water, in my tankini, and a decent tankini too, a stylish one

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was SO much fun, I didn’t even mind that my stylish tankini was marred by a big fat lifebelt.

      Like

  22. I’m a big tough biker let’s dance

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    • In my sweet imagination, we are dancing right now!

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  23. My brain is now buzzing with memories of my own! Thank you for sharing yours 😉

    JL

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    • I’m happy when I remind others of their own sweet memories! Thanks.

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  24. How much do I love this? SO much!! (( arms open as wide as possible ))

    MJ

    Like

    • And thank you – THIS much

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      • Oh my little emoji didn’t print – but wide arms back at you.

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  25. Your timing is terrific as always. Have been receiving much unwelcome news the last couple of weeks and was slipping into the pity part phase. Thank you for reminding me that I have had some amazing times/experiences and I should dwell on them instead.

    Like

    • Sometimes we can’t help but be sad or remember the bad things that have happened. it’s okay to go with it once in a while – the good memories will wait for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Pam

    We used to call that dance the Funky Chicken. Loved your post and pic!

    You are right about how a smell, taste, sound, or a song can conjure up a memory, especially a childhood memory. Our bank down the street on Fridays gives away bags of popcorn made in an old-fashioned popping machine. My co-worker brings it back to our office. When I eat it, the special taste makes me feel like I am 12 years old again, sitting on the bleachers and watching my little brother play little league baseball on a warm summer day back in the sixties! Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a sweet memory. And how nice that it can be brought back to you so often!

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  27. So fortunate. Wish everyone could feel that fortune.

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    • Thanks. Most people do the best they can to treasure the good things.

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      • I really want to believe that.

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  28. Flying in Concorde was a truly historic memory for sure, but being in a lift (elevator) with Donald Sutherland – wow! be still my beating heart! I am SO envious of that memory.

    Like everyone I have some special memories, but the most historic memory I have is of being a schoolgirl in South Africa way back in the bad old days of apartheid when our class was taken to see the annual opening of Parliament in Cape Town where we saw the Prime Minister (who had been the architect of apartheid) Hendrick Verwoerd assassinated. It was in 1966 and I don’t think we really realised the import ofwhat we were witnessing – he was stabbed to death by a mentally deranged man who was employed as a Parliamentary messenger.
    My other really memorable memory is of sitting next to David Bowie and his first wife Angie, at a film premiere in London back in 1972, and being very envious of her beautiful embroidered coat!

    Like

    • Being witness to an assassination – my god! I’m old enough to remember watching Lee Harvey Oswald killed on TV. I could not believe what I was seeing.

      Like

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