Sunday, July 02, 2006

The ties that blind...

Yesterday we hosted my 40th high school reunion. The eleven (that's right, 11) members of my Scottland High school Class attended a larger reunion in the tiny park of Scottland, IL and then adjourned to our home for the evening.
I visited with my childhood. Faces and voices I had not encountered for decades. Then the stories began.

I had read about how memories are stored in the brain as a series of "snapshots" and events are reconstructed each time we recall a memory. It soon became evident that I had created a different narrative for my snapshots than my old friends. The stories were similar but startlingly different. Given the problem often encountered with eyewitnesses at a crime, I suppose I should not be surprised. Memory inconsistencies have also plagued historians forever.

What did surprise me was how familiar these old friends were. The girls women especially looked very much like they did in school.

I know reunions seem a hassle but I have heard few say they were sorry they went. Try to make yours - you may be surprised at the rewards.

One tip: if your spouse does not want to go, maybe it's for the best. Few things are as boring as other peoples shared past.

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