My mom’s favorite color is yellow. I don’t know if she would still answer that question the same way, but for me, her favorite color will always be yellow. When I was in kindergarten or first grade we were told we needed to find out our mom’s favorite color for a gift we were making in class, without letting her know what it was for. I clearly remember hatching my plan. I ran out from my bedroom and asked my mom her favorite color. And then, to keep her from figuring out what I was up to, I ran back out and asked my dad for his favorite color. His is red. She was never going to figure me out now! For a long time my little yellow plaster hand print hung on the kitchen wall. Along with a braided potpourri ball we’d made as another gift. It too was yellow.
I’ve always thought I had a pretty good memory. I can remember making a house out of a giant box with my uncle Duane when I was a kid, and being impressed he was big enough to use a pocket knife. I found out much later from my grandmother that we built the house the day my little brother was born. Two weeks before I turned 3. I can clearly remember Duane cutting in a little window that day, but funny enough, I can’t tell you anything about my little brother being born. Actually, I can’t remember my little brother coming into my world at all. More accurately, I can’t remember my world without him. The way my brain has remembered things, my brother has always been there.
A few weeks ago my memory was tested by my friend Piper. For reasons I don’t remember, we were talking about the day of my wedding and the fact that I was late. She arrived first and called me to make sure we were still coming so she could do my hair but she didn’t remember that part. What she does remember is the day I came to her house for a practice run on my hair. A practice run that I don’t remember. AT. ALL. While Piper remembers vividly our practice run, doing the twists, practicing with the tiara, and something to do with a make up drawer – I don’t. Not exactly anyway. The more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe – just maybe – it did happen.
Focusing I what I couldn’t remember, I eventually remembered something happening at Piper’s house a week or two before my wedding. The thing is, no matter what, I don’t remember that thing having anything to do with my hair. What I do remember now is being at Piper’s house before my wedding because she was giving me the “something borrowed” part of my wedding tradition. I do distinctly remember sitting in her room while she pieced through her jewelry box, and deciding on a ring our friend Lori had given her before passing away. I even remember some other pieces of jewelry – a bracelet I think was from Sarinda? But no matter what, I don’t remember practicing my hair. I wouldn’t have been worried about what she was going to do with my hair, I trusted everything she came up with from the start, and maybe that’s why it isn’t what stayed with me.
I don’t understand what makes some things stick in your brain and other things to float out into the universe. Why is it that I can remember an insult thrown at me in the eighth grade(ever been called a goody-goody slut? I have.) and the response I came up with (Pick one, you can’t call me both.) but I can’t remember my wedding hair? Where did my brain stash that little bit? Why can’t I recall something that, knowing Piper and I, had to have gotten mushy at some point? I think that was probably one of those moments my brain should have held onto. Am I the only one? Is there anything you remember that you don’t know why, or things you’ve had to be reminded of that should have still been around?