So, I was watching ‘Hitch’ one evening…
I can’t say that Will Smith movies are my usual inspiration, but despite being a Hollywood love story that ruins all aspects of character rebellion against gender stereotypes they had so carefully entwined, there was a single line that made me think.
“One moment you’re enjoying your life, and the next you’re wondering how you ever lived without them.”
Yes, my husband of 13 years was sitting beside me. Yes, I thought about the first time we met. No, that’s not the moment that changed who I am forever, which is a startling realization.
When I was 12, a police investigator came to my house to question me about a stolen video camera. As I write this, I am flushed with the same sick feeling I had in the moments leading up to his arrival. A family I babysat for was missing the camera, and they had reported me as a suspect!
Fretting, I played the piano to seem angelic, all the while wondering if I had forgotten my own actions. I had committed a little naughty indiscretion that night, so self-doubt leapt rather than crept in. The boy I was “going around with” lived on the same street of the family. That night we spoke on the phone and visited on the front porch. Although our contact was brief, it was enough for me to wonder if he had committed the crime. Had I assisted in some way, unbeknownst to me? Was it possible I had actively committed the crime then forgotten?
Twenty-five years later, Will Smith regurgitates a Hollywood line (albeit in a super yummy way), and bells go off in my head: everything I know, every memory, I doubt. It has been my undoing. I have accepted or perhaps even imposed my own identity as someone who doesn’t remember anything.
Will Smith’s (again, the perfect confluence of funny and cute) wisdom really held sway because I have begun to acknowledge the strengths of my memory, instead of obsessing about the weaknesses. I think it’s because I am in my ‘fuck it’ years (30s); finally ignoring the questioning voices always asking me what others would think.
So, fuck you! I didn’t steal your fucking video camera, and yes, I DO remember every detail of that night AND your crazy cat we had to lock in the basement AND your rotten kids who didn’t do anything they were told!!!!!!!
Live within limits without limiting life
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