Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stealing Memories

In the middle of a bunch of personal drama, a package arrived for me. The package had a t-shirt for a web site and YouTube series I was supporting until the middle of said personal drama. So I was in a quandary about what to do with said t-shirt. Do I throw it away? Keep it? Give it to one of the kids and get reminded of the drama every time they wear it, but give the money I spend some use? 

Mentioning my quandary created what I should have known, given hindsight, yet more drama. I ended up refusing the offer to refund my money. Here is why: not only did I pay for the shirt, I _earned_ it. I earned it for watching every episode. I earned it promoting episodes. I earned it talking up the show. Least of all, I earned it by buying the damn thing. I was not going to let a damn social mess tell me any different, even as this guy tried to steal my memories.

Before you start to think that "stealing memories" is a bit dramatic itself, let me explain. People have tried to steal my memories before. It has happened to you. A person makes an exit from your life, and in the process tries to invalidate every good memory you have of them on the way out the door. Maybe they claim they were only friends with you to make a social situation easier  Maybe they say that they were only there because you give a fine blow job. They do their damnedest to sully or erase the good times, whatever fellowship you may have shared, the contagious smiles, the talking too long, the shared heartache - all of it they take a hearty piss on before they are gone. Now you know what I am talking about, I think.

I decided a couple years back that I would no longer let people steal my memories. If my brain held onto something pleasant, it was going to stay. This was when a couple we had considered great friends and part of our family was making their exit. On the way out, they were stealing what memories they could, and I just decided to not let them. Sure, they were gone shortly after, but I protected my good memories of them and kept them separate from the bullshit that was happening right then. I would remember the bullshit too, but separately. They could retcon their own lives, but not mine.

Do not let assholes make you forget why you thought of them as decent folk. Do not let people erase your good times. Do not let them take away the rough times you shared.

Do not let people steal your memories.

Oh, and the t-shirt? It is going straight into a keepsakes box, unwashed and unworn.