Date and Memory in Topics

  • Oct. 5, 2015, 6:58 p.m.
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  • Public

We often tie important memories to specific dates, and specifically to annual remembrance of those dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, new places, new jobs, important meetings, promotions, one-time events - the list goes on. Different types of dates matter differently to different people. Then, of course, there are holidays, national days, and the like. Those are often a combination of group memory and celebration with more personal memories, rituals, and gatherings. How we choose to honor such dates, and which dates we cling to, can say a lot about the person.

For me, dates are....interesting in may ways. As a history major, dates are something I’m quite familiar with on many levels. But on a personal level, birthdays have never been a big deal for me. That might come, in part, from always sharing birthday parties as a kid with my brother since they’re only four days apart. But that’s a small part of the equation. Holidays are more important to me now for sentimental reasons, tied primarily to family get-togethers in years past - particularly July 4th at my grandparents’ lake house and Thanksgiving with the family all coming to our house.

April 13, September 10, November 28
November 24, June 8
October 1, September 13, September 1, July 18
March 29, May 4, August 18, September 24
May 11
October 2

Some dates are…bittersweet. Some are definitely painful memories. Some are positive. Several hold multiple meanings. November 28 is both a very good and bad one. For me, they are tired primarily to major life changes (July 18, September 13) or strongly emotional events (September 10, November 24).

I’m not a gift person. I’ve never been good at picking them out, and they just don’t hold a ton of meaning for me as a receiver. (Incidentally, that opens up another interesting line of thought based in part on the book Five Love Languages) I think that ties into my tendency to…downplay, or at least somewhat devalue, birthdays and many holidays. Plus, having worked for so long in retail and/or foodservice, your take on holidays can get fairly....cynical.

Dates, for me, are tied to memory, and specifically tied to memories linked to strong emotional events. That’s probably fairly typical, but I wonder what type of dates matter most to different people. I think it’s an interesting window into the sorts of things we value most.

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