The Book: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

The Quote: What was the actual benefit of accuracy when it comes to memories?

Did you ever here that old ditty “I remember it well?”. It’s basically a song about two people who have very different recollection of the last time they met…

Does it matter if our memories are accurate?

or

Is there no such thing as an accurate memory because each individual takes something from a moment that is unique because our perception is our reality?

The other day I was talking to my Husband about something. I related a story from years past- I reminded him of something he did to piss me off (I didn’t just dredge this up- it was germane to a discussion we were having at that moment and I was using it to prove a point- my anecdotal evidence so to speak).

He could not remember the story of which I spoke.

Not one shred of memory.

He did something that irked me so much that I know we had words about it (for the record it was a battle that I wanted to fight).

And he said he never did such a thing.

To be fair, his not remembering pissed me off more than the original transgression did. Because I remember it well…

At least I think I remember it well…

How much does my remembering something that my husband swears never happened matter in the grand scheme of things? I mean, this was something he did that hurt me emotionally- where I thought he violated my trust. And I never wanted him to do it again.

But if he doesn’t even remember doing it?

Should I be mad that he doesn’t have the same memory of the event that I have?

How do you proceed if people have different memories of an event?

Should you try not to bring up things from the past, because they just don’t matter?

I know….so many questions…

Pick one or two or all and share your thoughts:

73 thoughts on “Memories

  1. How many years back was the transgression, that he had no recollection ? FYI, I too would be pissed if the other party couldn’t remember, something like that. But once that lack of memory is on the table, I would do my absolute best to shake it off… nothing gained by hanging onto any of it. As far as memories go, I know I sometimes blend events in my mind.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We all bend memories, I think? It all has something to do with perception, and any single event perceived by more than 1 individual would have multiple viewable angles, therefore would have more than one perception of how an event took place.

      Just my 2 cents

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I learned that some people have better memories than others. We all remember an event differently, but my remembering of family events is far more accurate than John’s. When we talk about a situation, the children back me up when John tells his view. He might have the setting in the wrong place or include people who weren’t there. That said, I would never argue with his memory of going to a train museum or his description of what route we took on a trip 50 years ago. We tend to remember the things we are interested in.

    My SIL and I always laughed together when talking of events. She could tell me what everyone wore, and I could describe the food in detail.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Don’t we all try to forget things we did that were hurtful and on the other side, remember ways that we were hurt? I think it’s our brain trying to protect us and it works very differently based on the role we played.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. My first experience where I was faced with undeniable evidence that my memories are not complete recorded records of past events, was when a friend posted a picture on Facebook from when we were kids. Seeing it, I still couldn’t remember the event, but there I was in the picture so I was there with those people. It felt so strange, like a alternate timeline sci-fi story.

    Since then, I don’t trust my memory so much. I’ll keep the good ones, but I’m not going to convict anyone over what I believe I remember.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. There might be different psychology involved in remembering things differently-forgetting some details, and the all out saying that an event never happened. Our brain can forget bits and pieces but I think there’s more behind the memories that people say never occurred. I also agree with the comment that some people will tend to remember more of the times they are doing something they like or are interested in versus things that were hard or boring.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I immediately thought about trauma when I read the post. You were traumatized in many ways. You remembered, he has no memory so in reality did his own trauma around hurting you influence his ability to hold that trauma or let it go… violence, PTSD…my wheels are spinning.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ok..before you fall down the rabbit hole…about five years ago I had hemorrhoids…first and only time, not even in my pregnancy. And I was uncomfortable and crabby. My husband told his friend group this and I became not quite rational about it. He thought it was no big deal and I was scandalized.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Okay, thanks for clarifying that… I think 😉 However trauma doesn’t have to be physical harm to be hurtful so I stick by my thoughts on memories/responses/acknowledging our part in them. BTW- husband was WAY off base on this one. He’s lucky you kept him around.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No, no need to excuse this with gendered associations. This was all about being insensitive to another persons feelings- and acting like an idiot by sharing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. In my case , I have a terrible memory , or maybe I just block it out, but my kids love to remind me of things I said or did that hurt them when they were 5 or 10 years old . 😩 It gives me a chance to apologize. I’ve changed a lot . I think we have to forgive people for past hurts, since if we’re still with them we must still care about them, even if they don’t remember what they did. Scientists say that memories are very subjective, that even between eye witnesses of a crime it will vary .

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Memories! ( Barbara Streisand’s song is now rolling around my brain)… what a fascinating project to research! I absolutely love this topic and how your brain works!

    This topic comes up all the time with my older brother, younger sister and I. First off yes, we all remember things differently depending on a variety of things. The first one is our age. My brother being the oldest will often have recollections of people and places simply because he was the oldest. He and I have a clearer memory of our childhood in Ohio because my sister was too little to remember things or was too young to go certain places. So if we try and go back and discuss certain family get togethers my little sister will not remember them at all because she was a toddler and too little, while he and I were active participants in the event. On the other hand, we ALL have different types of memories. I have a VISUAL memory. I SEE the past. Yes, I literally see it. I recall images.. I can see what someone was wearing from head to toe,and can describe their shoes, jewelry, gloves, pocket book etc. I even hear the click of the framed purse my mother used to carry. Sight and sounds are vivid in my memory recollections.
    In fact, One of the reasons I write using extreme detail or enjoy novels with vivid details is because that’s how my brain works. I scan a room and see everything like a movie camera does. I can see my brother riding his red Schwinn bike with the playing cards in the spokes, and notice the brightly colored plastic handle bar tassels is because that’s what I saw back in the 1950’s. I still.remember the details of our matching cowboy vests. Etc. my memory of the past is usually the best of the the three of us because I see it like in a photograph. Actually it’s more like in a film.

    Once my sister was talking about of friend of hers that she said I had met before. I had no clue who she was referring to. So I asked her to describe this person, what she looked like in detail, including her hair eyes etc. she began describing and I instantly knew who she meant. I then even said, oh yes… Hair to her chin , a little gray at the temples, she wears an initial necklace and I described her to a T. Because I have a visual memory. It’s just how my brain works.

    Another example of memory… I still have a close relationship with my first husband and Since we share a son together we often chat about our child even though he’s grown up and we share our joy about our grandchildren. Plus, he calls me regularly, especially since I became ill. Anyhow, I texted him to inform him about an upcoming event at our former University drama department. And I mentioned I was contacted by our former college friends. He remembered only two out of a group of people I mentioned. He couldn’t for the life of him recall the others. While I teased him about getting old I was surprised that he had no memory of these folks. And yet a few months earlier he called me when singer song writer, Jerry Jeff Walker died. We saw him first on his 1968 Tour when he Wrote Mr. BoJangles and we became huge fans. he described in detail the first coffee house performance of his that we saw. He even reminded me of the 12 string guitar he used for a certain song. So everyone has a different type of memory. I had forgotten about the 12 string guitar because I was focused on Walker’s smile, what he wore and his soothing voice. Our memories are much like our learning styles. I’m a visual- kinesthetic learner and that’s also how my memory works. Hmmm that would be a cool research project!

    I think regarding your hubby. He must have pushed that disagreement out of his head. Maybe it just wasn’t a big deal to him. Our brains clearly processes things differently for us all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It wasn’t a big deal to him and he didn’t understand my sensitivity to it. But yes…I remember what people say, so would that be oral memory? I remember turn of phrase,body language, etc. it really is fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m guessing you have an auditory memory but I will have to Google if that’s even a thing. Lol it would seem that it is. My youngest son is like you. He never forgets what people say . While I’m more visual. Is it any wonder that witnesses at a crime scene focus on different things?

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Ok, from just quickly skimming that article, when we first perceive something it first enters our brain through the senses. And that’s using our learning style. So we first perceive things using our sensory memory. So that would mean if you are more of auditory person… at an accident sight you would focus more on the sounds, whereas I would focus more on the sights. That’s an extreme simplification, but it certainly explains why everyone has a different memory.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We are caught in relativism without God whether we are talking about truth or memories or meaningfulness or logical reasoning. Realizing that keeps our focus on Him and keeps us humble about our own perspectives. We can be wrong. He can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Frank, you always give incite and meaningful responses to questions posed here and I respect your comments. I read what you wrote today and while I do respect your views, I recently read this article that I found interesting. You most likely will not agree and that is of course perfectly fine. We are all of different faiths so it is natural that we will agree on many things but also have different takes on others. However, I like to read Many viewpoints on various topics and thought I’d share this with you. I’m certainly not trying to change or insult your beliefs. I am just sharing something I found it very interesting.

      https://www.jewishrhody.com/stories/embracing-god-mistakes-and-all,1604?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for the link, Lesley. We have started attending a Messianic Jewish congregation and I do try to watch Rabbi Gordon’s videos on the weekly parashah at Chabad.org along with reading the Hebrew4Christians site.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. What you experienced and your question clearly struck a chord with many of your readers. Your video clip was a great introduction to the topic. The man had lost the details, but had memories of the emotions. Your argument with your husband was an emotional moment for you, but less so for him. I have good and bad memories, but sadly the bad ones are the strongest–not the details, but the emotions churned up.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I do not believe in silencing our thoughts or memories. Ever. We matter. Our feelings are real, and they always matter. The tricky part comes in the allowance or acceptance of the recounting of our memory from the experience of others. It’s hard and can be hurtful. Especially because, according to us, we’re right! Right?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think it’s common to remember events differently. My ex and I have disagreed on something for the last 10 to 15 years. When our three children were younger, he NEVER helped me out by taking all three. He would only take two of our children–to the park, store, whatever. He insists that he took all of them. There’s really no way to prove which of us is correct. But I stand by what I remember. I always had at least one of them with me when he thought he was giving me a break.

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  13. I am known in our family (my brother and parents) to have a very good memory. I like that because people don’t question me even though our memories are all different. My daughter remembers things so differently than me. We all have our own perspective.

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  14. Obviously you are not alone! i think we frame our memories by what is important to us and definitely things that are important to me are not necessarily as important to my husband. We often tell different versions of the same story. Sometimes we even will admit, “Oh yeah, you’re right. It did happen that way.” Sometimes it leads to an additional argument. I will admit that if I can find proof that something happened the way I said it did, I will show that! That’s where my picture taking and scrapbooking comes in so handy!

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  15. Don’t be mad at him. You can feel a little smug (if you wish) that your memory is more acute than his. I see it all the time in discussions with family/friends

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Well, it’s probably no surprise to you, but I think you should remember it all because it all does matter on some level. I don’t think we should ruminate, but having the memory is not “bad.” It seems like when the memory is negative, then two people don’t remember the same events, but when it’s positive or laughable, people tend to remember the exact same “remember that time” story. Probably something psychological going on there.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. The comment about how we forget hurting people but remember how others hurt us rang very true. Memory is completely subjective. Just a biological fact. We all focus on different aspects of an event and particularly how it impacts us.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I’m wondering if he’s experiencing the same shell shock that many of us have as a result of the events of the last two years.
    That, or he has selective memory and chooses not to remember since it portrays him negatively. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My first question would be how old is your husband? Second question is how is his memory about other things from that period of time? I agree though if it happened that long ago, unless it was some really painful fight, I would let it go. But you may have to take more time than he did to forget since you were the one who remembered. It just depends on how this is affecting you now. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s 52…younger than me. He’s got a great memory for certain things…others not at all!! It emotionally affected me and he thought it was a non event…that’s where the difference is

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  20. Within my family, I’m famed for my excellent memory. It’s not as bomb proof now I’m in my sixties, so am occasionally surprised by things of which I have absolutely no recall. But none of them are major, nor do any of them relate to the emotions of someone I care about. I’d now consider that kind of behaviour a red flag. Not that I’d have another relationship should anything happen to Himself. I couldn’t be bothered with having to make so many compromises.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This turned out to be quite an informative space. Although I couldn’t contribute any opinions myself, but I managed to learn so much from the comments of others especially Lesleykluchin. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

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