History and the Lure of Nostalgia

I have been a history buff for as long as I can remember. But for me, it’s not been the history of events nearly as much as the history of individuals and the way events of their own lives affected their futures; and none is more intriguing to me than my own. Really? An appreciation for history was something I shared with my best and childhood friend Vince.

He was slow to report back on his assessment of “Dear Mom and Dad”. When I couldn’t stand the silence any longer I e-mailed him asking if the second copy had ever arrived. (the first copy I sent disappeared in USPS never-never-land. I know that because they sent me the empty package.) His eventual response nearly broke my heart. He said he had read it twice looking for some clue that would have alerted him to my situation so he could have helped me, but he couldn’t, and so was saddened that he had let me down.

Let me down? I immediately responded by telling him that in no way did he let me down. How could he? The book was all about my lack of understanding and how it affected what was my own developing history. Each time I examine it at this point in life there is always a different perspective … a different facet that stands out. At this point the known but never examined fact is my lifelong fascination with the female of the species.

The thought pattern is rooted in nostalgia … what could have been … what might have been … what would have happened, had it been. If I track my emotional memory back far enough I will find myself lying across the legs of three teenage girls in the back seat of Mom and Dad’s car. I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old, but the memory of those minutes is sweet nostalgia that always brings a smile. Why in the world would I remember that?

Many memories of that type worm their way into my conscious thought frequently, and when they do I always wonder what might have happened if I had acted on the emotions instead of letting myself be carried away with dreams and visions of what might be. I wonder too, what those girls are like today. What would they think if they knew that the little boy who was quietly and in secret fantasizing about them, had an unseen girl, sharing the fantasy with him.

And I wonder how many of them were having fantasies about him, and if not about him about another girl. All of these thoughts pop up from time to time, but for the most part it is the soft sweet lure of nostalgia which is the most inviting. There were many times during the writing of Dear Mom and Dad that my fingers would simply stop pecking at the keys of my computer keyboard as I found myself, once again recalling those alluring moments of daydreams which always … always brought sweet, gentle memories and smiles.

I have a few, very limited memories of boys in my early life, and many of those are not terribly pleasant. If there is anything unpleasant about any memories of the girls in my life it stems from wondering what I might have missed out on due to fears of what they might think about me if they knew which always led to fears of rejection. But regardless of the fears, the alluring dreams and visions of girls mostly, but occasionally adult women as well, would lead to daydreams of romance and never ending love.

I’ve never taken the time to actually make a list of all the women who’ve had at the least, a momentary sojourn in my heart and daydreams. The list would be extensive for certain. When I was writing Dear Mom and Dad I did make a list of those who came in and out of my life in the four year period prior to meeting Marilyn. There were more than thirty and all of those went beyond daydreaming.

Those days are pretty much a thing of the past now but the nostalgia remains attached to many of the memories that make up my history. Yeah, in the reader’s opinion this is probably a totally meaningless post, but it is what I wanted to say.