“M” is for Memories

Maybe for selfish reasons, the letter M was a little hard to classify for this little experiment.  It is, after all, my favorite letter: the first letter of both my name and my sobriquet and the letter that I most closely associate with my own self.

The lovely thirteenth letter of the English alphabet, with its happy little mountainous peaks, and which starts words such as marvelous, magical, momentous, mellifluous and mommy, is the one that is assigned this thirteenth day of April.

(Less desirable, but also with an M include, masochistic, megalomaniac, manure, and malaprop.)

_________

So anyway, memories.

I wonder a lot about memories, especially when potentially being out here on the road and creating memories of my own. 

I wonder about all those people with their jaw-droppingly expensive photographic equipment, taking pictures of the same stuff over and over year in and year out.  I wonder if this will be the year in which they will decide that they will take some basic photography lessons and figure out that you can take better pictures without always using flash or that you don’t have to pose all pictures with fake smiles in order to save a memory (yes, I am an amateur myself, but even I have standards).

But seriously, I do think about them.  I think about them and their cameras and videocameras, all crammed in like sardines in their overflowing minivans.  I think about their dogs, getting a much-needed potty break on the Interstate, and wonder about the scent of dog urine pervading the upholstery.

I wonder if low visibility and getting stuck behind the semi trucks is worth the memories.  Seeing huge caravans of cars and minivans and SUVs from (mostly) New York and Maine and Ontario so very crowded and being lured by the same promises of $25 Disney tickets; bingo Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; ROMAN CANDLES!  FIREWORKS!  FIREWORKS!;  and girls that dare to go bare for you (Good food and showers for truckers at the Risqué Café!); makes me wonder if the two-thousand mile journey to wherever these people are going (Orlando, Florida?) is really truly worthwhile.

I wonder if the pictures — the possibly good but mostly mediocre pictures– will make the arduous journey worthwhile.

I wonder if there will be hugs and kisses and thank-yous and I-can’t-believe-how-much-fun-this-is-jubilations, and singing along as the miles drift away.  I wonder if there will be private moments remembering the tacky sombrero and giggling; or the joke told at the 342-mile marker; or the beautiful wildflowers blooming across the median; or if it will all be one deeply thankless and humorless endeavor– as bleak and gray as the concrete of the interstate.

I hope the memories are all worth it, but when I see some of the faces staring back at me in the mirrors of the rest rooms and from the cabins of the trucks and the cars and across the booths of my beloved Waffle House, I am pretty sure they just won’t be enough.
 

I wonder if we’re not just killing ourselves slowly for some pathetic semblance of a cherished memento, in some sort of misguided idea of what it means to be a family.

A mien that is just a moribund mimeograph of a moment that never materialized.

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This entry was published on April 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm and is filed under NaBloPoMo. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on ““M” is for Memories

  1. I like the letter “m” too. Too bad I don’t have it in my first or last name!
    All memories are worth it for me… bad or good. Must be my European side you know, always looking at the past to make the smallest decision.
    But at least, I can take basic pictures! 😆

  2. M is also for Magnificent.
    Love your style.
    Much bloglove,
    Frances

  3. Vixen on said:

    Here’s a memory for you – I actually used a mimeograph machine while volunteering at my daughter’s school when she was little.
    I look at the tourists that come here and see how many are actually enjoying their experience and how many are simply enduring a rush of sight-seeing so that they can say they went someplace on vacation. Mostly it seems to be kids who enjoy the trip.
    Personally, if I was taking a trip I would schedule plenty of time to both see what I wanted and just relax and enjoy being there. Which explains why I won’t be taking many trips until I can afford a long vacation. 🙂
    I try to make my memories good however sometimes bad things happen. Even then I do what I can to have something positive come out of it, even if it is just a learning and maturing experience. I have more sad memories than I want but they are all part of who I am. And that I wouldn’t change (much – pokes at belly and wishes feet were better).

  4. This makes me think of a conversation my husband and I had concerning the road trip to Yellowstone that our family is taking in June. He’s always taking pictures on trips, and of the kids, and of the kids on trips…but he was talking about getting a video camera, and I was against it.
    I worry about getting too caught up in documenting the experiences at the expense of actually HAVING the experiences.
    (So, you’ll run out of alphabet by April 26 – what are your plans for the last few days of NaBloPoMo? :-D)

  5. Hi… dropping by from She Who Blogs. Love your letter a day! I’m doing NaBloPoMo too, but with a different tactic. I like this a lot… good job! :o)

  6. Apropos of nothing, but this series reminds me of Sue Grafton.

  7. Some of my best memories from my childhood are the family vacations we took. To this day, I still love road trips! And you know what? Narry a picture can be found of those trips, except the ones I see in my minds eye. We share them through the telling and retelling of the stories…which for me, is better than looking through a photo album any day.

  8. anOCgirl on said:

    great post!
    i just want to add that i think i would die from being in a car for so long. i don’t understand how people drive up and down the east coast. that’s too much time in a vehicle for me.

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