The Reminiscence Bump

It is Monday, July 14 and I did NOT go to my high school reunion on Saturday evening and because so many photos have been posted of the people with whom I shared a big cubical building a quarter of a century ago, today I’m feeling a hint of what I normally feel the weekend after BlogHer—comfort knowing that I lived in my nearly dead jeans all weekend sprinkled with a tiny bit of “Because of my own goofiness, I’ll now have to wait five more years (or a lifetime, because who’s the boss?) to speak with a horse whisperer.” Actually, to my knowledge, there has never been a horse whisperer at BlogHer. Such a long sentence, such a weak comparison. (One of my favorite people in high school later spent some time horse whispering. Isn’t it crap that life is so short? If only there was more time to do All Things. I’m 43 years old, and if I try to do a cartwheel, both of my legs will shatter. So many missed opportunities.)

weak jean pool

Do I wear the jeans in public? I do. Because I’m David Lee Roth in a yellow floral tunic and Panama-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw.

Earlier this morning I read a Brain Pickings article about the passage of time and why it seems to get screwy during vacations and faster in old age yet slower when one is waiting for a train. Apparently, Nabokov was into the proportionality theory which says something like, “When judged in the context of your life, time seems faster when you’re an adult because a year is 1/43rd of your life rather than 1/6th of your life, and you can eat 1/43rd of a pie in two bites but I’m sure you would rather have 1/6th of the pie, unless it is a mincemeat pie, unless you are my grandpa who loved mincemeat pie.” (I’ve elaborated a bit with the pie thing, as I do.)

Some people believe that the proportionality theory is complete crap. Other people (so many people!), who refer to themselves as nostalgia psychologists, mention the reminiscence bump (a time during the late teens and early twenties) during which memories are so much clearer because it’s a time of milestones. (Streaking around an apartment building in the middle of the night! Eating a turkey on the roof of a house in the dead of winter! Line dancing during a snowstorm in the middle of a street on Groundhog Day! My reminiscence bump goes on for miles!) I can’t really remember when East Timor became a nation, but I can spout out every word of Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys. I can remember certain outfits that people wore in high school, yet I have no idea when I received my most recent tetanus shot. (I once met a man who had polio because he accidentally received two polio vaccinations. This information haunts me.)

I’m going to start referring to myself as a nostalgia psychologist Right Now.

Today will find us at a doctor appointment and at piano lessons. I’m also going to clean a bathroom and bake strawberry bread and practice writing some words—knowing that I won’t remember this day in 2018. (Or next week if we’re really being honest over here.) I hope your Monday is a good one.

I mean what I say,
Angela D.
Nostalgia Psychologist

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9 thoughts on “The Reminiscence Bump”

  1. You know. I love how you write Dr Nostalgia Phsychologist. (so many consonants in a row that words confuses me everytime!). What you write too, which is a bonus, right?

    I’ve yet to clean my bathroom today, and I’ve eaten all the strawberries so no bread baking either.

  2. It’s raining at my house, and I’m contemplating posting a 30-year-old photo of myself on Facebook, and also re: Facebook I’ve discovered the boy I had a massive crush on in 8th-10th grade is one of those politically hateful types now. My 30 year high school reunion, if we have one, will be in one year. And now I’m going to go rip some jeans.

  3. My daughter is your age and she wears jeans like that in public, too. I think girls like you two look cute in tattered jeans. I like them, but I am a considerate person who doesn’t expose the general population to my less-than-adorable aged knees.

    No need to really understand how the passage of time seems faster as you get older. It just does. You learn to live with it. It helps you to not be so upset by things you don’t like because they will be over with sooner than they used to be.

    My reminiscence bump is always going on and on and on. I enjoy thinking about things that have happened in my life and wondering how I am still alive.

    I attended my husband’s 20 year reunion and it was interesting, but he has never felt compelled to attend another. I never went to my own because I went to 14 schools in 12 years, four different high schools, so I never felt I had anyone to reunite with. My parents weren’t in the military, they were just flaky.

    How do you know you won’t remember this day in 2018? You don’t yet know that something remarkable won’t happen today.

    I’ve gone on too long again. Sorry, but I get to talking to myself and forget I’m not alone…

  4. Sorry, you cannot be David Lee Roth unless the jeans are excessively ripped in the butt. Perhaps your are actually excessively ripped in the butt, and you graciously declined to show us. If so, thank you. But I covet your ripped jeans leg.

  5. I too covet your ripped jeans! David lee Roth had cool spandex under his ripped jeans adding extra coolness when he jumped.

  6. I so enjoy your comment section (in addition to your blog.) Right now I’m wishing “Grammy” had her own blog. I want to know more!

  7. How’s this for a reminiscence bump: I remember when I got my last tetanus shot because I got it in preparation for going to China to adopt our daughter. Eight years ago. Wheee!

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