Monday, November 28, 2011

Let's Not Take A Tour of Our Past

Girlfriend Mom Kid: "Were you in any movies, like you see in the movie theater?"
Girlfriend Mom: "Uh..."

Wow, where did that come from? One minute we're watching The Conspirator, and the next I'm reviewing my resume in my head. I didn't answer immediately because I actually couldn't remember. I couldn't remember my life! Great! I didn't want him to suffer through my forgetfulness, so I said no. Thank g-d he didn't ask me why, or I might've kicked him for bringing up an emotionally charged and sensitive subject.

Why couldn't I remember? You'd think something like being in an movie would've left an impression, especially since I worked in the entertainment business, in one form or another, for 20 years. That world seems like a lifetime ago, and it was. Was this a sign that I had subconsciously (or unconsciously) tucked that world away somewhere? Had there been so much living since those days, that it forced me to spring clean my brain, to make room for the new crap?

I started thinking about what my boyfriend knows about my 'old life'. Of course over the years, he's heard stories, met friends from those chapters, and read or watched some of my work, (but with so much brilliance how could we possible get to it all?) I couldn't fill him in on all of it, I don't have that kind of time. And I'm not so sure he's all that interested. Then again, I can't say that I'm on pins and needles either, waiting for him to regale me with his twenty-one year old self's escapades.

Back in the day, I'd give a boyfriend the whole, "This is where I..." tour. It was cute and romantic and I judged him by how interested he was. The tour began at my elementary school, continuing on to middle school, and ending up at my high school. For the price of admission, you got to see such landmarks as the highway underpass where I was arrested for tagging, and the police station (which was also the deli and community center) where I was fingerprinted and where my first mug shots were taken.

If there was time, and that dopey puppy dog smile was still plastered on his face, I'd show him the auditorium where I starred in and directed several productions, as well as the softball field where a crush on my softball coach first bloomed.

What we're interested in, with regards to the other person's life before us, is not as abundant in our 30's and 40's, as when you meet someone in your teens and twenties. These tours (as fascinating as they are) aren't as important to my relationships as they once were, nor do I find many requests for them. "Gee sweet pea, I'd love to see where you shoplifted that baseball hat you told me about on our first date."

Face it, no one really cares. And that's okay. In my last couple of relationships, tours were skipped and the parade of old photo albums were omitted. Your welcome fellas.

But then my mother opened her trap at Thanksgiving on Thursday. She wouldn't stop singing my praises (and my mom can sing) to my lover about a couple of videos that I made for her and for my dad, for their 50th birthdays, that he HAD to see. No, he didn't mother. We've been doing just fine without them. It's probably me, but it feels strange to show my boyfriend, at 45 years old, something I made when I was 25. Yeah, it's definitely me.

I wanted her to stop singing, so I borrowed the movies and last night we had a big Hollywood screening in our living room. I was so proud of them at the time, and I suppose I still am. They were raw, and technically crude, but creatively advanced. I don't even know what that means. My boyfriend watched respectively with an occasional, "That's adorable." And random, "Who's that?" and "Your thighs were thicker back then."

I sensed a disconnect. Bored? I don't know and it honestly didn't matter. Where I would've taken it personally if he didn't gush and goo over every frame, like when I was younger, (because it would've been a direct reflection on how he felt about me) it was no longer personal.

My past, as riveting, scintillating and illustrious as it is (was?) need not play a significant part in my present. All my lover needs to know about me, is what's standing right in front of him, today, not back in 1992, when my thighs were thick, and I wore really big glasses. We're both too busy living in the present, and there's not enough mental bandwidth to care about every detail of our past lives.


Kathy said...

Dani it's so true the past doesn't hold as much appeal as it once did. The other weekend my kids were staying at my parents house and they saw an old video of me performing in a production when I was 17, I thought it was cute that they wanted to watch it but I also didn't want to visit that chapter anymore. Not because it was horrible but because it was a different person ago. Thanks for a great post!!

Aimee said...

So true and so funny!

Deanna @ The Unnatural Mother said...

I love this post! So true!

Bella said...

Good for you! I'm a hard core fan of living in the here and the now. Truth be told, I think I've suffered selective amnesia for many of life's episodes (the bad ones). Once a year, I do allow myself to go down bad memory lane. I call it my exercise in seeing how far I've come! :)

RYCJ OEBooks Publisher said...

Awl...your mom sounds like so much fun! But your writing is funnier, which you may hate to hear this, but I bet you get it from your MOM! ;-)

thegirlfriendmom said...

Truth be told, I do get a lot of my sense of humor from my mom, and damn proud of it! Thanks for stopping by.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Aimee & Deanna:
Thank you so much for the kinds words as per usual and for reading!

mrsmomx6 said... in the now.

This was so funny and true.

Last year my kids saw some video's of me performing in the 80's and I thought, "UGH! What was I thinking?" The kids, of course, loved laughing at my expense.

You have an amazing talent for writing, I'm sure your mom's all over it :)

thegirlfriendmom said...

Thank you Sharon for the lovely comments. I'll take laughter any way I can get it- even at my expense!