This is the second of a three part series where we go down memory lane together. The idea behind memory lane is that one person takes the other to one or more places that hold special meaning from their past. It can be anything from an old hang out spot, a school, or anything else. The idea is to learn something new about the person you’re with and to get a new perspective on their life.
I never realized how in the country I lived until I met Brad. The first time he drove out to my parent’s place he thought he had crossed a continent to get there. I thought as time passed he would get used to the drive, but he still acts like it’s a day trip, when really it takes 45 minutes to get there. Even though I grew up, as some might say “in the middle of nowhere,” I loved it and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Little did Brad know when he signed up for my memory lane experience, that he would be going even further into the middle of nowhere.
I hadn’t been back to my old high school since I graduated and heard they had built a new one, so I decided to take Brad to see my old school. As we drove I could remember where the bus stopped and pointed out different friends’ houses. My biggest surprise came when we rounded the corner to my old high school and there was no sign it had ever existed. I drove up the driveway to where my school used to sit atop a big hill and found a soccer field in its place. I knew they had built a new one, but I didn’t know the other one had been completely annihilated! All at once I felt sad because my school now only exists in my memories, and old because I’ve lived long enough for this to happen.
I feel like my memory lane experience was a bit of a disaster because it’s hard enough to explain how things used to be when you have an actual physical building to show someone, but it’s near impossible to try to get them to imagine what existed. I tried to make up for the lack of physical artifacts to show Brad by driving him down some back roads but they only served to creep him out even more. If I do this again I’ll be sure to scout out the area beforehand and make sure everything still exists.
If you don’t have time to actually go somewhere like your old high school, grab an old yearbook and experience it that way. It may even be more fun and will definitely save money on gas. You can laugh at all the crazy fashions and quotes people signed on the inside covers and then be thankful you found the person who loves you despite it all.
I’d like to make a personal admission right off the top. Although I have an appreciation for nature, one of my biggest failings as a husband is my inability to relate to Susan’s connection with the country. We’re not talking about 10 minutes out of the city kind of country. We’re talking about middle of nowhere, complete isolation, no high speed internet (gasp!) type of country. To be clear, I don’t look down my nose at the country or the people who live there, I simply can’t relate. I’m a city boy through and through. I will admit that the first time I drove out to the house Susan grew up in I could not believe how far it was, but I’d like to think I’ve gotten used to it. I enjoy going out there to get away from the noise of the city.
For Susan’s memory lane she decided to take me even further into the country to where she went to school. Despite what she would have you believe, I really did have a fun time. There were some similarities to our days in junior high and high school that we were able to relate with which was nice. I think we both felt a bit of a loss as her school got torn down and mine is now a creepy condemned house of horrors.
She pointed out some of the homes that her friends and schoolmates grew up in, as well as other little memorable spots along the way which was nice. Over the years I’ve become familiar with some of the names of her high school friends so that made it a lot easier to follow along.
I really like the fact that we come from such different backgrounds. I think a lot of people marry someone who they have a lot in common with, but Susan and I couldn’t be any more different if we tried, and I like that. I enjoyed this glimpse into her past even if I won’t ever truly understand what it was like. I think taking each other down memory lane has been a great experience and I would recommend you give it a try.