Recently I was thinking about March Madness and how “basketball is a religion” back home. Although I don’t particularly follow sports, I’ve always held a memory of the state high school hoops championship game from my senior year. Our high school was a basketball powerhouse, and our team advanced to the high school Final Four — then sadly, we lost the championship by (as I have remembered it all these years) one point.
To make a long story short, I Googled that game last month and made a discovery. There it was on YouTube — a fuzzy 1970s video of the whole matchup — and, although I accurately recalled Coach’s name and his obnoxiously-70s plaid sports jacket, and dimly recognized some of the star players who had graduated in my class — I received a surprise at the end of the contest.
At the final buzzer, what did the scoreboard show? Not the single-point differential that has lurked in my memory bank these 40+ years hence. More accurately,
Werewolves 64*team monikers changed to protect anonymity of all…
I had to verify that with another source. Yes, 64-60 was indeed the final tally!
You might well ask, what’s the point? The Werewolves prevailed, and our Warriors were the runner-ups for that March night. 64-63? 64-60? Our team still lost the championship.
I zeroed in on the fact that I had remembered it wrong, all this time. I could have sworn that our team lost by one point.
What if I’m remembering a whole slew of other things wrong?
What if I’m storing memories of more consequential things in my history — tales of hurts — and some of them are magnified beyond what actually occurred, or given undue power that they don’t deserve? Although I’ve also minimized many events in my past and need to deal with how hurtful they were, perhaps just discovering the times that I’ve remembered something inaccurately could help to defuse those hurts in some cases.
More frequently, I doubt my own perspective. But I want to think about some times that I’ve held assumptions about painful memories, and see if I can do some reframing.