Thursday, December 06, 2007

First Memory

The first memory I can recall was a Christmas memory. Or rather a Christmas Eve memory.

My family was at my Aunt Jeannie's house for Christmas Eve. I was sitting on her mother-in-law's lap. I remember Nanny asking me if I was ready for Santa Claus to come tonight and I said yes. Then I asked Nanny if she would come to my house the next morning to see my toys and she said yes. She was wearing a black dress and pearls.

The year was 1969. I was 3.

But there's more to the story. I have to piece it together because I don't recall all of it. But the next thing I actually remember is feeling disappointment over the fact that Nanny had not come to my house like she said she would. She was neither my grandmother nor even related to me. She was my mother's sister's mother-in-law. But I invited her and she said she would come, then she didn't.

And that's my first memory ever.

I guess it left a great impression on me, because to this day I still take people at their word, albeit naively. In college, I lectured my friends once on the importance of following up on what they said they would do. If they told me they would call me later, I'd wait in my room for a call. Or if they asked me to come by their room later, I expected them to be there.

I'm a literal person and adhere to "words are deeds". I try very hard to follow through with whatever I say I will do. And I expect the same in return. I think I always harboured some resentment to Nanny for never showing up to my 3rd Christmas morning. But on the flip side, she ended up making me a man of my word.
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