Fandango’s Provocative Question

“How do you know which of your memories are genuine and which have been altered over time or even made up?”

I don’t really know. I wouldn’t trust my memory at this point. My husband would often say that my memories are so different from how things have actually transpired.

This is very timely because around 3:32 pm today, my sister messaged me through Whatsapp saying:

F: You know, when I was a kid — you told me that “classic literature” means Anne Rice books

Of course my answer is:

J: Why would I say that? I would never say that.

F: I only knew of her because of you. How else would I know about Anne Rice? I was probably 9 years old back then (she was calculating the time that I was with them for a semester break in college)

J: We probably had a convo about A.R. but definitely not in that context

F: No, you said, “Harry Potter isn’t classic — Anne Rice is classic”

J: Why in the world would I say that?!

F: How should I know?!

Then, I mentioned how timely our convo is especially that Fandango’s Provocative Question is about memory.

Her reply was:

F: Your memory isn’t altered — it’s been totally erased.


My mom has also discredited two of my ridiculously vivid memory of the stories she’s told me when I was young. First: about how she’s supposedly seen a ghoulish kid with red eyes when she was young and that kid stared at her for the longest time and that’s why she believed in ghosts and spirits.

Now she says, she does believe in evil spirits because that’s what the Bible says but never did she tell me about the ghoulish kid.

Second: She told me that there’s this Bible story about how kids were making fun of someone and God punished them by transforming them into bears. I told her that as a grown up, I’ve looked it up and there wasn’t any story sembling that one.

My mom said she’s never told me that story, but I promise, that was super clear in my head.

I don’t know how reliable my memories are right now.

Were they severely altered by anesthesia? Or the near-death experience? LOL. How should I know.

17 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question

  1. I trust a childhood recollection a bit more than expecting an adult’s to be as accurate during the same time period. Kids may not be able to describe them as well but kids have fewer collected memories to mingle with their experiences than an adult. Their memories are set more in ‘cement’. That’s why Alzheimer’s patients lose their childhood last.

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  2. I think most of us have differing memories of conversations that took place years ago. I can’t tell you how many times my son will say, “Dad, do you remember when…?” And I with have no recollection of it at all or recall it in a very different way.

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    1. I guess it will all boil down to whoever has the strongest conviction about the memory in question. I never had any confidence on how I recall things so I guess theirs would be more reliable 😅

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And like what Susan has pointed out, childhood memories are to stick the longest— all I have clearly retained are the childhood memories, I’ve got major problems with the recent ones even those within the hour… so I am really writing a lot of things to keep me up to speed in case it gets jumbled up yet again…

      We do really have to reflect on this while others can still corroborate facts vs make believe 😅😅😅

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  3. Interesting. About the story in the Bible you mentioned, there is a story of some youths making fun of the prophet Elisha and God punished them by having 2 bears mauled them, that is found in 2 Kings 2. Thanks.

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    1. You are right. That’s exactly what she said about what she must have told me, but then I insisted about the physical transformation so she thought maybe it was Job but then his wasn’t about bears… My memories were so clear but apparently, so unreliable—- Thanks for sharing… you may be right… that could really be the original memory.

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  4. This is a very interesting topic, Janis. People remember events and conversations in different ways. Often, it is the stress of life, medications or trauma that can alter our memory traits. I like Mr Bump’s explanation 😂

    I have been told I am a very reliable witness due to my ability to recall past events. I seem to track conversations very well, but even more so when I make notes or map things out on a whiteboard. The notes reinforce key issues at the time and I so I generally do not have to refer to them again. In meetings, I often recall what was said previously, while others have no recollection or say something completely different.

    However, I certainly don’t recall everyone I meet (due to the number of people I meet), nor everything that has happened over a period of time, unless you mention a specific issue, nor those things that Linda has told me previously regarding social occasions and so on (of course this gets me into instant trouble, especially when I say you never told me about that – then the laser beams shoot out from her eyes 🤣).

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    1. You must be very attentive, I believe it’s because people don’t listen well that’s why they do not recall what other people say (most of the time)… uggh especially with meetings… I cannot take MoM without the Dictaphone recorder (I don’t know why we always attach the brand) but thankfully, work phones are now equipped with recording apps so we can always go back to the details that we’ve accidentally omitted 😀 😀 😀

      I cannot imagine Linda’s laser beams 😀 😀 😀 hahaha, she always looks serene on photos 😀

      Although I super understand how it’s hard to recall people’s names… we meet tons of people wherever we go… it’s a shame that I once thought I wont be forgetting people’s names but I have come to the point that I barely recall the names of my college classmates (apart from my friends)

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      1. I can understand the need for recording meetings, and work phones are a much better way to go. However, I introduced a long, long time ago (and wherever I have been ever since), that the minutes only contain the agreed outcomes (actions). It is far less frustrating and everyone is appreciative of a very short list of information and it also creates less arguments. Now there is simple to use software such as Monday.com which allows you to allocate the outcomes of meetings even during the meeting itself, upload documents etc. I quite like it, when I remember to check-in and use it 😂

        Yes, well, Linda is a good Aussie girl – takes no prisoners 🤣

        When it comes to recalling names, even the greatest people in history practiced and used different techniques to help them remember people 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to remember checking out that one (Monday.com) — MoMs in hospitals are totally different from my current industry (banking).

          When I was working in the hospital, we have to transcribe MoMs like court stenographers that’s why I dread being assigned as committee secretary. I once turned down a promotion because the job is attached to being the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee Secretary — drug names and my mental health don’t really work well together. I knew I will be terrible @ it.

          Gladly, our MoMs @ work are just bullets, single-paged ones… I am happy to be called and act as secretary but they never do since they’re likely to speak in full blown Arabic so it’ll be so hard for a non-Arab expatriate to take notes.

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