Memories can be joyous and memories can be horrific. Unfortunately, for some in my family, the latter is true. They would prefer that life is like the movie Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind, in which a doctor is able to erase memories from people's minds. So there are times in life when we want to do as Cesar Kuriyama suggests and record one second of every day and those that would prefer to erase people or events from their minds. So memories can be different things to different people, And I just watched a "Criminal Minds" episode last night where the profiler figured out that a victim actually turned out to be one of the perpetrators because she didn't want to die like the rest of the people caught by the original monster who kidnapped her. She ended up in a mental institution because she implicated an innocent man instead of admit to herself that she had done horrible things.
My first step in making a memory was to have a "family meeting" and tell the family about the assignment and ask them what they wanted to do because I wanted to include them. Unfortunately, being a bunch of teenagers, they really weren't interested. But, since I'm the mom, I really didn't give them a choice. So I suggested lighting a campfire outside and roasting marshmallows. We do that in the summer when we go camping but usually not in the winter and it would definitely be something remembered, not just experienced, like Daniel Kahneman says in his TED talk, "The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory." We could talk about our week and tell some jokes, though humor in our family usually runs along the lines of teasing and not jokes so much so we might have to look them up on our phones. But of course, it was pouring down rain, and no one wanted to do that. It didn't work out for everyone to be together anyway, but four out of seven is not bad in our family at one time.
I decided that we would break out a game instead. And the most interactive game we have is called “Apples to Apples”. The game is about green cards and red cards. The green cards have adjectives on them. And the red cards have nouns on them. In each round players take turns being the judge and rest of the players play. The judge chooses a green card and the players pick one of the seven nouns in their hand that are best described by the adjectives. This is the cause of much laughter and bickering. The player who wins the most green cards after seven rounds is the winner.
So first there was the argument over who was going to deal the cards and then who was going to go first. Thankfully, since the oldest kid present, Sophia, dealt; the youngest kid, Curtis, got to be judge first. The first adjective pulled was “gooey”. I don't remember what the other nouns laid down by the other players were but the card judged to be the closest was “cold dead fingers”! A lot of the nouns are proper names and people and difficult to match with the adjective provided in the game, but the comment was made if “cold dead fingers” began to decompose, they would certainly start to get gooey! Ironically, the very next card I drew after that round was “amoeba”, and I told everyone I drew it which got lots of laughs. But later in the game, my “amoeba” card won the “nauseating” green card. Often there are arguments over judgment calls because one person thinks “heroism” describes the civil war and “offbeat”, tattoos, while others disagree, since my 21 year old daughter has tattoos. And we were laughing when someone put a “super models” card down for “grotesque”, but of course it didn't win. It was definitely a memorable evening, especially since sometimes all we do in the evenings is watch tv and not interact with each other much. It was a great change of pace. It would have been even better to do as Cesar Kuriyama suggested and record our game to use as "One Second Every Day", but alas, I didn't think of it until now.
Kuriyama, Cesar. "One Second Every Day." TED Talks. Feb, 2013. Web. 10 Mar 2014.
Kahneman, Daniel. "The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory." TED Talks. Mar, 2010. Web. Mar 6, 2014.
Foer, Joshua. Moonwalking with Einstein:the art and science and remembering everything. New York: Penguin Press. 2011. Kindle Edition