My dad’s memory

I know he loves me and my brothers very much, but my dad’s memory is very selective with remembering important and seemingly useless information. (No daddy issues here—read until the end.)

Some background

For a couple of years, I have been recording my dad’s stories and I’m planning on putting them together on a blog soon. It’s just funny to hear how he remembers small things like rugby game scores from forty years ago, but he has called me to ask what my birth date is. It’s peculiar.

Also, that was a strange conversation because you’d think your dad will remember stuff like that. At first, I wanted to be sarcastic and say, ‘Oh, I think it was a Tuesday, but the exact details of the day are fuzzy’. However, I did not do that and just answered the question. Then he asked the birth dates of my brothers, and then he had an earful.

Apparently, he forgot because he had a lot of stuff to remember.

It hurt me because how can a person forget something like that? I’ve read that one’s emotions have a powerful influence on your memory. When you experience something and there is a strong emotion attached to that experience, it’s burnt into your memory. Weren’t there any strong emotions when we were born?

I know there were, but I have a theory.

The theory

My dad’s memory weakened because of us kids. We kept him awake by screaming in the middle of the night. Then we injured ourselves at the weirdest and most inconvenient times. Once he had to take me to the hospital on a Saturday afternoon because I fell my head open. The poor man couldn’t even watch the rugby game that afternoon.

Between the sleep deprivation, keeping kids alive, kids whining, kids not wanting to eat their food or listen, his memory took a knock.

And then there are rugby games. I think there are only pleasant emotions attached to it, even if your team loses. You can shout at the TV and most people think it’s normal (especially if the Springboks are playing), and the rugby game doesn’t want your money, or ask you to drop it off at their obnoxious friends who live halfway across town, or want help with homework, or argues with you because you don’t remember its birth date. It’s just there to be enjoyed.

So no wonder he remembers rugby scores of games from before I was born—his memory is just like, ‘Let’s remember the good old times, eh?’


I love my dad, he’s my weirdo. Do you have any similar stories? I’d love to read about it in the comments.



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