It’s a darn shame that we have to be dealing with this eleventh-hour issue for Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. But I’ll bet there are other politicians out there that are now reevaluating their own future moves up the political ladder.
The good news is that in this country, we can deal with this issue and give everyone their day in court, so to speak, and not discount allegations out of hand, while also remembering that everyone is considered innocent until they are proven guilty.
I would always prefer to believe that a person is innocent. I root for innocence, while not automatically condemning the accuser who says otherwise. In my own family, there are those who all remember a certain event in our family history in a different way. It was hard for me to understand why they didn’t remember it exactly as I did… until I finally had the insight that everyone can only remember anything from their own perspective, and observing something is not at all the same as experiencing it. Even being present, or hearing about what happened within the same day or even the same hour is not at all the same as being in the middle of it and having whatever it is happen to you.
That was the biggest event of my life — one I could never forget — and yet not only didn’t everyone in my family believe it, but as the years went by, my own mother had even forgotten that it happened. When a person no longer has a memory in their mind, telling them it should be there does not make it magically take its place back among all their other memories. But then, when we had the conversation in which I discovered my mother no longer remembered “it,” I had to remind myself that the kind thing to do would be to grant her some memory leeway, since it was about 40 years after the fact.
They say that memories can and do fade in time, but they also say that there are some things one will never forget. For instance, I can never forget the night I was trying to get out of a date, and ended up having a totally unexpected attack of acute appendicitis. I was sitting on the couch with my mother when the boy showed up at my door.
He really believed we had a date because I told him I’d go out with him “someday.” He heard “Sunday,” and so there he was, Sunday evening, at my door. I asked my mother to lie for me (can you believe the nerve of my 17-year-old self?) and while she gave me the “dirtiest” look I ever saw on her sweet face, she did lie for me, telling him I was really sick (this is all prior to the appendix attack), and that it’s even possible I might have to go to the hospital. Well, the boy, being
somewhat well mannered, told my mother he was sorry I was so sick and that he’d call her in the morning to see how I was.
It wasn’t even 30 minutes later that I had an excruciating pain and had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctor said if he hadn’t operated right away, as he did, that I might not have made it through the night.
True to his word, my “date” called my mother in the morning. When he heard what happened, he said to my mother, “Oh, Mrs. C, I didn’t believe you last night. I’m so sorry!” I made up my mind never to pretend I was sick ever again!
This happened only two weeks before my senior prom. Like any other teen aged girl, I had been looking forward to it with great anticipation, yet my mother was feeling that she should keep me home because it didn’t seem right to let me go to a “wild” prom night of dancing and such so soon after I got out of the hospital. Anyone can imagine how much I must have pleaded and begged her to change her mind, assuring her I’d take it easy and be fine.
Well, the things I remember about that night, in order of their happening, is first, that my date was a little late showing up and therefore my mother was getting a little nervous about our getting there in time, so she didn’t want to delay even three more minutes in order to take a snapshot of the two of us, telling us we could take one at the prom (which for whatever reason, we never did.) I also remember the romantic slow dances (which I wrote about in my little memento prom booklet); but most of all, I remember the one dance that would have given my poor mother a heart attack if she were there to see it: it was a very fast dance, what some of us called the lindy back then, which was danced to rock ‘n’ roll music, and there was a lot of swinging out, turns, and fast footwork that probably was not anything my mother would have agreed to let me do, but I apparently was in my own world during that dance and didn’t even give a thought
to how wild I was dancing until my date swung me way out and… accidentally let go of my hand. I went flying clear across the dance floor and ended up in a sitting position, twirling round and round on my lovely black and white layered net gown, kept going by the momentum of the situation, which lasted right up till the music stopped.
How could I ever forget that? I forgot the song that was playing then, who picked me up off the dance floor, and if I even danced any more fast dances after that, but maybe others at the dance might remember those details. Everything else about that night is clouded by my own personal haze of forgetfulness. Except for the detail of who my prom date was. It was a guy from the Bronx named Vinny who went on to become one of Liberace’s protégés. He was that talented. Of course, once he started wearing a tux on stage, he wanted to be called Vince.
But to get back to the point of this column, we can’t be expected to remember somebody else’s memories, and if the event didn’t mean anything to us, or — more importantly, didn’t even happen — there’s no way on earth it’s “in there.” And who are we to say whose memories are real and whose aren’t?
And in the case of Brett Kavanaugh, It does seem to be far more complicated than my memories of my prom night. I can’t imagine getting any more out of that night than what I’ve already shared, but if several of my old classmates told me things about that night that started to ring a bell, the haze might start to lift. And either memories will come back to Kavanaugh, one way or the other, or it will be accepted that they simply don’t exist. But in any case, it’ll all be over soon, since so many people are working on getting to the truth.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.