Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flood Stories No. 3: Mass amnesia

Screen capture from the National Weather Service website.
Here comes the rain again
falling on my head like a memory


Yup, those little green splotches are heading to the south and east, in the general direction of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It doesn't look like they're going to drop a bunch of rain, but they might only be the start: the National Weather Service says,

Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. West wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

While I'm here, I just want to make a note of something that's been driving me nuts on the local news: more than once, now, I've seen people who had lost homes or significant amounts of personal belongings talking about how sad it was that they couldn't save more, and phrasing this as having "lost [their] memories." This makes me giggle slightly despite myself (I know what they mean, obviously.); it brings to mind an epidemic of soap-opera amnesia. I hate myself for being bothered, and hate myself for finding it funny, but I'm afraid I can't help it.

So as a public service, I offer this clarification:

People. Your memories are the things you remember, in your brain, like the name of your third-grade teacher or the wild party when you were a high school sophomore where people threw a couch onto Jimmy Yoder's Corvette and then later on you made out with that guy from the next town over behind somebody's shrubs, and then when you got home you smelled like beer and your dad grounded you for, like, three whole weeks and you thought you were going to totally die.

Except in really, really special circumstances involving drowning and maybe hypothermia, the flooding is not going to take those away from you. What you mean are keepsakes or scrapbooks or mementos or something. The all-purpose "personal items" also works. Please stop telling me you lost your memories, as it will make me insane. I apologize for being such a pedant about this. I know it's not important. But please, I beg you, get the words right.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I love that you can find humour in anything. I lost my memories too, but they came back the next day when I was So if this is the 500 year flood, you must have some of the only 500 year photo's of the flood. Gotta love digital cams....keep the pics coming, although it is tragic, the pics are still interesting.

Stay safe & dry.