I went through some files today to work out what I needed to take to the US and what could be discarded. I picked up this one folder where I keep all of my guarantees and it turned into a trip down memory lane as I came across stub after stub, receipt after receipt of old purchases and old feelings associated with them. Some weak flashbacks later I was in a much more sombre mood but had to keep going due to the time constraints. When exactly did my Dad tell me that I should keep receipts and guarantees carefully in case I needed them again? I think I have kept them religiously since in the exact same folder.
I saw a plastic coated card that was the guarantee of my Charles Jourdan watch. I remember getting it from the duty free, maybe for my birthday? I think my Dad had said it would be nice for me to have a good watch. Is it from then that I started wearing one? I have been wearing wristwatches for as long as I can remember and only gave it up this summer because I didn’t like the feeling of it in the heat. I remember being really annoyed at myself if I wound up at school in Ferney without my wristwatch.
I also saw the receipt of a flash I had bought for my manual camera. The old fashioned one I got, my dad had ordered it for me from the duty free catalogue. I had dreams of being a fancy photographer but my photos came out rather poor and blurry indoors because it had no flash. We had to go to this specialist store in town to buy a big bulky one that went on top of the camera. Those were the days when I was young enough for my parents to be so involved in my life. To work out which shop to go to and take me there. Talk to the salesperson. Ask me what I liked. Pay for it. Wow. Remembering some parts of what it felt like being a kid, especially the relationship dynamics with my parents makes me appreciate them now. It’s funny how I don’t remember what it felt like to have such a reliance on them. But ofcourse, that’s the way it’s been since I was born.
I remember my Dad taking me to a ping-pong club because I really enjoyed playing it at school. I didn’t join though because I was far too embarrassed being the only girl and not knowing anyone there. I remember him encouraging me to talk to the manager myself about joining. I wonder what it feels like to teach your kid to do grown up things. Funny the parent-child moments. Funny I don’t read blogs of parents who have teenagers or older children.
I remember my Dad talking to this teacher in Ferney who had it out for me. He came back to tell me that she thought I was arrogant and that I should work on not coming off that way. I also know that after that, the teacher actually gave me a chance and eventually went on to call me one of the best students she’s ever had.
I remember at some point I had to write an essay on someone I admired for English class. I wrote about my Dad who was my hero. I wrote that I wanted to be like him. I remember showing it to him. I wonder what it feels like to have your kid look up to you so much?
I know now the only reason I thought smoking was so cool was because of him. I remember confessing that I thought smoking was very cool during one of our talks. The ones where he checked if we had anything secret going on. I told him I didn’t smoke which was the truth then. We actually used to have conversations, even sometimes about boys. I don’t remember many conversations though, not the normal everyday ones but I really wish I did. It would be some blueprint as to how to proceed now. I must not have talked much even when I was younger so clearly he made the effort. I did think he was awesome.
I remember us wrestling before I grew too old for that. I remember him crying on hearing about his Mom’s death. The only point in time I ever saw him cry. I remember him throwing the phone down. I remember thinking how callous of my uncle to tell him this way, but now that I think about it, what would have been a good way?
As much as I have fought against it, I can miss my parents’ power. When they were young and we were little. Now they do things like struggle with computers and ask silly questions. If only I could see them with younger eyes. If there had been no fall from grace, would I still feel so distant from him? Sometimes I say things inside my head but not out loud so he can hear. I don’t have the words, I don’t have the courage. I don’t have the practice and I don’t remember how I used to do it.