Firsts

I find it hard to believe The Dark Knight came out nine years ago. I remember sitting in the audience thinking it was one of the most amazing movies I’ve ever seen.

Why so serious?
Why so serious?

I also find it difficult to comprehend how much time has passed since Titanic came out. Has it really been nineteen years? Incredible.

My wife tells me we’ve been married for over twenty years. Well, she doesn’t need to tell me, I already know. Yet, when I think about it, it doesn’t seem as if time has passed at all.

Where have I been since I first heard Katy Perry‘s massive pop album Teenage Dream hit the charts? That was five years ago.

Then there is the time Friends went off the air. That happened twelve years ago.

Everybody Loves Raymond
Everybody Loves Raymond

And let’s not forget about Everybody Loves Raymond. I remember lying on my couch eleven years ago watching the final episode.

Is this how I mark time, by the passing of entertainment units? It seems like it.

Although, I beg to differ. I remember the first time I told my wife I loved her. The next thing she did was hop on a train back to Nova Scotia. Was it something I said?

How can I forget the time when my first child came into the world? We were in tears. Nope, I wasn’t watching a TV show at the time, and I don’t remember a swelling soundtrack playing in the background.

My first car was a Honda Accord. The memory of that day, when I went into the bank to ask for a loan, is still in my head. The interest on the loan was eleven percent. I thought the bank at the time had given me a great deal.

The first time I landed my dream job was such a pleasure that my family and I went out celebrating. It was also the first time I could afford to pay for everyone’s meal.

I can’t forget the first guitar my dad had bought me when I was a teenager. It was an imitation Gibson Les Paul. I played that thing so much that I had worn the frets to a state of non-existence.

Whenever I think of summer, I think of the first time I had gone in the deep end on my own. It was also the first time when I had almost drowned. After that incident, I learned how to swim, and have never forgotten.

I read somewhere that a person’s greatest fear is speaking in front of an audience. My first experience addressing a large crowd was when I was fifteen years old in high school, running for Ninth Grade class president. I stood on stage behind a podium, pointed a finger at the entire student body, which was close to five hundred kids, and said, “I want you to want me.” The entire assembly erupted in laughter. That phrase was from a song made popular at the time by Cheap Trick. It was also the first time I had felt absolute embarrassment.

But you know what? I won that election. One of my teachers later said to me, aside from having moxie, that if I could get up there and make a fool of myself like that, I certainly belonged in politics.

I guess when it comes to memories my entire life is not a set of vignettes centered around entertainment, even if I sometimes think it to be that way. No, I enjoy reminiscing with family about our firsts, our seconds and thirds, what we’ve learned, and if we had the opportunity, what would we do over.

Come to think of it, I wouldn’t change a thing of my past. If I did, then I wouldn’t be who I am today.

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Do you remember any of your firsts? What do you like about those memories?

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29 thoughts on “Firsts

  1. That politics story is a great one. It’s amazing what moments and memories stick with us. Songs, to and movies help me mark time too and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s your interests and passions which help define you so that makes sense.

  2. My first driving lesson ended in a car crash. My first trip to Europe was a coach tour to Amsterdam in 1990 – World Cup finals, England playing Holland, people mugged at gunpoint. My first concert was Heart at the NEC Arena (never imagined music could be so loud). My first pair of football boots with proper screw in studs, I was sixteen, left school a few weeks later and they were never worn again.

    And being at college still seems like yesterday and yet it was thirty years ago.

    • Amsterdam is a place I’ve always wanted to go, along with Berlin. Oh, to have the time and resources to explore Austria and Germany on a dime. I’d be in my element enjoy every moment as if it were part of me!

      • Amsterdam is an easy city to walk around. I didn’t know at the time, but the canals are arranged in concentric ‘rings’ around the harbour. I couldn’t live in a country as flat as Holland though. I need my mountains.

  3. I remember lots of firsts I have a weird good long term memory but rubbish short term. I remember the first time I saw my wife (in a morning briefing) I can remember what the lady introducing her said. I can also remember when I first discovered it was Quirrill not Snape after the Philosophers stone, when I first realised that Harry Potter was something different. I can remember meeting my step kids for the first time, although at the time I wasn’t even dating their mum. I’ll stop there before you think I’m more of a weirdo. Great article thanks for posting.

  4. Many, if not all of our firsts are indelibly printed on our memory. My first black belt with honored peers and the tears in my Sensei’s eyes; you see, I was their First, their first black belt student.
    Your first love, your first root beer float, your first pet, your first badge in cub scouts, your ……. first.
    I remember so many firsts, if I stopped to think of them all, well, that would be another first hmmm?
    Thanks Jack ! Great topic.

  5. Those are some great firsts. It’s strange how time passes differently for different events and parts of our lives. Memories with my family blur together more than major news events, which are both different than how I remember entertainment events.
    Also, The Dark Knight is still a fantastic film.

    • Somehow that films always bring me back to where I was at the time. Not a bad thing since Dark Knight brings me back to when my wife and I were in the midst of big changes in the family dynamic!

  6. I enjoyed that! We are the sum of our past. I am about to retire and I can’t figure out where the past 30 years have gone and yet if I stop I have wonderful memories!

  7. I’ve still got a few firsts rattling around in my head. Some days it feels like time has gone by in a blink, so it’s hard to sort things out. Kid me and high school me are really faded memories. I think some stuff doesn’t last if you don’t think about it from time to time, which might be the issue there. Anyway, I give you very late applause for that campaign statement. Genius. 🙂

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