In my last post I mentioned how our memories shape who we are. They can reinforce sights, sounds, and taste that can make us call open old memories of when we were a kid. For me something that always brings back childhood memories is some delicious mac and cheese. I remember when I was a kid I was crazy about this stuff, seriously! I wanted mac and cheese with every single meal I had, no portion was too large, in fact any serving was too small! Now the box of kraft in my pantry right now says “you know you love it” and damn I do, but here is something funny. This mac and cheese that I love, that I have loved as long as I can remember, how much is it going to shape me? Am I going to be eating it till I’m old and gray? (hopefully) Am I going to feed it to my kids? Is the kraft company going to shut down next year and I’ll suffer withdrawal symptoms until I find a suitable substitute? I know how much it’s shaped me at this point, its something I’ll consistently throw money at. Kraft knows that, they know I love it, after all they said it to me on their box, as I wheel my cart through the aisles of my local grocery I’ll hear a tiny squeaky voice coming from the pasta section “You know you love me, buy me Viggy, buy meeeeeeeeee”. This makes me wonder however, do I really love mac and cheese, or the memories it evokes. See the box never really told me what I love, it only said “you know you love it” and as we all know it could be anything. Whatever it is that you love about your mac and cheese, you know you love it, kraft knows you love it, and it’s whatever it is that gets you to buy it.
So of course here is my question for you, think of something you have loved since your childhood. Maybe it’s a favorite type of candy bar, or even a stuffed animal. Now really take the time to think about that item, are their memories associated with it? Are they good or bad? Do you feel a sense of nostalgia when you possess it. And ultimately, do you love it, or the memories you associate with it?
P.S. If you’re wondering if I truly love mac and cheese or just the childhood memories, it’s about half and half, I assume whatever you pick has a good chance of being the same.