Just when you think that science and technology have gone far enough, there is inevitably something else that boggles the mind. And this one really boggles my mind.
Scientists have announced a drug that will remove or erase a “single, specific memory.”
So far, it only works on rats; and how they know that it will only erase a “single, specific memory” and not all of the memory – I don’t know. All I know is what I read.
I was really excited about this. I thought that I had many memories that I would like to get rid of, and one of was . . . er . . . one of them was . . . and then I began to realize that the sum of all my memories make me what I am today, (and I certainly need improvement, don’t get me wrong that I am satisfied with everything that I am today) but, with the memory gone, would the lesson you learned also be gone?
You all know that I have been through multiple divorces. Each one was devastating, and I will not be ashamed to admit, I shed a lot of tears over both of them. But as painful as those memories are, I don’t think I am willing to have those memories erased. Even though they were so very hard at the time – and at the time I would have given anything to block out everything in those relationships when it became just a memory – even though it was painful, that’s part of who I am now, and they were part of me.
Maybe I would choose something particularly humiliating. I still remember the time I went to a Saturday matinee about one of my all-time heroes – TARZAN! When I came back to school on Monday, a member of Miss Ronnigans second grade class, I went into the little boy’s room which was basically a door off the classroom, and let out a Tarzan yell that I am sure you could hear in the next area code.
It was a heavy door, and I must have thought I was in a soundproof booth. It wasn’t. On the other side of the door, I could hear the rest of the class burst into laughter. I tried to stay in a long as I could – totally humiliated – but I had to come out and face the rest of the class – all red-faced and ashamed.
Or maybe, I would erase the only spanking I got from my grandfather. That was a painful memory. And it was a particularly painful spanking.
Another humiliating memory that I still carry around with me happened in the third grade when I was in Mrs. Sillers Class. Now Mrs. Sillers was to every pupil in that school – a scourge. To us, little people who were just entering third grade, she was a stern, strict, authoritarian who demanded absolute obedience and tolerated no nonsense. She had a face carved out of granite and to us little people she was nine feet tall.
Nobody wanted to be in that class. I remember when I heard I was going to be in Mrs. Sillers class, it almost ruined my summer vacation.
Anyway, one memory that I would like to get rid of had really reached a high point on the humiliation scale. On a scale of 1-10, on the humiliation scale, I would say that it was about a 17. Mrs. Sillers would only let people go to the bathroom in the time between when one lesson ended and the other starts. I had raised my hand to go to the lavatory, but there were four people ahead of me. By the time my turn came, she was telling us to take out our math books and then it hit me. I had left my math book and homework at home. When I confessed what I had done, she, in an act of mercy and compassion, pounded the top of my head with her sharp-cut fingernails, pulled me out of my seat by my left ear and sent me on my way, (with an overfilled bladder), to fetch my math book from home.
I bounded out there like a cheetah on a trampoline. I was as scared as . . . as . . . as a third grader who just been in a near-death experience with a granite-faced nine-foot monster. It was winter and really cold. It was about five blocks to my home, and my bladder made it about one half that far.
I ended up coming home to a bewildered mom who knew I should be in school and with wet pants no less.
I begged not to go back to school or at least that the family could move to another state, but my mom got me clean pants – got the math book and sent me back.
I think that was the most humiliating thing that happened during my grade school years. In high school, I reached an all-time high in humiliation – but as much as I have shared with you readers – even you are not going to find out about that one.
O.K., so I don’t want to get rid of any of my memories. I’ll deal with them, but if someone comes up with an invention that eliminates a memory of stupid things that I have done in the memories of other people, I will take an aerosol spray can of that!