Long before we had social media, we were just social. People have always been creators, joiners, and collectors. I’ve been cleaning out my house preparing to move to Austin and came across a collection of matchbooks circa 1996 – 2004. Restaurants stopped providing, so I stopped collecting.
Transporting a small cache of highly flammable materials along with the rest of the household items doesn’t seem like a good idea. So I digitized the collection for indefinite storage instead. While handling the match books and boxes, I remembered the cities, if I was there for work or holiday, who I was there with, and where I was at in my life and career at the time.
To be honest, it’s a bit unsettling to realize that I don’t remember the details as precisely as I’d like – maybe for better. And then I realize – memory becomes a con artist on its own, whether I want to play the skeptic or just play along may only depend on my frame of mind.
They say that a lot of your memories are false memories. If you look at pictures a lot then you start imagining that you actually remember the occasion where it’s just the picture that is reminding you and creating that memory.
Experiences are worth more than things you buy. Buy a new car and that feeling doesn’t last very long. Go on a great holiday with your family/friends and you’ll remember for a long time.
One of my favourite quotes from Mark Twain which I think is appropriate here “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.”
I had a similar collection that had moved from St. Louis, Boston, New York, Orlando and then back to St. Louis where they remained in a drawer semi-forgotten until recently I realized that whenever the need for a match arose my kids seemed to always be able to find one. When I discovered my collection was a shadow of its former self I had a similar thought to yours…probably keeping a plastic bag filled with aging matchbooks wasn’t a good idea anyway although it made me a little sad since each matchbook had a story but I couldn’t think of what else to do with what was left of them. Of course, now I know….digitize them. Because now we take photos instead of matchbooks, it is only fitting that we photograph that matchbooks.So, thanks!
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