Things to Do - Boyhood (the Movie) and Random Childhood Memories

Have you seen Boyhood? Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming the movie using the same actors. It's sort of crazy to watch a kid actually grow up on screen. Once the movie delves into the teenager years I started to wonder how much Linklater planned the main character's personality years ago, and how much the director changed the script as he watched the actor grow up. Despite the novelty of a film that took over a decade to make, the movie is also notable for the moments it links together. Rather than birthdays, holidays, and the types of events adults are likely to remember, Linklater concentrates on the smaller moments - moving to new schools/places, conversing with a cute girl on a bike, time spent with a mostly absentee father.

After watching the movie for date night, Dan and I opened a bottle of wine and tried to piece together our own earliest memories. One of Dan's friends told us that children rarely remember much before age 7, so lately I'm a mission to dive back further. After a few drinks (okay, maybe more than a few), I hazily started to recollect watching TV with my parents in the basement (my bedroom was upstairs and our only television was downstairs, so every night I dreaded being left alone at bedtime). So every once in awhile my parents would let me stay up late, watching TV with them - my dad enjoyed Benny Hill and some random beauty pageant show - despite my mom's insistence that such viewing was inappropriate (my father reassured her that I was too young to remember anything).

Everyone remembers Benny Hill, but it took some googling to bring back the $1.98 Beauty Show, which manages to mock beauty pageants while simultaneously degrading the women at an even deeper level. As Dan best phrased it, "when it comes to nostalgia for the past, everyone brings out the best stuff and manages to erase stuff like this." Prime time, we're talking prime time. (Not that the Bachelor is any better). Turns out the $1.98 Beauty Show aired from 1978 to 1980, so all my memories of the show predate my 5th birthday.

Have you ever Youtubed anything from your preschool years? It feels surreal to see such a random and vague memory in full color. Disorientating. At one hand, there's a satisfaction that comes with learning that your recollection is real, but so many other puzzle pieces are left out that you feel as if you're grasping for something out of reach. For example, where was the couch in the basement? I can't quite picture it. Nor can I recall our other furniture from the time. I remember the TV occupying the space where the bookshelves are now. But weren't the bookshelves always there? Everything outside the realm of Youtube seems to be lost forever, whereas the women on the $1.98 Beauty Show will continue to carry their rotten vegetable bouquets throughout time. It's odd to think our children (especially mine) will grow up with so many more old memories easily accessible. How will this change how they perceive time itself?

What about everyone else - what is your earliest memory?


  1. Loved the movie. Even husband cried toward the end.

    I have a crazy good/deep memory. I can recall things from 4 years-old. Smells bring back intense memories - like of things I had not thought of in 30 years when I saw them last. My sisters giant bonnie bell tootsie roll lip smacker. puss in boots book with holograms.

    I love love you tubing things from childhood. Full episodes of Punky and Silver Spoons on there.

    1. Silver Spoons - I used to love that show. And the train!! I might have to spend an afternoon checking out old episodes. Thank you!



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