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Honoring My Mother | Argumentum ad senti

What really drives me bat crazy sometimes is these sudden flashes of sentimentality I hear in coffee talk nowadays (or anywhere where seniors converge). Reminiscing about the past, for example, and trying to outdo one another as to who had the more memorable experiences or misadventures in school, has got to be one of the lamest party convos I have ever been in.

It innocently starts out as a funny account by someone. Before long, someone else gives it a go with a juicier tale of his own, which then segues to the next, until what appears to be a crappy form of rap battle is in the offing.

Hands down, high school will lord over all our other memories combined, why else would there be so many movies and songs made about that era then?

Aside from its being relatably amusing time, practically everyone during that memorable life-frame was a wide-eyed kid fascinated with the world and discovering new things left and right. It was the age of innocence for all teens, and a marvelous new world was opening before us.

However, if one were given a time machine with a one-way ticket to the past, would you want to go back and live there all over again? Captain America perhaps, may have had a chance at it, but that epitome of got-everything-but-the-girl superpogi, whom everyone associates with, was nothing but Stan Lee’s fiction spin. Let us leave what happens in comics to comics. Real life on the other hand, is worlds-away different from it and we should really snap out of all these hi-school, woozy, romantic stuff thingy-wingy.

Visiting haunts like the old school, a hometown perhaps, or the house where one had been born in (if it still stands), may be the closest thing yet to our reliving the past. These visits naturally bring out the mushy senti, which could really become bothersome, as it often triggers profound reflections on what had been and the what- might-have-beens.

Science guys have even hinted that chemicals released in the brain trigger this melodramatic and senti feel, which is much like a downer version of dopamine, that happy neuro-something. At least with this theory, i can relax in thinking that sentimentality has actual biological connections after all.

If it were true however, does that imply that the wuss gene or enzyme is therefore inherent in everyone? As I remember, bullies in high school didn’t appear sentimental at all and were least affected by it. Also, if one were to look at photographs of known serial killers in internet crime pages, their blank looks reflect back icy, stone-cold stares, which could only lead one to infer that sentimentality must be for dummies or sissies, like me.

To the time travel challenge however, that certified coward in me politely says “I pass”. Inasmuch as i would have loved to meet my old-younger pals, or finally beat the hell out of my bullies, and give a second try at those failed love interests (mtb – many times busted), they are all water under the bridge now. Not drowned, excuse me, and as for them bridges, I have burned some in my time. More important, if I met my old younger self then, what sound advice could I even give him? Don’t turn up to be like me?

To end, sentimentality may be sweet like honey to toast, mellowing us into lying back in our chairs, smiling stupidly and looking stoned before our grandchildren. Often enough, it may even lead us to waxing poetic and creative during the pensive moments that it induces. A great thing to remember though, it need not be a major decider of our time. I have to say, let the past remain as lessons, like the ones found in picture history books which I once loved as a kid. All told, school’s out for me on this one, and I still have future plans up ahead. Now please pass the honey, honey.

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