Looking back on embarrassing memories can now seem humorous

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

Do your friends take your childhood disappointments and misadventures seriously? As for mine, sadly, never mind. In a conversation I had with close friends yesterday, never have they been sorry about my stories spiced up with sour remembrances of days past. Am I inadequate with attention? Fine if they laughed. It was worse when those moments I wanted them to hear didn’t seem to have significance of sorts. Not meaningful enough.

Maybe, it’s funny for me to be forlorn over spilt milk. Come on. Is there really no sense in looking back and basking in the afterthought that I can still dignify, by dint of memory, even the foregone moments I once detested but now merrily summon. Like when ?

? I graduated a notch lower from the honor roll after my lady adviser in sixth grade favored a classmate less deserving but much better-looking than I was (she never missed admiring his white-as-a-sheet shirt during classes).

… I became the talk of the school campus after my classmates learned I didn’t vote for my own party in the election for the student council in high school owing to a secret disagreement with our class leader’s platform.

? My mom figured in a verbal tussle with my Electronics teacher because she thought, like any mother who claimed to know better, I deserved a grade higher than 90 (someone else got 98, by the way).

? I saw big brother’s butt full of welts from grandpa’s leather belt, which only happens once in a blue moon, after I squeaked on a grave misdeed my brother and I promised each other to keep secret (sorry, bro, for my selfish breach of trust so I could be spared from grandpa’s fury).

? Papa bellowed so loud after I accidentally hit his crotch while executing a newly learned karate jab. How I weaseled away from the house, but failed to outrun a good spanking comeuppance.

? I joined a hometown amateur singing contest and lost. Eating humble pie wouldn’t have been a big deal if only it was not my little sister who won the first prize and my big brother finishing second best while I failed to get the nod of the judges for, at least, the best in attire or stage presence. If only Mom did not insist I sounded like the old Matt Monro!

? Trying to live up to my mom’s belief that I could sing, I fell flat on my face while performing during a PTA meeting even as I felt that the audience tried to cast a spell to pop me off the stage. Oh, if only the guitar wasn’t tuned so perfectly!

? I had to wake up at dawn to collect ripe mangoes fallen from the late-night frolic of bats only to find out that being delayed by a mere second of sleep meant going home empty-handed. Too late for me to realize that kids in the neighborhood also harbored my mango principle: “Sweetness is surely reaped from prompt sacrifice of early morning dreams.”

? I sent a playmate scurrying home in tears after hitting him with a stone from my slingshot. All the while, I thought my target was on cue only for sparrows and chickens I tried to shoo away from Grandpa’s rice fields.

There’s still a whole archive of memories about my boyhood misadventures. For now, I reserve the other stories for the times when my friends would be open enough to consider that recalling those “detestable” moments could be entertaining as well.