Have you ever noticed how memories grow stronger and stronger the more you tell people about them? They are also reinforced through the act of writing them down. My husband and I decided to share a journal over our trip to Italy, taking turns recording the days. One particular day that stood out to both og us was our anniversary, September 20th.
On that day an Italian grandmother sang to us in the park and told us we were a beautiful couple (all in Italian of course); we ate a feast in San Marcos Square, in the center of Florence, ordered wine, entrees, dessert, and our server brought us complimentary limoncello; and we danced in front of a crowd.
I’ll back up to set the stage: My parents had sent us to Italy with an anniversary present of money so that we would feel free to splurge on a fancy dinner (and let me tell you, with the euro as strong as it is right now, that was a much appreciated gift).
When we told our waiter we were celebrating three years of marriage that evening, he suggested with a wide Italian grin on his face that we head to the bar after dinner, get drunk, and make a baby in Florence. We all laughed. I’ve never had a waiter suggest such things, and I’m not sure you can come by such amusement anywhere in America. 🙂
After dinner, James and I passed the string quartet who had been playing live music all evening for the people dining on nearby restaurant patios. I knew they were playing for tourists when I caught the theme from “The Godfather” crooning through the night air, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable.
James and I decided to dance together to finish off the night, but when the song ended and we tried to leave, someone from the crowd shouted “Another one!” in Italian at us, and the band gestured for us to take center stage directly in front of where they were playing. So, grinning from ear to ear and having had all of our inhibitions drowned by limoncello, we danced again.
As we danced, James swooped me into a romantic dip and the crowd applauded. In the middle of the dance, I slid my sweater off and wrapped it around his neck. James kissed me at the song’s conclusion and the crowd loved it. We slipped away while we were still famous.
Two days later, walking past a random store on the street, a vendor said to us in English, “That was nice dancing two nights ago.” We really were famous. Can you believe it?
James and I have been sharing this memory over and over, thrilled by the perfect timing of the fabulous night, like one huge gift to commemorate our life together. Writing it down helped to cement all of the details in my head. Journaling this trip to Italy is making a strong case for me to prioritize journaling, especially in new and unusual locations, because it preserves the memories better than my mind can. I’m amazed by how quickly I forget things and I’m so grateful that I get to remember this one!
Which of your memories are most vivid to you? Did you attempt to record them and reinforce the memory?