"Remember when' is the lowest form of conversation".
So says Tony Soprano during an episode of "The Sopranos" the other night.
Some shows never get old. I find myself watching reruns of shows like "The Sopranos," "King of Queens" or movies like "Caddyshack" over and over. I've seen "Goodfellas" so many times that I am prepared to perform it live for birthdays, Bat Mitvahs and Shriner dinners.
The quote struck me, but "remember when" requires context. In Tony Soprano's case, he said it to a group over dinner as he left the table. The group included one of his captains, Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri. Paulie had been holding court, telling tales of life in the mob to a couple of buxom blondes. As in, "Remember when our friend disappeared off Long Island?"
So yes, Tony is right. It's best not to reminisce about capital crimes in public.
But is "remember when" the lowest form of conversation? Lower than gossip?
And isn't "remember when" important not only for linking ourselves to our past but also our family and friends?
Our family has had a challenging year. Harassment, the death of my father-in-law, work stress.
As they say, a crisis doesn't change people, it just exposes them.
We have also had some wonderful moments.
I got to watch my middle daughter perfect her latest dance moves.
I watched my son grow like a weed. I still beat him at arm wrestling, but it's getting close.
I held my oldest daughter's hand as we merrily jumped off a raft while on vacation.
And I chased my youngest daughter, everywhere. At 15 months, think of her as a top being pulled with a rip cord.
I had a chance to attend my 25th high school reunion, the ultimate "remember when." Those touchdown runs only get longer with time, especially for brutes like me who never carried the ball. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
We also had a family member diagnosed with dementia. So painful, watching a vibrant, successful woman slowly lose touch with her surroundings. And yet there still is a twinkle in her eye, a glimpse of what once was.
So no, Mr. Soprano, I think you have it wrong.
"Remember when" might seem mundane. Until you can't.