Free Association

Lately, I feel as though I’ve developed a greater awareness of how my surroundings as a child have affected my current perspective of the world. This, of course, seems like a pretty obvious realization, but it’s easy to forget just how impressionable your mind was back in the day.

Memory is quite a mysterious phenomenon. Overall, as the years progress, our minds prefer to hold onto the positive memories instead of the negative, or the funny instead of the sad, but what’s even more fascinating to me are the bridges between objects or visions that are linked with memories, that flash in front of our eyes when you see, smell, or hear something in particular, as if life is just one jumbo game of free association.

Example one: When I was five years old, I had a Playskool puzzle of the United States. To this day, I still visualize the states as puzzle pieces: Louisiana will always be pink, Colorado green, Florida orange, and PA, NJ, and Delaware will always be clumped together into one piece. A font resembling “Cooper Black,” only in blue, displays the name of each state across the piece.

Example two: Motown and Sesame Street. The song, “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” by Smokey Robinson will always, ALWAYS play this Sesame St. parody in my head, “U Really Got A Hold On Me,” which lucky for you, I found on Youtube:

And last, but not least, there’s Example three. Does anyone remember Disney TV, aka, DTV, which aired in 1986? They ran some of these specials on Valentines Day or select Sunday nights, and it was quite entertaining. Basically, these specials were like an MTV for little kids, pairing cartoons and clips of Disney movies to Motown or current hits of the 80s.

When I hear “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” by Stevie Wonder, I think of this, at minute 2:38.

I also think of the Jack Black character in High Fidelity, when he responds to a customer looking to buy a copy of the same song:

Barry’s Customer: Hi, do you have the song “I Just Called To Say I Love You?” It’s for my daughter’s birthday.
Barry: Yea we have it.
Barry’s Customer: Great, can I have it?
Barry: No, no, you can’t.
Barry’s Customer: Why not?
Barry: Well
, it’s sentimental tacky crap. Do we look like the kind of store that sells “I Just Called to Say I Love You?” Go to the mall. Oh wait, is she in a coma??

That reference definitely stems from my adulthood, but since it always makes me laugh, I just had to share.

What random associations do you have, that leave you chuckling to yourself because no one else would understand??

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