When I watch old movies or see old pictures, I always try to figure out when the people would have been born and who in my family would have been their age, or alternatively how old my family members would have been when the movie was filmed or photo taken. I like to connect distant and abstract things with more tangible and concrete things in my life, and this is one way of doing that. I once was watching an old movie with a guy I was dating and mentioned that my dad would have been two or three when the movie came out. The guy thought it was really weird that I would think that. That's when I first suspected we might not be compatible. Turns out I was right, but that's beside the point.
What really gets me in a twist, though, is knowing that someday people might do that with pictures of me. They'll think, "Man, this old lady was born in 1977. I can't imagine." What makes it all worse is that I have this lingering fear that they'll find my old pictures in some dusty old antique shop in a box of old pictures that no one wanted. Because, honestly, who would want photos of Old Spinster Dena after I'm gone? I'm probably going to be in some random person's decoupage project of antique photos.
Basically, then, whenever I start down this mental path it turns into that existential angst and a question of what is the damned point of anything? Why fight for survival when it's all so temporary anyway, and when no one will care that we lived in another 70 years. No one will know that there was a Dena Huisman who taught at a university in Wisconsin unless they happen across a picture or an old computer file with my name on it. I'll just be another of the millions of anonymous passers-by in video footage, another person who happened to live a long time ago and who happened to have walked in the path of a camera.
Just another bit of historical ephemera.
So, you know. Happy 2011.