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janbb's avatar

What one day in your own life would you relive if you had the chance?

Asked by janbb (60255points) October 25th, 2020

I’m thinking of the play “Our Town” where Emily is told she can go back from the dead and revisit a day in her life. She wants to choose (or chooses?) her 12th birthday but is told that might be too painful, that she should pick an ordinary day.

If you could go back just for one day to revisit it, which day would you choose?

I’ll hold my idea until later.

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20 Answers

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Well, great question but a tough one as well. I’ve had many great days, a few crappy one as well. May have to think this over and come back to it. : )

janbb's avatar

@Nomore_lockout That’s fine, I’m here all day. :-)

longgone's avatar

I would pick the day I got my first puppy. I was 13. It was absolutely magical to be entrusted with a living little dog. She was adorable, of course, and we were inseparable from that day on. I don’t remember ever feeling prouder, or more excited.

canidmajor's avatar

There is a very mundane day I remember from when I was about 8. My cousins (whom I adored) were living in an apartment while their house was being renovated. The complex had a pool, and we spent the day, swimming and goofing and watching fun TV and hanging out. It was a simple day, but I draw on that memory for a joy fix, from time to time.

The apartment complex is still there, on the far side of the Tappan Zee bridge, and I still get a joy rush whenever I cross the bridge.

cookieman's avatar

The day we were handed my daughter.

Zaku's avatar

Ah, from the title of the question, I thought I was going to be able to live forward from that point, having acted differently. I’ve got several answers for that, mostly a bit private.

Just for that day itself, er, there are also so many good days and stages of life to choose from. Do we have to just experience what we did and talked about that day like a recording? Or can we have new conversations? If it’s a recording, can we re-experience the wonder of things we were just discovering, but now know all about and are no longer as exciting?

Probably one of my younger Christmases with extended family present (and no Christian religious nonsense)... or a vacation day in Europe… or a day spent mostly making love… or watching whales leap from the ocean… or certain birthday parties, or days spent playing… or days where I had kittens..

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filmfann's avatar

Would we just be revisiting the day as it occurred, or could we change our actions, which might change all the days after?
My favorite day to simply revisit might be a couple Christmas’ ago. A really good day, without any bad moments.
A day I could change? Maybe the day my father died. Getting him to the hospital before his heart attack.

janbb's avatar

@filmfann I’m thinking not change the outcome or conversations. If I remember Our Town Emily was an observer of the action, not really present and was frustrated that nobody was slowing down to appreciate the dailiness. (I have to go back and reread that part.) And as to the question of you there knowing what you know now, I haven’t fully made up my mind on that so I’m happy with either take.

For me, it would probably be one of the days we were in a cabin for a vacation at Stokes State Forest when my boys were about 7 and 10. Maybe one of the October weekends we were there with the leaves turning, bike rides and hiking, and returning to a cabin to light a fire and toast marshmallows. I really loved being with my kids and my husband on those days and the coziness of the cabin.

I wonder if my feelings would be different if I were looking back from now when that family has all but fallen apart or if experiencing as it was would add new poignancy to the now?

janbb's avatar

Here’s some of the relevant passage:

But I won’t live over a sad day.
I’ll choose a happy
one I’ll choose
the day I first knew that I loved George. Why should that be
THEY are silent. Her question
turns to the stage manager.
You not only live it; but you
watch yourself living
And as you watch it, you
see the thing
that they down there
never know. You see die future. You know what’s going
to happen
But is that painful? Why?”

And then a bit later when she’s in her mother’s kitchen:

“Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw
me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally’s dead, too.
Mama, his appendix
burst on a camping trip to North Conway.
We felt just terrible about it don’t you
remember? But, just for
a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for a moment we’re
happy. Let’s look at one another.”

It’s a very sad and beautiful play even though a bit dated in some ways.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would like to relive the last hug that I had with my friend in university. Summer 2000. She also bought me a burger from A&W.

Jeruba's avatar

I suppose I would pick an ordinary random undistinguished summer day from when I was 11 or 12. It was a short walk from our house to the beach on Quincy Bay, and my friends and I would go swimming and sunbathing just about every day except Sunday. (On Sunday we cleaned up and dressed up and went to church. No swimming on Sunday.)

If we collected enough Coke bottles, return value 2 cents each, we would haul them to the Howard Johnson’s there on the beach boulevard and trade them for an ice cream cone. We’d go head first into trash barrels for those. An ordinary cone cost 10 cents, but at HoJo’s they went for 15. They were worth it.

This time, though, I would pay attention, knowing as I do now that nothing gold can stay.

Jeruba's avatar

While I’m at it, I’ll pick a day after my annual sunburn has already peeled, one with a high tide around 3:00 p.m. and with no thundershowers before evening.

And after Vacation Bible School is over.

jca2's avatar

Sometimes I’ll think about being back at a certain point in time, a time I remember with fondness. Usually these memories have mundane things going on – being in my grandparents’ house, an old Victorian on the Hudson, and just doing what an 8 year old would do in a house full of old stuff. Maybe being with a boyfriend, hanging out in a park, just killing time. Maybe taking a walk through the redwood forest outside of San Francisco with my mom when I was 9.

Then I also think, to answer this question accurately, the way I am guessing the OP is asking, if I could relive a day and do something differently? I can think of a few. I do think that fate has taken me on a path and I’m probably where I’m supposed to be at this point.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 No – I stated in a further post, it did not mean doing something differently. That’s a different question and would be about regrets. This is just a happy remembering thread.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb Thinking about all this has inspired me to write to my aunt (who is 91 and is recovering from a minor stroke) and tell her that this is an oft drawn-upon-for-joy memory. I am hoping she will smile.

Zaku's avatar

@janbb You might be interested to know that there is an entire guru tradition which posits that time is an illusion, and that our attention goes to experiences of times/situations that are interesting to us and that our soul has work to do on.

janbb's avatar

@Zaku Happens to me all the time. You should see what goes on in my dreams! Half my life is lived in the past.

kritiper's avatar

The day this beautiful 12 year old girl ran to me and gave me a hug.

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