I must confess: my guilty-pleasure show is Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. I have liked that show since its inception, and unfortunately, since I no longer have cable television, I have to wait for new seasons to be released on Netflix before I can indulge. On the plus side, it also means I can sit for hours watching the entire season in the course of a few days, housework be damned. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the latest season, #4, was released this week for my watch-instantly viewing pleasure.
Before I continue, first a little background for those who might be unfamiliar with the show: Fred and Stacy are two loveable characters who were in a relationship together. Fred was the heroine’s guardian angel, and Stacy is her best friend. At the beginning of Season 4, we find out that through a series of unfortunate events, Fred tells Stacy that he’s an angel and must now go back to Heaven.
Now, back to what I was wanting to say: While Stacy is heartbroken over Fred leaving, he tells her that she will forget ever knowing him. It has to be that way because no one can know he’s an angel. In fact, everyone but the heroine forgets Fred ever existed.
While I was watching this, I couldn’t help but wonder if that option had been given to me if I would’ve taken it. What if, when we break up with someone, we had the capability to forget they ever existed? To be honest, when my ex-husband and I had first separated, I definitely wished I could forget. The emotional anguish was so intense that I had wished for anything to take it away.
As I was pondering the ramifications of forgetting one’s romantic past, I realized something: forgetting not only would relieve the pain I was feeling, but it also would mean that all the lessons I had learned during that relationship and break-up would be lost. Lessons I’d learned about myself and how I react to various stimuli; lessons about healthy/unhealthy relationship conduct; lessons about cohabitation and compromise; they all would’ve vanished along with the pain.
If forgetting was an actual possibility, humans would forever be in a loop of bad decisions/bad relationships/forgetting everything. How we grow, how we move on in life, is because we take what has happened in the past and we learn from it.
I’m glad, now, that I wasn’t able to make that 25 year-old new mom forget all about the man who broke her heart. What I have learned from it and life is far too valuable to me now.