“I might have told you this before…”
I say that quite often. Or something similar. Usually I’m about to tell a story. A story that makes a point, or enhances a previously made point. Or maybe it’s a story to support or refute the point you just made.
I know the story. I’ve said it before. I just can’t recall whether I told you. Or someone else. Or if it’s just a story I tell myself. One of those ‘in head practice’ stories. Or, one of those conversations where only I’m present. Me talking to me.
Usually I go ahead anyway. Mostly people are polite. Sometimes they say, “I know, you’ve said before.”
I’ve been on the receiving end too. Someone tells me a story. One they’ve told me before. Maybe twice before. Or five times. They tell it with gusto. Like it’s new. Sometimes the context is different. Mostly it’s not.
It’s as if we like our stories. Like a good book, we’re happy to read them several times. The story is what matters. The person we’re telling, not so much. The context and relevance, not so much. If those things mattered equally, we might remember. But no. The story comes out again. The story is what matters. It’s as if actually we’re telling ourselves. We telling and listening. The other person is incidental in this transaction.
What about our life story? Is that a story we tell ourselves? Over and over? Is that a story we share with others? Over and over?
Is that a good book?