I suspect it happened during a game of Spin the Bottle at somebody's bar mitzvah. I'm sure it involved insecurity and mortification on my part. I'm certain it was a boy I kissed. But honestly, that's about all I can report.
My childhood memories are... spotty. I can remember the physical layout of my childhood home in great detail, inside and out. I remember the name I gave a cactus that sat on my bathroom windowsill (Horatio), probably because I labeled it with a machine like the one shown here. I'll never forget the aroma of the disinfectant powder that got sprinkled on kids' vomit at school. I remember my friend Amy's port wine stain birthmark and my friend Stephanie's phone number. I remember a time I saw a huge white rat in our backyard that turned out to be a possum. There are scenarios and personalities and happenings I can pull up, vaguely. But as for recalling exact sequences of events? No way.
So now, when I read (or listen to) memoirs, as I often do, I am just *astonished* by authors' abilities to recall precisely what they lived through. Currently, I'm listening to Small Fry, by Steve Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. She recounts in great detail specific conversations she had, when and where she had them, and what each of the interlocutors was wearing. How? How?
Well, she kept journals, which can certainly help. If you read David Sedaris's Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977–2002, you can see that his meticulous (obsessive?) record-keeping is a big part of his skill as a memoirist and raconteur.
I do have a box of old diaries, so I suppose I might be able to jog my memory and recreate a few series of events. But for now, I'm just going to keep enjoying—and marveling at—other people's stories.
P.S. If you love good memoirs as much as I do, let me know your favorites. Some of mine are The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner, and The World's Strongest Librarian: A Book Lover's Adventures by Josh Hanagarne (about growing up with Tourette Syndrome in a Mormon family). Oh, and of course Educated by Tara Westover is great. And all these memoirs by comedians. And so many more.