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I Had A Great Title, But I Forgot.

I’m at the supermarket, about to pick up a cantaloupe, when a woman I don’t recognize walks directly toward my cart smiling.

“Hey,” she says, calling me by name. “How are you? How’s Howard and the boys?”

I stare a little too deeply into her face. Nothing. No recognition what-so-ever. I stall. “Good. Good. How are you guys doing?”

“Fine.” She goes on, not noticing my plastic smile and discomfort. “Jake is really liking camp.” Jake, I think, my brain fluttering at hummingbird speed to cob-webbed reference pockets for a connection. I wonder if he’s a friend of Tyler, Michael or Julius? Jake? Jake? I come up blank.

“That’s great.” I stall. An awkward silence follows. I focus my attention on squeezing a cantaloupe and gravely consider its worth, like I have a clue what a cantaloupe is supposed to squeeze like. Why doesn’t she just leave? Can’t she see she’s killing me, here?

“Ok, well. It was nice seeing you.” Finally, the torture is ending. “Call me up and we’ll set up a play date.” She sing-songs, then rolls away.

“Absolutely. Sounds good.” Waving her off, I chuck a random cantaloupe in my cart and move on, hoping not to bump into anyone else. Given the size of our town, however, the probability is more likely that I will than won’t. Come to think of it, I actually don’t think I’ve ever gone to the supermarket without seeing someone I know, or at least, someone I am supposed to know.

What is wrong with my brain?

This is a typical, recurring theme for me. I’m somewhere in town and a woman will approach me with a wide smile of recognition on her face. Sometimes I recognize them but can’t place where. Sometimes, I just don’t remember their name, and sometimes, I just have no idea. When we are out, Howard is constantly whispering in my ear, “You know who that is, right?” A good 90% of the time I don’t. The other 10%, he’ll be testing and teasing me. “Come on. Give me a break. I know who our next door neighbor is.”
“Just checking.” He’ll say with a wink. I did forget who his boss was three times already, maybe four.

It’s a running joke, but I worry.  Why can I remember where the mask is to the batman costume we haven’t put on in over a year. Or the grey army man with the black gun. Or the fork with one bent prong. Why do I know where everything is but not who anyone is?

I can’t even say I know who my kids are all the time. “Don’t do that Howard!” I yell. “I mean Julius! Tyler! Crap!” Of course, you know, the kid standing before me is Michael, grinning like cat. Arggh!

When I meet someone now, I consciously try to remember their name. I verbally repeat it, like the memory experts say, knowing full well I sound like an idiot, or an anchorwoman. “Yes, Susan, nice to meet you too. And now, the weather.” We will chat for a few minutes, then Susan departs. “Who was that?” Howard will ask, coming up next to me. “No idea.” I answer, and I really don’t. “Something with an N, maybe?”

Oh, there's the problem.

Why is this picture here again?

So today, I had another one of those moments. I’m at the gym and a blonde woman, who looks familiar but I don’t know where from, corners me on the elliptical machine and starts chatting happily. “So how’s Julius doing? Does he like the camp?” I nod as I always do. She must think I’ve overkilled on Botox, the way my face stiffens up. Finally, when she asks after my mother, I have to interrupt. Who is this chick? “I’m so sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name.”

She gives me an assessing look, but is still smiling when she says, “Of course, I’m terrible with names too. It’s Kate.”

“Of course, Kate. Sorry.” Who?

We chat a little more (Kate apparently is having a great summer and we are so setting up lunch!) and after she leaves, I’m left wondering. Kate? Kate? I keep thinking through the day. Who is Kate?

Later that night, I tell Howard about my experience, and how frustrated I was that I couldn’t place this woman and how uncomfortable that she knew so much about us.

“What was her name again?” He asked, poking his head out from behind his iPad.

I take a moment. I take another. I have no idea.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

14 responses »

  1. Enjoy lunch w Kate!!

    Reply
  2. I can’t imagine. I’m the person on the other side of the conversation who remembers someone my child took a gym class with three years ago and details about their life. I have a good memory when it comes to people (but I can’t always remember the parent’s name). But I often get those blank looks too. I understand. Does that make you feel better? 😉

    Reply
  3. Hysterical!

    Reply
  4. Very cute:)

    Reply
  5. I also consciously try to remember names but always fail. On the other hand, I knew my kid’s classmates’ names after the first day in preschool. Maybe my mind just wants nothing to do with boring grown-ups.

    Reply
  6. Lori whatshername

    This was great as I can totally empathize

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Writing from memory when your memory sucks | Icescreammama

  8. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what
    all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% sure.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Reply

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