I have an excellent memory. Really—in that it’s so good that sometimes it’s almost creepy.
Here’s an example for you: I’ll hear a song on the radio or while my husband and I are out. Here’s what comes next, I say something like, “I remember this song! It was out the first year we were dating, and we heard it the night we had a date at the Rusty Scupper. We went out and walked around the Inner Harbor, and we sat on a bench to talk. I wore that black and white dress I loved. It said it was ‘dry clean’ only, but friends swore I could hand wash it. When I did, I ruined it…”
My husband looks at me and says, “We ate at the Rusty Scupper?”
This talent I have—I say it’s both a gift and a curse—often benefits my friends. If we go out to eat at a restaurant we’ve been to before, many times, one will ask me, “Do you know what I had here the last time? Did I like it?” They’ll all ask, “Is this the place with the good sweet potato fries?” “Yeah,” I may respond, “but I don’t like their sweet tea. You did, though.”
Over the years, my husband has quipped, “If there were ever a Jeopardy Tournament for the stuff that no one else remembers or cares about, you would be the all-time champion!”
Yes, I probably would.
There’s been something, though, happening to me more recently that has me wondering what the heck is going on: I walk into a room in my home and have no idea why I’m there.
Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t dementia. That much I know. It’s more of a “I have to go upstairs to get something from the spare room” kind of situation. But by the time I get up to the room, I have no idea what I came up for.
It must have been important. Why? Because I was so ardent about going up there to get it.
I know what room it was in because I was standing in it then, just looking around.
Like I told you already—I have a great memory. But from time to time, I catch myself in a room or looking through my file cabinet or opening the pantry, and I have no clue why.
I’ve asked my friends about it, and they are going through it too. That made me feel better, until I begin to think it about it too much.
“We’re all around the same age,” I think to myself. “So does this mean that we’re just all losing our minds at the same time?”
“We’ve hung around together for years. Does this mean that we were all exposed to some horrible toxin that is screwing up our heads?”
“Were we unknowingly captured by aliens, and now we’re the Pod People from ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers?’”
Yeah, sometimes I think too much.
I decided to do what my husband implores me to avoid—I thought I’d look it up on the internet.
After I stopped having a near nervous breakdown at all the possible things it could be (Have a slight headache? According to the Internet, it’s a brain tumor!!!), I read that stress can cause it.
You know, as stress can cause anything from dry skin to sneezing nowadays.
But I digress…
I learned that people who are really busy often have so many thoughts going through their heads that by the time they get to the room they were going to in order to find something, they’ve thought about so many other things, they forget that initial thought.
So, basically, I think too much. I can live with that.
It was still worrying me, though. Until a friend asked me a question.
“I recognize this actor, but I can’t pinpoint him.”
“Oh, he was in that movie ‘Dave’ with Kevin Kline. He was also in a lot of political and spy-type stuff like…”
“There was a movie called ‘Dave’?” my friend asked.
I’m just fine.
Michele Wojciechowski, when she’s not telling her husband and friends about events they can’t remember happened, writes “Wojo’s World®” from her home office.
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