I remember It Well
By Jeff Salter
We’re actually blogging about things for which we constantly need reminding… but – as usual – I’ll ease my way into that topic (after I stroll around the block first).
Used to be, I had a terrific memory. Up until I was about 40, I could remember all manner of things… going all the way back to scenes and experiences in Chicago, where we lived from about 1951-54. Back then, in my 30s, I still had vivid memories of the family trips we took, the neighborhood hi-jinks I was involved in, scenes and experiences in my kindergarten year, and details about my classmates and teachers and activities in Elementary School.
At one of my high school reunions, I encountered a classmate named Edgar. When I reminded him that he was in every one of my homerooms – except for the year I was in Iowa – he gave me a blank look. [I guess I made less of an impression on him than he did upon me — he had red hair.] I no longer remember Edgar in all those classes — I only recall that I remembered AT ONE TIME that Edgar had been in all those classes. And that’s a key to the memory / dis-memory dilemma: do I remember things still from when I actually experienced them? Or do I simply remember that – while I DID still remember them – I took the time to write them down?
Though I do not care for this movie in any other respect, I love this little duet in “Gigi” — in which Hermione Gingold and Maurice Chevalier each remember (quite differently) their first date. Funny thing about this song: the audience is led to believe that Maurice MIS-remembers… while Hermione supposedly recalls everything perfectly. But what if Hermione’s recollection is the faulty one and Maurice is merely being a gentleman by not correcting her? Ha!
Here’s the clip of their brief – quite tender and charming – duet:
Write Down Appointments
I remember vividly the first time it struck me – in my profession (Librarianship) – that I could no longer rely solely upon my memory. I was on one of the many committees – of the Louisiana Library Association – in which I served and we held that meeting in another city. At that meeting, the chair of the committee set up the follow-up meeting in a different city. I made no notes — why would I? About a month later, I was in my office in Shreveport when my phone rang and the committee chair was calling. She wanted to know where I was and would I make it to the meeting.
“What meeting? When?”
“Our meeting. Now!”
Obviously, I didn’t make it. I had completely forgotten! Normally, I would have written it on my desk calendar when I returned to my office after that first meeting… but I forgot. And “forgot” is the operative word. It was quite a shock to realize that I could forget something important like that… something in which other people were counting on me.
On the Topic
Remember that I said I’d return to the actual topic… after our brief stroll around the block? Okay… here I am. The things I need to be reminded about are – so far – relatively few. Nobody needs to remind me to take out the trash or recycling, pay the bills, turn out the lights, lock the doors, etc. Well, except for that time in April when I forgot to pay the mortgage… and except for that time about four years ago when I totally forgot the recycling day.
I do, sometimes – especially when I’m deeply engrossed in drafting – forget to eat, or forget to shower. But, generally, I’m still reasonably contained in my retirement years.
I’ve never been terribly good at remembering names, however. I wish I’d trained myself – from an early age – to memorize names of people I’m introduced to… by associating that name with some aspect of their appearance or apparel. But, alas, I didn’t.
Oh well, I doubt they’ll remember me either!
What about YOU? Do you have a great memory? Or do you need to be reminded to do routine things?
[JLS # 491]