I have the strangest selective memory of anyone I know. It usually plays back as smoothly as a good LP (kids, look that up). I have a few minor pops and crackles, but it’s generally fine.
And then suddenly my needle skips a track.
I can effortlessly spout off all my credit card numbers with expiry dates and PINs. I even remember my very first Mastercard number from nearly 30 years ago. If you’re interested in the value of pi to 9 digits accuracy or the torque spec for my lug nuts or my grandparents’ phone number from the late 1960s, they’re instantly retrievable. I also know all my business and personal bank account numbers, PINs and access codes… except one.
For reasons known only to my brain, that one bank account number won’t stick. Usually I can look at a number a few times and it’s effortlessly stored, but no matter how many times I try to memorize that one, it just won’t stay with me.
I take a pill for acid reflux every night. Literally within minutes of swallowing it, I forget I’ve taken it. So I’ve developed a system. I take the pill, and then I eat a cracker. I can never remember taking the pill, but I always remember eating the cracker. Don’t ask me why it works, but it does. I’m afraid to question it.
And then there are the not-so-shared memories. One of my siblings will begin, “Do you remember when…”
I don’t. Ever.
And it’s not just obscure reminiscences. A few years ago, the conversation turned to grade school, and somebody (I can’t remember who, go figure) asked me, “Do you remember when you beat up (name redacted to protect the guilty)?”
The guy in question was four years older and twice my size, and apparently I got in trouble. You’d think something like that would’ve stuck in my mind, but I have absolutely no recollection of it (though I’ll proudly claim the victory just on general principles).
My dad once said, “While everybody else is still thinking about it, Diane’s already got it done.” I took it as a compliment, but the truth is I’m not exceptionally industrious or dedicated. I get things done simply because if I don’t do them as soon as they’re mentioned, I’ll forget about them completely.
I generally retain names with no trouble, but every now and then one vanishes, never to return. I remember that my orthopedic surgeon’s first name is Kevin, even though I have never addressed him as Kevin or heard anyone else call him Kevin. I saw it once on his office door, and I’ll know it forever more. His last name escapes me despite the fact that I’ve referenced it repeatedly on various medical records for years. I know it’s a common name that starts with ‘H’. Every time I look it up, I think, “Aha. Now I’ll remember it!”
Back in my interior design days, I once swore I’d never visited a building. The drawing notations indicated I’d done the site measurement, but I was positive I’d never been there. Until I stood in the lobby and went, “Oh. Yeah…”
It’s a good thing I like surprises because with a memory like mine, I get lots of them.
Anybody else have a wonky memory?