Friday, April 13, 2012

Mommy Memory Deficit

The other day Rita over at Surrender, Dorothy was talking about the fact that she is terrible at remembering names. I can totally relate to this because I, too, have a horrible memory--for most things, actually, but especially names (and sometimes even faces!) of people I've met once or twice but don't know well. Actually, I can meet someone more than once or twice and, if I don't see them often or hang out with them on a regular basis, I can still forget their names and sometimes their faces. I know, it's awful.

It especially happens at school. We live in a small town, and there's tons of overlap: half of my husband's colleagues at the college have kids that go to the same school our daughters do; the Spanish teacher grew up in my hometown and knows some of the same native-northerners in town that I do; my sports medicine doctor's older daughters are playmates with our next-door neighbor, who happens to be one of my daughters' best friends. And on and on and on. There are all these times when I see acquaintances from one area of my life at a different venue, which throws my brain for a loop.

I'm always getting into situations at the school where it's fairly obvious that I should know someone but I'm at a loss. It's worst at all-school events like the annual arts and literacy festival that took place last night, when the hallways are literally jam-packed and everyone's snaking by everyone else and it's just constant "hello"s and "oh, hi"s and "hey, how are you?"s.

I can't tell you how many times someone looked me right in the face, smiled a meaningful smile, and said a sincere hello to me like they knew me. Usually it's the dads. Last night at every crowded classroom some dad I faintly recognized or didn't recognize at all greeted me with intention, and I was all like, "....Hhhhhhiiiii!" while I hurried past with a daughter in each hand, hoping they didn't notice the blank smile on my face. Ay yi yi.

Don't be offended, local dads. It's not you; it's me. I have no excuse. I'm not even night-nursing anymore so I can't use extreme sleep deprivation as the explanation for my sieve-like brain. Next time you see me, feel free to start with, "You probably don't remember me, but..." I promise I'll stop, smile, and be glad you (and I) did.


Katy Read said...

I know that experience. So mortifying! I did that once with a dad who, with his wife,had had me over for dinner. He looked familiar, called me by name, mentioned my kids by name. I was friendly back, but just drew a blank. When I figured it out later, I vowed to pretend that I needed a new glasses prescription, but of course it never came up in conversation.

Heidi Mann said...

I could say it runs in the family, but then, at least I have that poor-eyesight excuse! LOL