I know the lyrics to every pop song I have ever heard. I can recall every actor who has played the love interest to Julia Roberts. I can list all of the Harry Potter characters AND spell their names correctly.
So why can’t I remember the password to my Netflix account? Or where I put the barbeque lighter? Or whether or not I actually bought a barbeque lighter the last time I went to Canadian Tire?
I would like to blame my quirky memory on aging, or stress, or multi-tasking. But truthfully, I was like this when I was young and stress-free and multi-tasking wasn’t even a thing. My mind is a cornucopia of trivia; overflowing with 1980s television plotlines and stuff I learned in school but was never asked on a test. Like how to spell Bjarni Herjólfsson. He was a Norse explorer and I memorized his name for a grade 7 history test, but the teacher only asked us about Leif Erikson so poor Bjarni got left to rattle around in my brain for an eternity.
I envision a sort of attic inside of my head; a dusty storage space where things that probably should have been thrown out have somehow wound up saved, sometimes for sentimental reasons, but more often out of laziness. I put things like old Bjarni up there and then other stuff gets piled on top and it all just stacks up.
The good news is that I am very useful to friends who need help remembering which one of the Starbucks’ mocha crappa frappa concoctions they ordered last time and didn’t like… or the name of the plant they bought last summer that is now taking over their backyard… or which actor played the doomed boyfriend in the forgettable Julia Robert’s movie, Dying Young (Campbell Scott).
The bad news is that I often spend more time looking for my car keys than it would take to walk to where I am going. And when I try to come home, I may spend an equal amount of time trying to recall where I parked the car.
I make grocery lists then forget them on the kitchen counter. Better safe than sorry, I end up buying butter and coffee almost every time I go to the grocery store, so the door of my refrigerator is full of butter bricks and my spice rack is stuffed with bags of medium roast.
I am also constantly embarrassed by my inability to remember people I have met in work settings. Although to give myself some excuse, the corporate world has a lot of middle-aged white men of average height and average weight, and an inordinate number of them are named Mike or Bruce. Just sayin’.
I suspect that I sometimes forget to remember new things because I am so busy remembering old things.
The space in my brain attic where I should be putting something useful (like where I parked the car) is already filled with something not useful (like a collection of dirty limericks or the lyrics to all of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits). So I forget to remember that I am on P2 because I am busily humming Do You Think I’m Sexy.
See the problem?!? I think it’s something I am going to have to accept about myself. I am the woman who calls her kids by the dog’s name and occasionally mails envelops without stamps. On the other hand… I kick ass at Trivial Pursuit!