Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mindless Mind Mash

Where do those good ideas that you get in the middle of the night go when you wake up? The Bag Lady had a new post all planned out, and probably should have hauled herself out of bed and written it down because she can’t remember any of it!

Of course, the Bag Lady is starting to have a few memory issues anyway. Is this related to age? She prefers to think it’s just because she has so many things in her tiny mind that there isn’t room for all the ideas. Of course, that doesn’t really explain why she forgets what she went into the bedroom for…

Have you ever unexpectedly run into an old school-mate or someone you knew long ago and not been able to remember their name? Worse yet, they call you by name and ask after your siblings/parents/spouse by name! It’s embarrassing, to say the least. The Bag Lady has a theory about this. She has occasionally seen someone she went to school with (way back in the last century…) and remembered their name, but usually hasn’t approached them due to her innate shyness. The one time she did approach someone, the person didn’t remember her at all. Nothing. Nada. Talk about embarrassing. That person had made quite an impression on the Bag Lady way back when. Obviously, it wasn’t reciprocal. So when the Bag Lady runs into someone who remembers her and calls her by name, she prefers to think she made a bigger impression on them than they did on her. (Whatever works, right?)

Now there are ways to improve your memory. There are all sorts of little tricks for remembering names by connecting them to something else. Unfortunately, when the Bag Lady was a wee schoolchild, she didn’t know those tricks and didn’t ever imagine she would need them, so they are Absolutely No Good to her now, are they? How was she to know that 30 years after the last time she saw Suzy Green*, she would run into her in the paint section of the hardware store, and, while her mind was totally absorbed in finding the proper wood stain for her new deck, Suzy would appear, calling her by name and asking after each and every one of her siblings, also by name? The Bag Lady was caught totally unawares, and while she did recognize the skinny little kid hiding in this definitely grown-up, slightly chubbier matron, she Could Not Think of her name! She remembered that Suzy had a sister, also nameless at that particular moment. But the Bag Lady was involved in theatre at one point in her varied life, and if nothing else, learned how to act effusive, so managed to successfully bluff her way through the encounter.

Does this happen to you? How do you deal with it? Do you come clean, apologize for your senility and confess you can’t pull their name out of that messy hat you call your memory? Or do you do as the Bag Lady did and bluff your way through?

(*name changed to protect the innocent – well, okay, I still don’t remember WTF it is!)


Leah J. Utas said...

Oh,yeah, Bag lady. This happens a lot. Plenty of people recognize me while I get as far as thinking, "Hmmm I know I've seen you before." Often I will remember all manner of details about said person save for the name.
What I've taken to doing is saying so. "It's good to see you, but I'm so sorry, your name escapes me."
It usually goes over well.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Bag Lady,

This is just a normal part of aging (so the doctors tell me) but I had a perfect memory until about ten years ago and now I find that small and large things escape me all the time. At first I was embarrassed but now I've learned to live with it.

If something does grab me in the middle of the night, I have learned to turn on the light and write it down, otherwise it's a lost idea that never returns.


the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah, I can understand it a little better in you, due to your previous occupation. You must have met a lot of people only once, and while they might remember the reporter who interviewed them, it would be more difficult to remember all those interviewees!

dfTerrie, nice to 'see' you! Glad to hear this is apparently normal. One of these days, maybe I'll REMEMBER to put a pen and pad of paper beside the bed so I can write this stuff down when it comes to me in the middle of the night!!

Hilary said...

I forget what I was going to comment about

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary!! Thought you were gone! Forgot when you said you'd be leaving...or when you'll be back.

Reb said...

Sis, you know it happens to me. You call and say, do you remember so & so? For the life of me, it could be someone that I hung around with in school and I haven't a clue! On the other hand, I could walk past people on the street that I am related too and not see them. I would know them (well, some of them -lol), but, unless they speak to me, nada, nothing, wouldn't see them at all.

Hilary, I have actually done that! Read a post, gone to the comments, read all the others, then had to go back and read the post, 'cause I forgot what it was about!

the Bag Lady said...

Hey, Reb - yes, I know you are worse than I am, partly, I think, because you have lived away from here for a much longer time than I ever did.