Ever meet someone in the store, they remember you, and you don't remember them?
You carry on a conversation like you remember them, hoping all the time they will either say their name or mention how you know them. Happens to me more often than I care to admit.
I was reminded of these embarrassing moments when I received the poem "Forgetter Be Forgotten?" in an email. It reads:
"My forgetter's getting better, but my rememberer is broke; To you that may seem funny, but, to me, that is no joke!
"For when I'm 'here' I'm wondering, if I really should be 'there,' and, when I try to think it through, I haven't got a prayer!
"Oft times I walk into a room, say 'What am I here for?' I wrack my brain, but all in vain, a zero, is my score.
"At times I put something away, where it is safe, but, gee, the person it is safest from, generally is me!
"When shopping I may see someone, say 'Hi' and have a chat, then, when the person walks away I ask myself, 'Who the heck was that?
"Yes, my forgetter's getting better, while my rememberer is broke, and it's driving me plumb crazy, and that isn't any joke!"
All kidding aside, memory loss can be a real concern. I'd like to think that because we live in such an information-filled age that our brains just filter what we need to remember.
That doesn't prove out, though, if you think about our great-grandparents' generation, born in the late 1800s before tons of technology existed. I had a great-great-uncle, Willie, who didn't talk much, so I always figured he was strange. Looks different now that I'm 64.
It's not only names. I can't count how many times I walk into a room, forget what I went there for. The only way to remember is for me to walk back into the room I was in before I thought about what I wanted in another room. Make sense?
My husband, Toby, told me he met a man in the store a while ago, greeted him heartily with "Hi, George! How are you? I haven't seen you in a long time." They went on talking for about 10 minutes, Toby calling him "George" the whole time. Finally the man said, "You know my name's not George. It's Bill!" Toby said he was so shocked and embarrassed.
So if you see Toby or me, and we stop to talk with you, mention your name right away. It will save us both a lot of embarrassment. If you mention this column to me the next time I see you, I hope I remember it.
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.