Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Blame My Advancing Age

Once I had a 4.2 GPA. I was involved in all kinds of clubs and organizations and although I would have described myself as "a little shy," everyone knew me. Understand, that I don't say this in a bragging way. A few people "knew" me as that girl who dated the heroin addict and then got pregnant. (Note: None of that happened.) Some people knew me as the girl who drove a Bick. This is true. The "u" fell off the car. But most people had some inkling of who I was.

Then I went to college. And well, the college I went to was roughly half the size of my high school, so I can say pretty strongly that a lot of people knew me and I knew a lot of people. The alumni magazine is (I kid you not) my most interesting piece of mail.

Then I changed colleges and became a hermit. It's okay, because I still had classes with people and was still an insufferable know-it-all, so more people knew me.

Then I went to work for a large, local volunteer driven non-profit. I was in charge of the huge, relatively famous fundraiser. Lots and lots of people knew me.

But the thing is that I don't have the memory God gave a gnat. It's hereditary mostly. My whole family does that Da-Duw-Ca-Ma-Jessi thing. My mom and I had a conversation this weekend where she asked me if this actress was Maureen O'Hara. I kept saying that I didn't know and she kept incredulously asking, "What do you mean, you don't know if that's Maureen O'Hara?" Finally, at my wits end, I reminded her that the movie in question came out when I was negative 20 and I didn't know Maureen O'Hara from a hole in the wall. See, she thought that she had conversed with me about Maureen O'Hara recently. I don't know if she ever figured out who was on the other end of that chat.

So, here are the facts:

  • People know me
  • I don't remember people
  • I try to be kind and never-ever a bitch
This means that people wave or smile or tip their hats or slap my face with a glove all the time. All. The. Time. (Except for the hats and gloves.) And I may have a vague feeling of "Hey, I think I know that guy. We went to high school together. Maybe. I think he had a black backpack. Or a black truck." (Note: that describes roughly one half of my senior class.) But I never remember anything really pertinent. Like names. 

This weekend, while on a quest for cheesecake with Morgan, we saw a young girl. She was about Morgan's age and dressed very fashionably. Cute, fresh-faced. Young is what I'm getting at here. Young.

She waved. 

I waved. 

I realized that Morgan had just waved.

I realized that obviously, she was waving at Morgan. 

I spent fifteen minutes explaining to Morgan how I always just wave back because I'm a horrible person who probably has forgotten you already, but I try, I swear. I mean, I work really hard at it, because I like people, so long as they are not all in a crowd and I don't ever want to hurt anyone's feelings and I feel like such a jerk waving to people I don't really know, but I would feel like a much bigger jerk if I didn't wave to people I know. It's really a problem and what was your name again?

It's funny, sometimes I feel much younger than I am. Sort of invincible, like when you're seventeen and you're convinced you can do anything. Then something like this happens and I realize that I'm 34 going on 75. At least I've got a good start on my dementia.

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