Contrary to popular opinion, I have an excellent memory. By “popular opinion” of course I mean my husband’s opinion. For instance, I can remember what I wore on our first date over four years ago. Right down to the underwear. That point may seem trivial, but when you are getting the proper support, it makes a world of difference. But maybe that’s an unfair example. Everyone remembers what undergarments they wore to significant events.
I am a little embarrassed because I’m drawing a blank on other specific examples of my outstanding memory. But in general, I remember everything. Maybe that’s it. It’s not so much the specifics as much as the generalities that I remember. If you were to ask me what date someone’s birthday was and by “someone”, I mean my husband Paul, I would draw a blank. But honestly, that’s why Facebook was invented. If you want people to remember your birthday, you really should invest the time in creating a Facebook page. If you were to ask me what that person’s profile picture looked like, then I would be on my game. Now that I think about it, I guess my memory is more visual, while Paul’s is more a number’s thing.
“When is Zeke’s birthday?” Paul is quizzing me on my nephew’s birthdate.
“Does he have a Facebook page?” I reply.
“No, he’s nine years old. Remember the movie Nine to Five?” Paul says.
“Oh, I loved that movie! Honestly, could Dolly Parton have a smaller waist?”
“Probably not, but concentrate. The hint is Nine to Five. That’s how I remember Zeke’s birthday.” Paul says.
I narrow my eyes and search my brain, but all I can see is Lilly Tomlin as Snow White pouring rat poison into Mr. Hart’s coffee.
“Nine to Five. It’s a movie about working. His mother was in l-a-b-o-r.” Paul says this slowly as if he is speaking to someone whose second language is English.
“Labor day! That’s the day when Zeke was born!” I say triumphantly.
Paul stares at me in disbelief.
“Labor day is a different date every year, Pookie. No, Zeke was born on 9/25.”
“Well, he really should get a Facebook page.” I say defensively.
“OK, now let’s try our other nephew’s birthday.” Paul says. “Adam likes to eat all the time, so that’s your clue.”
This really means nothing to me. I begin to think of times when people eat too much and Thanksgiving comes to mind, but I have already been admonished for picking a date that changes every year. I wonder if this is the year we go to North Carolina for Thanksgiving or do we spend it in Boston? If we are going out of town, we really should begin to think about making airline reservations.
I have let too much time pass before offering an answer. Paul realizes that I have checked out of the conversation.
“Think of places that serve food all of the time.” Paul says and raises his eyebrows like that will help.
Silence and then crickets.
“7-11 serves food all of the time.” Paul answers his own question.
“July 11th. That’s right, I had forgotten.” I say snapping my fingers and shaking my head like it was there all the time.
“Close, but now reverse it. His birthday is November seventh.” Paul says.
I stare at him without blinking. “You have got to be shitting me. That’s how you remember Adam’s birthday? Why not just remember that it is on D-Day, you know the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?” I say incredulously. Honestly his memory patterns are way too complicated.
Paul shakes his head. “D-day is on June 6th and Pearl Harbor Day, which is a separate event altogether, was on December 7th, not November 7th.”
I suppose I am a little rusty on remembering dates. But why should I even bother? Paul has them all memorized. And by “all”, I mean since the beginning of time. Drop a box of toothpicks and he could probably tell you how many have fallen out in two seconds.
Then he picked up the squeegee and started cleaning the shower door.
“Oh Crap! I was going to do that.”
Seriously, I have a great memory. But maybe Paul’s is so much better. Together, we never forget any of the important things. And when I say “we”, well I think you know what I mean.