Tag Archives: memory

I know this game!

1 Sep

Memory Game

“The first part of your memory to go,” my mom says, looking over the mug of her coffee one morning while I’m home in Michigan for a few days, “is the part in charge of names.”

She’s telling me this shortly after I witnessed my parents playing a game I’ve mentally dubbed “What Is His Name?”, during which they throw each other prompts to try to come up with the name of someone critical to a story one of them wants to tell.

Sometimes the game can be more like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” where they arrive at the person’s name by tracking back through kinfolk, neighbors, teachers and friends. “Remember that kid? He was in Sandy’s class in sixth grade… his mother was married to the brother of the owner of the Independent Dairy… they lived in the house that the Webbers now live in… and you’d see him out every morning walking his dog. What was his name?”

This morning though, it’s a more entertaining version of the game because it takes me to a place where my imagination is fully engaged:

“You remember – what was her name?” my dad began.

“They lived over on Anderson Street,” he continued.

“Oh, I can picture her,” my mom said, nodding like a psychic confirming her hunch.

“She’s the girl I squirted in the mouth with toad juice,” he added.

BOOM. Microphone drop. How often has THAT surfaced as memory-jogging detail in one of YOUR stories? I’m going to guess NEVER. And think of all the possibilities that it evokes. How do you squirt toad juice on someone? What scenario even makes this possible? Was it deliberate or an accident? What IS toad juice?

Regardless, while the part of the brain that’s in charge of names might be off on vacation, clearly the rest of it – responsible for managing all the other details accumulated over a lifetime – is ticking along just fine. If it were me, I’d just make up nicknames on the fly and rename people as I told stories. In this example, the protagonist would’ve been Toad Mouth out of the gate.

Speaking of, I better run. Gotta go see Tea Girl before I greet Eager Early Coworker at my office.

 

Your brain has more plaque than my teeth?

21 Feb

Image Source: http://cdn.themetapicture.com/media/funny-dentist-plastic-teeth.jpg

I went to the dentist last week. I’ve written about it before – many times, in fact.

My dentist has the top qualification in my book: small hands.

When you’ve had as many fillings (and are facing as many crowns) as I have, then small hands win any game of dentistry rochambeau.

Dream Dentist.

Dream Dentist.

So that’s what he has going FOR him. Glad he has that.

Because what he does NOT have is a MEMORY. That, or he just doesn’t give a shit about the details.

I say that because he never seems to remember who I am. Or rather, he THINKS I’m someone I’m not.

During a past visit he asked how “the girls” were doing, which made me want to grab my breasts, shake them vigorously, and say, “Hanging in there!”

“Bet you’re spending a lot of time shuttling everyone to sports,” he had continued.

Mmmm… NO. But because I wasn’t feeling confrontational (and because his little hands were in my mouth) I simply nodded. So maybe I’m partially to blame, for never setting him straight?

In any case, this last time he went for a more generic approach. “How’s the family?”

I think it still threw him for a loop, however, when I said, “Really good. I just saw them in December.”

His eyes looked a bit crazy for a minute and I could tell he was wondering if I’d left my husband or if my family had packed up and moved cross-country. I just smiled up at him from the chair, glad that he was wincing as much as I was for once as he jammed the pick to check for gum disease.

He decided to recover by changing his approach. “You’re dressed more casually than usual today,” he remarked.

I rolled my eyes down to check my outfit, which was pretty much what I’ve worn to work every day for as long as I’ve been visiting his practice. It made me wonder if my dentistry doppelgänger (who – assuming she exists – is clearly raising girls and shuttling them around to sports like a beast) also has a fancy job that requires suits.

Again, I just nodded. Let him believe that jeans and a sweater are step-down from my regular fashion.

As we wrapped up our appointment, I decided to play his game with him. The last time I saw him, he’d thrown his back out to such an extent he needed surgery. As I left the room, I said, “By the way – how are your hips?”

CHEW ON THAT.