My memory has never been very good. Let me restate: my memory of names of things and numbers has never been very good. In sixth grade history, I failed the test on states and capitols. Just couldn’t make myself remember.
I can remember details about situations and conversations from thirty years ago down to the shoes on my feet, but I can’t remember my neighbor’s names to save my life. Or the names of places. Or any sequence of numbers. Even my past house numbers. I live in fear of having to fill out some sort of form that requires me to list my addresses for the past 10 years. Even though I’ve only lived in two places.
Lately, this affliction seems to have worsened. It used to be that the name/number/whatever would come to me within a few minutes. Now it’s just lost in the neurons. I might be able to recall it a few weeks later in different circumstances. I don’t know if this is something I should be really worried about or if this is just the way my brain works, as if it has decided that these things aren’t worth the effort of remembering and so it just stopped trying.
It isn’t that my neighbors aren’t important to me. They are. I want to remember their names. I want to be able to say, “Hi, Pat! How is Trevor doing at the University of Pennsylvania”? Instead I say, “Hi! How is your son doing at school”? I can remember what her son’s interests and hobbies are, what he is studying, how many roommates he has, etc. But the NAMES of things are just gone.
Sometimes I actually catch myself glossing over names when they are presented to me. And I give my brain a shake and tell it to pay attention. And then I realize that I missed the names of the people I’ve just been introduced to because of the mental tongue lashing I was just giving myself. Fortunately, my life partner has a fantastic memory for these important details. As long as he is standing next to me, I’m golden.
I wonder if that brain game would help with this. If only I could remember the name of that brain game . . . .