Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I don't remember

"I don't remember"  a prompt from;

I don’t remember what I forget.  I don’t remember being born, or being three.  I frequently don’t remember names.  I never forget a face, that’s the problem:  I know the face but, I don’t remember their name.  It’s “Okay” when it’s an acquaintance or someone from the distant past.  I routinely don’t remember names of my closest friends, acquaintances and co-workers.
The distinction between don't remember and can't remember is blurry, but significant; "I don't remember" implies that I could but I don't for some reason.  "I can't remember" says; I may have known once but now it's gone, irretrievable.  Alzheimer's is, perhaps, an example of the latter, where the former comes about from inattention or lack of practice or timely review.
In my  example of forgetting names;  my wife takes umbrage when I refer to wait staff by cutesy colloquialisms such as hon, babe, dude, bud etc.  Ma'am or sir is acceptable but still imparts to the waiter/waitress the fact that you don't remember their name, and they usually introduce themselves when they first approach your table.  Now I always make a point of asking the server their name early on if I didn't catch it when first offered.  From that point on I always thank them by name and that satisfies every party and there is a good chance I'll remember their name the next time we go to that eatery.
The other day, I was at the gas pump with a women of my acquaintance of some forty plus years.  We have daughters who were good school chums and graduated together.  My wife and I often socialized at various gatherings with she and her husband.  She recently retired from a place of business that we frequent on a regular basis.  She used my name numerous times in the course of our conversation and at our leave-taking.  Try as I might, her name failed to enter my consciousness.  Three hours later her name flashed in my mind.


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