Today I'm offering a post first seen here at Writing in the Buff several years ago. Since every word is still painfully true, I feel no compunction about the re-post. Here's what prompted it.
For my daughter's recent birthday I had the bright idea to gift her with a 2-photo frame that would display a picture of her and her two siblings when they were little, and a second photo of the three of them taken recently. I knew exactly the photo I wanted to use from when they were little, and spent better than an hour hunting it down, to no avail. I looked behind other framed photos; I went through every loose photo--literally hundreds--in storage. I corralled my husband and older daughter to help me. After all this time and energy, my brain decided to give me a break and realization struck. The elusive photo was on my desk at work, in a lovely frame, where I've been enjoying it daily for almost five years. Oy.
It isn't a lie to say I scare myself sometimes.
Anyway, as this is still a very pertinent topic for me--and showing no signs of improvement--I offer the following re-post from February 2010 originally titled, "Dazed and Confused."
Memory is a remarkable thing. One minute you have it and the next—poof!—it runs off to play hide and seek. As you might guess, I have a theory about this. We’ll call it “Biology by Lisa” because that sounds trendier and more scientific than “The Old Bagger is At It Again”.
See, when we are youngsters, the gray cells aren’t really gray. In "Lisa's World” gray cells are more along the lines of bunny-nose-pink or robin’s egg blue. Something cheery. As we age, the cells morph to gray, and everyone knows that gray denotes old which equals things like skin tabs, stray chin hairs, and the dreaded Memory Vortex. I know old can equal happy things, too, but I forget what those are right now.
The Memory Vortex is familiar to everyone over the age of forty. It is that whirling mass of nebulous energy that draws into its center every bit of important information you swore you would never forget. C’mon, admit it. You have a Memory Vortex all your own. I’m so familiar with mine I named it Manny. Manny is the black hole in my gray cells that sucks in pertinent information and spits out trivia. How is it I can recall all of the words to Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” yet forget, for two weeks straight, to return my library books?
Manny is a twisted, Machiavellian, gray cell creation.
When my brain cells were bunny-nose-pink they had terrific recall. My memory was so keen edged my husband quaked in fear whenever I said anything that resembled, “I remember when. . .” He called me “his little elephant” which, now that I think about it, is not quite the compliment I supposed it to be. He needn’t fear, however; by the time I post this Manny will have sucked the whole memory into his belly and spit out something I didn’t know I knew.
Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” played on the radio the other day. Why do I remember that Warren Beatty was first offered the part of Hubbell Gardner in the movie which was eventually played by Robert Redford, and that when Redford vacillated about it Ryan O’Neal was considered as an alternative? Why? Why do I have this stuff stuck in my brain? I don’t care about Hubbell Gardner. I want to remember to mail birthday cards on time and how to do algebra.
There should be a way to dye brain cells from gray back to Easter egg pastels. If I ever figure out how, I’ll let you know.
Aw, who am I kidding? Even if I do noodle it out, before I can share the revelation Manny will suck it up and spit out the lyrics to Led Zepplin’s “Dazed and Confused”. He’s got a real sense of humor, that Manny.
Til next time –