hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


April 10, 2014

A date that never sticks to memory


“Did you know what day it was yesterday?”

“National Barbershop Singing Day?” I retorted.

“Cupid. Hearts. Love.”

Upstairs I dashed, retrieving the vase I had carefully hidden in the attic.

“Better late than never,” I gushed. “Hey, I had the flowers all along.”

Truth is, if I don’t write it down and stick the note somewhere obvious like a pillow or the toilet seat, I’ll forget. I’ve been known to tie string around my finger and forget why it was there hours later.

My friends offer this advice: Try to remember, especially when it comes to people who owe you money. Life would be more pleasant if we could forget our troubles and remember our blessings.

Perhaps the trouble is this: There are just too many things to recall in the course of a day or a week. I have a friend who has a photographic memory. He remembers everything: Dates, events, historical facts and prominent occasions.

While I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday, he knows what he ate for dinner a week ago. I cannot remember a joke. He knows them all and can bore you to death at a single interval.

He knows the dates of the Magna Carter signing, when the Nuremburg Trials took place and the Battle of the Hastings. For the record, that took place in 1066. I didn’t look that up. He told me.

If memory serves me right, and if doesn’t, I can no longer recall the ages of my six grandchildren, much less my own kids. I cannot remember what grade they attend in school. Sometimes, and this is bad, I address one child by name and it’s someone else’s.

“Of course I know who you are,” I tell a granddaughter. “I was just testing you.”

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