Dates are the bane of a memory challenged, vocabulary strong brain. Dates, as points in time, that is. Not the fruit.
Let’s set aside the academic requirements that I didn’t exactly excel at remembering. (To this day, if a kid asks me when WWII started or what year we landed on the moon, well…google is typically involved in providing an actual date.) All the history classes that required memorizing conflicts, the development of civilization, important dates in government, and more…those things weren’t anywhere near my wheelhouse. As a matter of fact, I’m constantly amazed I managed to jump those hurdles at all since I seem to have retained next to none of the knowledge.
The dates I need to have on recall as just your ordinary, every day person is all I need to trip me up.
It started out simple – everyone’s first task is to learn their birthday. When you’re really smart you even remember the year you were born…so that’s one date (8 numbers) right there. Have a best friend? There’s another birthday to tuck away. More than one? Keep storing those dates in your brain, but don’t forget your family. You should remember their birthdays (and sometimes anniversaries), too – for me that meant four birthdays and an anniversary (and BINGO, we’ve got 40 numbers).
Later on I met BrightSide and added his date of birth to my mental rolodex. The best I could do for our “dating” anniversary is a month and year (how people remember when they had their first date, first kiss, proposal, plus wedding anniversary is beyond me) but I have our wedding anniversary down cold. There’s 16 numbers there. But now his family is my family, so add on four birthdays and two anniversaries (woo hoo, 48!) for the memory banks.
Then there are the super fun grown-up dates you’re expected to remember. When did you graduate? Begin working? Move out of town? Move back to town? Move to your new neighborhood? When I filled out the paperwork for my first background check and it wanted the dates and addresses for my last four residences (along with every state I’d ever lived in) my brain almost imploded. Who can recite all those numbers?!
Girl dates are even more fun. We show up to the lady doctor and suddenly we’re supposed to remember everything from the date of our last mammogram to the date of our first period to the date of our last period. What?! I can barely remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. For real, folks, I’m just gonna make some stuff up at this point.
But I don’t think I truly gave up the ghost on remembering dates until the kids came along. It’s like my brain was an enormous rubber band that had been stretched to its absolute limits and snapped back suddenly, refusing to reliably retain any more numbers. It was done. Which was how my contacts app became so important; it was easier to seem like I had a handle on things with everyone’s data in one place. I mean, it’s just a little embarrassing when the pediatrician’s office asks for your son’s date of birth and you pause.
Ask me what an obscure word from your novel means and it’s likely I can give you a decent definition based on context. But ask me about a date? Well, that one’s more like fifty-fifty.
I love participating in Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. She drops a prompt and then lots of us (metaphorically) scribble our random thoughts. This week’s post was courtesy of the prompt “date.”