My dear friend’s son recently got engaged. She was tasked with finding the right venue for his wedding. One bright summer day a few weeks ago, we set out to visit the sites on her list.
Cruising along on her maternal-happiness jetstream, I offered to connect her with the event planner at a local water-side lodge… a place where my name is somewhat recognized because we frequent it for special events, stunning sun-downers, and not-far-from-home getaways.
I called to make an appointment to see their facilities and check out their wedding program. The event manager perkily picked up the call. That’s when things began to go wobbly.
Her: “Oh, Mrs. S… it’s sooo good to hear from you! It was wonderful having your college-sisters reunion here in March.”
Me: “Riiight! We had a fantastic time. Everyone loved the place. It was perfect. Thanks for your help in planning it.” (I had no clue that I’d met her. No bells ringing in my head when I heard her name).
Her: “So – how can we help you?”
Me: “My friend is helping her son find for the right place for his wedding and reception next summer. We’re in the city this afternoon. Is there any chance we could meet with you… yesterday?”
Her: Loud silence.
Me: Shocked self-awareness. Grimace. Feeling my throat close and eyes squinch. Did I actually say that??
Me, finally: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” (obviously too many ha-ha’s, my frantic spinning-for-time while mind-searching for a reasonable alibi). “ Ha ha ha. Multi-tasking really is deadly! I was just reading street directions for my friend, looking out the window and talking with you at the same time. Isn’t that ridiculous?!?!”
Her, reluctantly: “Well, I do have some time this afternoon, if you can be here in 15 minutes.” (She graciously ignored the odd timing in my request, and must have figured that given my bizarre inquiry, I was definitely incapable of getting from Point A to Point B, let alone in 15 minutes.)
We drove across the bridge, parked at the lodge, entered the main building and asked for the event manager, slipping in under the 15-minute deadline.
My friend and I were chatting away when a young woman approached us. I glanced at her and returned my attention to my friend. The woman then greeted me warmly by name, extended her hand, and said, “Glad you made it; it’s so nice seeing you again.”
Me: Blank stare, stumbling towards a not-quick-enough recovery. I had no recollection of ever having seen her in person. Recall: Zero.
We headed out the door and walked from chapel to suite to reception rooms. I struggled unsuccessfully to pay attention. The site visit — despite stunning scenery and personal tour — was a total blur. My focus was elsewhere; I was busy rummaging around in the closets and rooms of my mind. All I could do was think (repeatedly) about my verbal gaffe. And the memory-vacuum of having met this person only a few months earlier.
Me to Me: “Uh-oh. What’s wrong with me? Feels like there are holes my head. Big gaping voids, clean of content, arising without warning. A thought, a word, a name, a face, a specific event, entire episodes from my past, these have spontaneously erased from my consciousness. Are they really erased? Or have they been overwritten? Could my mental hard-drive be full? What is going on in there?”
Maybe there’s just too much stuff crammed in, randomly piled up, like the things clogging a hoarder’s house. Could someone please come up with a way to clean out the debris in my mind?