The brain is a weird place. We instantly forget the name of someone we just met, but we remember every damn lyric to “Hotel California.” (“What a nice surprise, bring your alibis.” ARGH!) We rely more and more on our cloud-synced calendars, to do lists and electronic data to keep us current, and if that cloud ever crashed, our whole world would fall from bytes to bits.
I am somewhat terrified of losing my memory. I remember seeing my great aunt delicately picking up a spoon to use with her salad and then putting salad dressing on her hamburger and being quietly explained to that she had lost her ability to remember how to do things. (To be fair, given today’s grain-filled salads, she might not have been so off.) As a six-year-old, I was scared to imagine that in the same way I was learning things, I might at some point unlearn them, too.
I’ve often thought that there’s only enough genetic data for one sibling to get all the memory juice. For example, my sister has a photographic memory for events, people, places and the necklace someone was wearing. My memory, on the other hand, is extremely selective; I’m often asking friends and relatives to fill me in on missing details, yet I have an almost savant-like ability to remember song lyrics. Yet I’m nothing like my late grandmother — sister to the aforementioned great aunt — who, as the story goes, went to see The Music Man and came back that night and could play the entire score at home on the piano from memory. Notably, she lived to be 101.
Speaking of Sisters, that’s the theme of our next TueNight Live event on January 31. It’s going to be a wonderful, cozy evening at The Wren here in New York City. We’ll have readings from TueNight scribes Penny Wrenn and Lindsay El Tabsh, Deborah Copaken (author of The ABC’s of Adulthood) and a song and interview with Abby Dobson of #SayHerName — along with the usual wine, snacks and great conversation. We’ll also be recounting stories from Women’s Marches around the world. Get tickets here, and put it in your calendar right now so you don’t forget!
This week, we remember:
- Nancy Davis Kho regrets mocking her mother’s forgetfulness
- Marci Ikeler offers 6 apps and tips to keep it in the cloud
- Betsy Hnath describes her cancer-induced memory loss
- Jennifer Bensko Ha repeats her history to remember it
- And Amy Barr stops all the multitasking
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget (ARGH!),