Thursday, May 03, 2007
Yesterday in the supermarket, I ran into the girl who sat in front of me in homeroom throughout high school. Four years staring into the back of her head;we were pretty good friends. After a big hello I had a serious mind blank and could not remember her name. I was quick enough to figure that her last name had to be a "D" name and definitely a D followed by a letter that came before E. We sat in alphabetical order. I was getting nervous and answered her casual "catch up" questions in an irregular way. Before DE? Must be DA. Dallinger. No, she is Italian. I remember that. D'Antonio. No, that girl sat in front of us. Maybe DB. Can't think. DC. DD. Come on! DD. That's silly. Had to be DA. She was staring at me by then, waiting for a response. I had no idea of what she asked. She was kind and said that she had an appointment and it was so nice to see me, after all these years. Twenty-nine to be exact, but I didn't say that. I was thinking still. D'Ancona. No. Definitely not. D'Dado!! That's it. I want to chase after her, have a really good catch-up conversation and tell her how much I liked her hair when she cut it like Farrah Faucett.
My memory is inconsistent. It is acute only when digging up the most useless facts while compelling information is totally lost. Today I went to the market and was totally distracted by the jingles in my brain until I realized that I could turn this into a really cool game. I want you to try it. When walking through the market or better yet, do it now at home. All you need is a pantry full of food. As you gaze upon each box, bag, jar or can of food, cleaning supplies and toiletries, sing the jingle. I started with Nutter Butter Cookies. "Have another nutter butter peanut butter sandwich coooookie. By Nabisco." If you can hear the tune as you read this, you are probably about my age and will definitely recognize, "Hot Dogs. Armour hot dogs. What kinds of kids eat armour hot dogs? Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks. Tough kids. Sissy kids. Even kids with chicken pox. Love hot dogs. Armour hot dogs. The dogs kids love to bite." Not very PC but memorable. And if you're from Philadelphia I'd lay odds that you know the Tastykake jingle as well as The Melrose Diner one. See, it is fun. You can stop worrying about your memory. Your memory is perfect. When we can no longer remember that the underwear go on before the pants and we are sent to the "memory park" at our local nursing home, we can all have a giant, jingle sing-a-long.