We all have moments that we’ll never forget. I have a lot of those. My super power is remembering.
Good, bad, important, indifferent, I remember it. Just the other day I told my kids about a TV commercial I saw as a kid where people play the board game Battleship at the opera, and one of them calls out for space C5. I looked it up to fact-check myself, and sure enough, that’s in there.
I even remember the first time someone noticed how much I could remember. I was in kindergarten and the sixth grade teacher, who knew me because my brother was in her class, told me I had a “photographic memory.” That’s actually how it works for me; I have images in my mind and my brain can sort of click on words and sounds and actions as related content. (No wonder I’m on the internet so much, it reminds me of me.)
Remembering things can be pretty useful. In college, I aced my essay tests in American history class because I could see the professor’s lecture notes in my mind as I was writing. On live radio, it’s useful to be able to recall facts and statements when you’re interviewing somebody, without having to do a quick Google search or rifle through a book to find a fact. (In one newsroom, people would shout questions out to me because it was faster than doing a Google search.)
And then there was the time that my friend Dave and I were making a two hour drive back to our campus and he suggested, to pass the time, “How about we say all the lines from Star Wars in order?” We pulled into the parking lot right as we got to the Death Star battle, so the world may never know if we would’ve said Gold Five’s famous line “Stay on target!” in the right spots or not.
And I should say, I do forget things. Mostly these are things I didn’t learn in the first place. I don’t know anything about TV or music or movies in the early 2000s, for example, because I didn’t have any way to watch or listen to new ones back then. And for years I would agree to take care of something around the house and then not do it because I wasn’t really paying attention. (I taught myself to stop what I was doing and look at my wife during the ask. Problem solved!) Sometimes I can’t recall something off the top of my head, but they come back eventually.
And that’s the one downside of remembering everything: there are things I wish I didn’t remember. I am extremely socially awkward by nature, and that means I remember each faux pas I’ve made. Like the time I was about to sing at the school choir concert and a random woman who was inexplicably backstage said to whoever she was with that I “looked interesting.” Being, like, nine, I had no idea what to say to this, so I said, “And I’m rolling in dough.” Which I was very much not! She scowled and said, “You’re also obnoxious.” Which, at that moment, I very much was! I remember regrets, blunders, tragedies, mistakes of every shape and size.
Normally I blab this stuff at my friends or coworkers when I see them, but since that’s off the table right now I’m going to post some of it here. Some of the stories I’ll post here will be funny. Some will be strange. Some might be sweet. Many of them will make me look bad. But they will all be exactly as I remember them.
And one more thing: you will get to choose what I write about! Send me questions, ideas, prompts, suggestions and I will use those to write new pieces. (If I were you, I’d ask about the time I hit a home run to win a baseball game. But pretty much anything is fine, so ask away!)