When I forget what something is called, how is it that I can always remember the word “thing” as a replacement?
e.g. “I can’t find the… the… thing!”
Yesterday I said that when I was a child the phone lines in the district were shared “party” lines. That’s the way I remember it.
This morning I checked this supposed fact with my dad (while talking to him on one of those new-fangled mobile phone line things) and found it’s wrong. (But I remember it, I tell you!)
He said that in the beginning they had to call the local post office and ask to be connected to the number they wanted. It might have been possible for that post office person to listen in on the call, but it wouldn’t have been possible for anyone else to hear it.
What I might be remembering is that sometimes you could hear an unidentified person’s voice on the line talking to somebody else – presumably when there was a problem on the phone line or at the exchange, but this wasn’t the normal state of affairs.
So, there we go. What I remembered didn’t happen. My memory actually is as bad as I feared.
Occasionally things happen which make me think my brain has problems (I mean, problems greater than just inherent idiocy). Examples:
1. I know, vaguely, that I’ve written posts about this same topic before, posting examples so I could remember them later, but now I can’t remember where I posted them. (This makes me laugh, but still…)
2. Overnight someone favourited one of the photos on my old Flickr account. When I went to the person’s Favourites to see which photo they’d chosen, I couldn’t recognise any, and had to hover over all the photos there to find which one was mine. And then, for a few seconds I couldn’t remember being in the building from which the photo had been taken, even though it was the hotel I stayed in for three days.
3. The other night when I was thinking about something (I can’t remember what, now, of course), I was preparing to clean my teeth and put moisturiser on the toothbrush, instead of toothpaste. At least I recognised the mistake before the brush got to my mouth, but it was a bit shocking to see what I’d done. It was probably just absentmindedness running amok, a lack of proper attention, but for a second it made me doubt my sanity.
I don’t know how memories work, or attention, either, and there are probably easy explanations for all these stupid occurrences. I just wanted to get them out of my head. I need the space for more important considerations.