Why The Forgetful Genius?

I am incapable of remembering names.

Well, the names of people I have met recently. By recently, I mean people I have met even 5 minutes earlier. Yet ask me about a night out 25 years ago and I can give you every last detail. Ask me what I ate for lunch yesterday or if I had breakfast this morning — no clue. A party I went to in 1987, I absolutely remember a conversation I had, the entire thing. The nuances of the body language. Everything. I sadly, don’t remember what my kids’ first words were, but memorized their birth weights. For the first three months of my son’s life, I told everyone the incorrect day when asked his birthday. Only after I was admonished several times did I memorize it. Not that his birthday was an insignificant or unimportant moment for me, but I just can’t remember certain things.

From those few examples, you’d probably shake your head and wonder what kind of person I am. I do, too, some days.

I can set up a budget management system in a blank spreadsheet to ultimately manage more than $20million annually. However, one of my worst moments was helping one of my three children with kindergarten math and I got it wrong. I can look at a picture of something (a creative decoration or functional item) and determine how it was designed, then replicate it. Please don’t ask me to remember school snacks. Despite multiple reminder notes, I won’t get them to the classroom.

I really worry when I can’t remember how to spell my first name when signing a check. Really? It’s 5 letters. I’m almost 43 years old. It’s not difficult. Yet it happens all the time.

It’s a joke among my closest friends and even long-time colleagues that I can be truly clueless. I’ve decided to embrace that. I am forgetful.

More than 11 years ago a very competitive friend and I were continually challenging each other with IQ tests. We were always within 2-3 points of one another. One of the tests pre-qualified me for the Mensa test. With her prodding, I took it and passed. I was pregnant with my 3rd child within 4 years and deep in the baby fog that comes along with pregnancy and being a mother of young children, yet I still passed. I can’t remember basic things, yet I’m in the upper range of intelligence. Quite the contrast. Thus “The Forgetful Genius.”


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