Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He's got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.

Jason is an incredible "people person." He will chat anyone up, enjoys talking to strangers, and has a memory for faces like no one I've ever met. He knows the names of all of our neighbors, and their dogs. When we lived in Atlanta, he knew everyone on our block and around the corner. He can meet someone once, for 3 minutes, and totally remember everything about them when he randomly runs into them in a different location a year later.

"Hey, when I was at the store, I ran into Chris."

"Who is Chris?"

"You know, Chris. He lives over on Jackson. Has a kid named Ellis. We met him that one time last year."

"Nope, not ringing a bell."

As you may have surmised, I am not similarly talented, particularly if I meet someone in one location but run into them in another. I can't even count how many times in college I would be walking to class, and someone walking the other way would say "hi, Wendy," and I'd be all, "whaaaa...? Oh, hi!" And I'd have no idea who it was. Someone from the dorm? Someone I kissed at a party? It was all a big mystery.

Even a formal introduction, either made by someone else or self-initiated, is no guarantee. There are so many parents we see in the park across from our house, particularly during spring and summer when it's warm and it stays light longer and everyone is out running around with their kids. We stand around watching the kids climbing on the monkey bars or going down the slide and invariably the kids will start to interact and so the parents will start to chat and introduce themselves.

And then I'll see them the next time we're out, and they'll say, "hi, Wendy!" and I'll realize that they look vaguely familiar and I've met them before but I couldn't tell you their names if you held a gun to my head.

I don't know what this says about me, but I doubt it's good.

But on the details that affect or are involved in my daily life, my memory is impeccable, particularly when it comes to our children. And that is where Jason and I differ vastly.

I could list virtually every article of clothing in my children's drawers, what is in the laundry, the entire channel lineup on DirecTV and which children's show is on when, what children's books we own and how old Zeke was when he became interested in each one, how old each child was when they reached particular developmental milestones, who has been to the doctor and for which ailment, who had which shots and when, and every daycare teacher either of them has ever had.

Whereas Jason will go pick up the kids from daycare, and when he comes home, I'll ask how much Josie ate or what time Zeke took a nap, and he'll look at me blankly.

"Well, what did Theresa say about Zeke's behavior today?"

"Who is Theresa?"

"One of his teachers that he's had for at least 5 months."

"Yeah, I can't remember any of their names."


I don't understand this at all. Maybe it's a guy thing?


  1. I laughed at the familiarity of this. I wonder if it is wiring. I am so glad for the things that MathMan remembers that I forget and I suspect vice versa.

    I've followed your tweets lately and I can tell you that I empathize. There have been times when one or the other of us is more or less a single parent. Not easy. Your post is another perfect example of why that partnership really helps. Were Doug not here, I'd have to find some other kind of surrogate parent back up.

  2. Interesting. Maybe there's always commotion and so they blend together?

    And your memory for every single piece of clothing, laundry, books, etc is almost like a superpower, I think.

  3. Lisa G - we definitely pick up each other's slack. Life would be much more difficult (and far less entertaining) without him.

    Lisa J - my memory for certain details is crazy. But on other stuff, I feel like I'm suffering the effects of early onset senility. So I guess it balances out.