Does life suck? Not today.
I have selective amnesia... sort of. Mostly, it only crops up when I need to connect names with faces. But I have been known to go into full cardiac arrest and zero brain activity over something as silly as sitting at the piano in a room full of people. Some genius called this phenomenon "stage fright". And yet, anyone who experiences the utter mortification of facing off with a friend and you blank their name knows of the sheer idiocy of calling such a reaction stage fright. There is no fright involved. Or stage, for goodness sake.
No, what I have is much, much more complicated. It is as if a concussion hooked up with brain trauma, made out with amnesia and married asthma and a heart attack in a freak double wedding. THAT is what I experience when you put me on the spot putting names with folk's lovely faces.
This is how it goes:
Two Sundays ago, I attended church with both my Mother in Law and my Lovely Mother. When I know someone for years and years, I MIGHT be able to remember their name. Length of time knowing a person does not save them from my stupidity. Heck, I can't even remember my own kids names when under the gun. Yeesh! So, there I am sitting, yapping with my mothers when a lady I know (and I swear I know her because she is my neighbor after all) sits down and smiles expectantly.
This is where my brain screams: HELP!!! Right before it shuts off..
The mental reboot takes until midnight, three days after the fact. Just so you know. Anyway, I introduce my moms to my neighbor and as I am searching my memory for her name, I come up blank. BLANK!!! So, instead of getting her name spot on or even flubbing it a little, I get this brilliant idea that I should just say how I know her and I blurt: "This is my lovely neighbor."
Everyone is still smiling, so I figure that went over super good, until another lovely lady stops for an intro. At this point the asthma is kicking in and I am having a hard time breathing. I know that I know this woman's name. I swear I do. This gal is my neighbor up the street and she is one of those amazingly sweet and kind older ladies who stepped up the last time I was sick and did my laundry. Trust me, if a lady kindly comes and folds your unmentionables, you'd better MAKE FREAKING SURE you remember her name.
Nope. I blanked it.
I did a really smooth cover up and introduced her as the 'seriously awesome lady up the street.' Yeah, I know. I shock myself with how charming I can be under pressure. If your toes are curling (like mine are just recalling all this) stop reading now. Because it gets worse.
One of my all time favorite ladies to sit next to in church plopped herself down next to my Mother in Law with a big grin. I love this gal because she is hilarious. She is older than me by 40 years, but she also has 40 more years of snark in her than I do. We frequently disrupt church with mistimed snorts and giggles. The woman just plain rocks. She starts out by saying "That Alyson is one plucky gal. We just love her..." and keeps a running dialogue while my heart starts laboring. There is no way I can forget this gal's name. NO WAY!!
I did. We're talking full on amnesia and cardiac arrest is setting in. I can barely hear what is coming out my mouth for all the blood pumping into my ears. Like a nightmare, I say 'This gal, she is my super -duper amazing neighbor around the corner. You'd love her house in Summer. Her flower garden is amazing!"
Oh, I know. I am well aware about how BAD that came out. Not one of those women said a word. Not one! I want them to call me out. Really, I do. I want to explain to them that my spotty amnesia is a disease and it's not their fault. Oh how I cringe! Especially since I didn't stop there and cornered a woman who I thought was the mom of my son's BFF. I thanked her for having such a fantastic son and would next Friday be a good day to hang out. I went on and on without a care in the world. Yeah, it was the wrong mom. I was off by a long shot. As in waaay off. We're talking, she doesn't even have the same hair color and has only daughters, brand of "off".
And she just let me talk. Didn't say a damn word. It wasn't until a couple Sunday's later that I was formally introduced to the correct mom that I realized my faux pas.
So, this Sunday as I go to church, I will check off the items on my list before entering the chapel:
Heart attack? Check!
Healthy dose of Mortification? Check aaaand CHECK!!
Sometimes I swear God does this to me to provide comic relief for Him and all the angels watching. Now, all I need is a laugh track.