“Hi! Wow, the last time I saw you, you were pregnant with him,” I said, pointing to the baby she was wearing in her carrier.
She looks utterly confused. She has no idea who I am.
Jihee, please, girl, just keep it vague and say you seen her around at the park. AND KEEP IT MOVING.
Oh, I kept it moving. Kept my mouth moving.
“Yeah, we were stuck in a storm together at _________ Park last summer. It was a crazy downpour. One of those torrential downpours, remember? We had to stand under the train tracks together for a good long while since it was coming down so hard. You were just about to give birth. Time flies, huh?”
She looks downright bewildered the more I talked.
Self, stop talking now since she is NOT going to remember that one random day in July.
But I kept thinking if I broke it dee-own for her, it would click! She may recall those moments that were playing so vividly in my head when I saw her at our mutual friends’ kiddie birthday party.
“You had to take out a potette for your little girl right before the storm hit and we had to wait it out together?” I was feeling like Chris Farley in the “Re-re-remember when…?” sketches on SNL.
Now at this point, even *I* knew that I had to leave it be. I could have gone on to say that she and some other mamas were making jokes about how “potette” is a funny word for portable potty, how she was telling us that you can totally use plastic bags from the market instead of buying the expensive refills for those things, and other details that kept gushing forth in the movie reel playing in my head. Images of her being way pregnant.
I’ve always been like this, remembering stuff that other people couldn’t care less about, not just now because I am at home with the kids, swimming in the mundane rather than speeding along on the “fast track,” whatever that means.
She smiled, still a bit uncomfortable, and found her way towards her friends, the people she actually knows.
Naturally, we end up bumping into each other again because her baby was playing near the rest of my family in a different part of the museum. Kevin starts saying, “Aww, how old is the little guy?” about her baby and AGAIN, I hear myself say, “awww, and he wasn’t even born when I ran into them last.”
She looks thrown off AGAIN and mumbles softly, “Yeahh…..I guess.”
AUGH! This was such a painful little interaction. And I had invited it.
On the rainy drive home, I told Kevin, “Yo, I feel like a doofus. I think I just gotta shut the hell up! I get so excited and happy to see familiar faces even when they are TOTAL strangers who only wanna talk to THEIR people. It doesn’t sink in for me that these people are not interested in a ‘remember when’ moment. Why do I embarrass myself? And did you see me hug up on that other mama just cuz I hadn’t seen her in months? She didn’t see that coming but I’m such a hugger! I just have too much jung for people, it gushes out before I can stop it, like an excited puppy!”
Kevin was firm. “No. You don’t have to shut the hell up. You just keep doing you. If they don’t remember you at all, don’t be embarrassed. That’s them and you’re you. If you get excited and want to bring up meeting them, go ahead. Still do you.”
“Really!? I feel so stupid that I bust out hugs or remember stuff in SUCH detail. I just gotta act like I don’t remember and that I’m not as excitable as I really am. I should learn to just not mention it. I just get so dang bang-gah-wuh.” (Happy to see someone.)
“No, I say Keep Doing You.”
We had arrived at home so I took the sleeping second son into our home while Kevin temporarily parked on the street, watching March Madness in peace, on his phone, as Micah snoozed.
Once I got home, I iMessaged him from our bedroom: “Hey, you know my crazy infallible memory? Remembering every detail about being stuck in the storm with that lady I scared off today? I got the wrong woman. She had bounced before the storm hit and I was actually stuck under the subway tracks with another mama, her girlfriend.” (To which he replied: HAHAHAHA)
I do love the message that Kevin had for me, but maybe I need to be more refined as I creep towards my 40s? Not busting out with bearhugs on the subway platform when I run into a mere acquaintance, or saying, “heyyyyy, remember when….?” to a stranger (especially when I got the wrong person!?).
But then again, some of the friendships I’m now blessed with have sprouted from the most random of initial interactions.
Do You? or Do You, But Less Doofus’d, More Refined?
I like this story because of the gushing hospitality you showed to the wrong lady…and she was WRONG. Even if you was all off and stuff, she could have participated in the joyful human interaction another mother was attempting to include her in. So what if it ended up with “Yeah that wasn’t me!” at the end of it. It would have at least expressed that she was alive and not dead in a world of permanent strangers. Im proud of Kevin for his message. You gotta embrace the you in you. I’m sure you were just as random and cordial upon making my initial acquaintance. Im prolly just to average to remember it like you do. 😉
7th grade. you were wearing one of those colorful open sweater cardigans by that one company (you and julie would rock these sweater cardigans). met you near the lunch tables and said something about, “you’re kimiko!? did you really tell everyone you jumped off a building and walked away fine?” but then again, my memory could be wrong like today. and now we still roaddawgs decades later. (and yeah, to be honest witchoo, I was hurt that she looked at me like i got two heads).
I totes that’ve that crazy memory. I once said, “yeah, I remember you had just started your period that day,” to someone I didn’t know that well back then and hadn’t seen in 10 years. Oops.
i have memories of us at OMC choir together but don’t recall when you had started yo period though.
Where was my hug, haha, just kidding! Fun to catch up with you a tiny bit today. And many times I talk “too much” too. But I usually just keep going with it 🙂
I feel you! I often remember people and they don’t remember me. I even remembered a guy from my 6th grade class when i saw him 20 years later. I will admit that i have stopped saying “we met once through so and so” due to many many interactions involving blank stares and “how do u know my name?” Lol!
No way! Never stop! People like you HAVE to say “Do you?” Because people like me are too shy! People like you keep the world spinning!
LOVE this! Your husband is a very. wise. man. Sometimes the hugs we give can be the only physical touch someone receives all week. Pause and calmly think about THAT! Hug away!!!
I remember meeting you on the school bus, coming from the inner citay over the hill to the vallay…? I remember your stop on Alavarado I think.
we had already met first near the lunch tables…i had met the notorious black-japanese tall-tale-tellin’ Kimiko Roberts…then you also saw me on the bus. my stop was in ktown…you recalling alvarado cuz my folks had a gift shop in that part o’ town. aight, no need to put our bios on blast via public comment thread. am just tickled that you read my post and even commenting, too!
“No. You don’t have to shut the hell up. You just keep doing you. If they don’t remember you at all, don’t be embarrassed. That’s them and you’re you. If you get excited and want to bring up meeting them, go ahead. Still do you.”
and that is why husbands are awesome.
I try to do me as much as humanly possible. I’m sure I look weird quite a bit, but I think it’s worth it. If I want to attract people into my life that love the real me, then I have to _be_ the real me.
“It’s better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not.” That is the third time in 2 days I have typed that saying–clearly the Universe is trying to tell me something.
This post was hilarious. While most of my memory is going by the wayside with age, I still retain very specific details about the most random things that I know no one else cares about because when I randomly throw them into conversation (which is apparently the only way I bring these things up), there’s that sort of brief silence to acknowledge that you’ve spoken before conversation moves on. Or close friends will just say, wtf? Makes you feel like the ultimate loser — like you have nothing better going on except to remember such things. This post made me feel like less of one. haha. It’s about sharing and connection, right? Though, I’ve never tried to force it on strangers. You’re definitely not shy! Love it.
Whoa, a comment from Facebook-ditching KERO! so good to hear from you! sad but understandable how FB is the main way to keep in touch these days. hope you well, girl! thanks for reading AND commenting!
I kinda think your Kevin is a real nice sweet guy. I am glad you have him and he has the wonderful YOU!