“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?