Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My memory's just a memory now!

Today's post is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of trying to arrange anything when you are a lady of a certain age.  This is because while we're awash in hormone soup, certain things cease to function - like our memories!

A month or so ago, I had arranged to meet my friend, Pam for coffee.  It's something we do regularly, at least once a month if we can.  Because she is gainfully employed - unlike me - we normally talk on the phone first and make our arrangements around her work schedule.
  And because my memory is notoriously 'good but short' even on a good day, I make a note of the date and time.  Here is my note to remind me of the details of the date in question.

As you can see, it's pretty clear - who I'm meeting, the day, the date and the time.  It doesn't say where, but we have a usual spot, so I was pretty secure in knowing that.  I had all the particulars ... or at least that's what I thought. 

On the appointed day/date, I set off to get there at the time noted.  As usual, I arrived with approximately fifteen seconds to spare.  Phew - not late!  But, there was no Pam - a bit unusual, because she is way more punctual than me.  No biggie, I picked a table and when the waiter came over, I ordered some tea, sure she would arrive any second.

By the time it got to quarter after ten and she still hadn't shown up, I started to get really concerned.  We have a rule that if something comes up, we just call and reschedule.  It was, however, at that moment that I realized that she couldn't phone me, nor I her for that matter, because I had forgotten my cell phone at home!  Also couldn't remember if I had ever given her my cell number!  I wasn't sure I could remember her number, even if I did have my phone with me!

Brilliant idea -  I'd just ask the cafe owner if I could borrow her phone to try what I thought was Pam's number.  Except that she was using the phone for a business call.  Aarrgghh!!  So, there was nothing for me to do except finish my tea, go home and try to touch base from there.

I was getting ready to leave - it was almost eleven o'clock by this time - when I see Pam walk past the window.  She came in and was looking around, for me, but with this really puzzled look on her face until she spotted me.  I wanted to know if everything was okay.  Was she running late?  Had something happened?  OMG, did she forget about me???!!!?

Nope. None of those things.  She had e-mailed me earlier that morning to let me know that her phone wasn't working; I hadn't seen this because I hadn't turned on the computer.  She had come to my house at ten-thirty, having arranged to pick me up.  Unfortunately for her, I wasn't home at the time, being as I was out drinking tea, so she had to drive back home, borrow a phone and try to call me.  When there was no answer, she became concerned that something had happened to me.  She only showed up at the cafe at all because she still needed something to eat for lunch before going to work.  She was a bit puzzled to find my car in the parking lot!

As we each tried to explain our own part in this comedy of errors, we were both laughing so hard we could barely get the words out.  I honestly had absolutely no recollection of making arrangements for her to pick me up; brain was a total blank.  Not that it would have made much difference, given we had both written down different times!  That was what was so hilarious but disconcerting; that we had both written notes, vigilant in NOT relying on our memories.  Seriously, I don't think there's hope for either of us!

So, who was right and who screwed it up?  We'll never know, but that's okay because I think as we lose our memories, we also lose some of our need to be right - that whole age/wisdom thing coming into play.  Plus it was the best laugh I'd had in ages!  And fortunately, I have a great friend who wasn't mad at me, despite having to drive all over hell's half acre while I sat and had a cuppa!  Cheers Pam and thank you!

Cheers everyone,


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