Now, in my defense, (read on for the cautionary tale of the behavior I'm weakly defending) I'd had a long and confusing day yesterday, looking out the window every 5 minutes for the UPS or Fed-Ex truck to deliver my new laptop, which I'd BEEN TOLD had been sent the day before. I got some calls and emails throughout the day asking me if it had been received. I was starting to get nervous because it hadn't appeared. I really would like to start working. Earn my keep. Make some dough. Anyway... at 3:30 (5:30 Central) I was finally told that the aforementioned laptop had, in fact, not been sent as they needed my password to give it a final check. Never mind that someone had all day to call me and ask me what my password was... So all the window watching, scheduling my shower at noon because that was, strategically speaking, the most unlikely time for the Fed-Ex man to appear, the fast and furious emails back and forth - they were all for naught. *hanging head* I was discouraged. One more day with no income.
I'd also only seen Tom at their wedding waaay last year, when I'd brought my grandmother and aunt and was concerned with fussing over them, rather than focusing on the featured bridal couple. I don't think I said more than "Nice to meet you." to the groom. (The defense rests.)
See? No pictures of Tom. Just Sheri and my grandma. No memories to go on...
However, I had a family thing to get to. So I got out of my corporate outfit (yoga pants and a tank top) and spruced up, still mentally working overtime on what I needed to accomplish the second that laptop arrives on Thursday. (Too bad that mentally working
L got home, and off we went to my brother's house. All of my nieces, nephews, their babies, my parents, etc. were there. We meeted and greeted, I held baby Cash, gushed over his amazing eyelashes, said hello to my nephew's cute girlfriend. I walked outside, and my dad was sitting next to a young man I didn't recognize. I knew he'd recently gone to Utah for the funeral of one of his sisters. It passed through my mind that he'd brought some random relative back with him? This was someone's friend? No clue. Whatsoever.
Finally, said random stranger said, "Hi, I'm Tom." Blank stare/polite smile from me. My dad introduced me to the stranger - "This is my daughter, Karen." I'm still clueless, so I said "And you are...?" My mother rushed in to say "You met him at the reception last year!" I'm thinking "WHAT reception?!?" Because all I can remember was my son Scott's reception last June, and I certainly didn't remember this person in front of me. (Sadly, at times, all roads lead to me...) So I actually said, "WHAT reception?!?" At which time everyone looked at me like I was nuts, and I was certainly feeling that THEY were all nuts. Tom, ever the gentleman, softly explained "I'm Sherri's husband." As in the Guest Of Honor, The Entire Reason We Were There. THAT Tom.
Yes, my friends, it took that much of a beating over my head to realize who this poor person was. And I hung my head in shame. I am not normally this ditzy - or at least I am usually better at covering for myself. And I would be tempted to explain it away as old age setting in, and everyone would believe that because...well... old age IS kind of setting in. But sadly, things like this have happened to me throughout my entire life. And I don't know why. I'm smart - yes, I really am. I'm usually socially adept. I'm not a hermit in a cave. A hobo, yes, but not a hermit. But I cannot deny that at certain points of my life (and usually very embarrassing ones) I cannot escape The Ditz.
This partially explains why, in school, 99% of the time I'd have the most correct, intelligent answer to a question that anyone could possibly come up with. But I rarely raised my hand to give it up, because 1% of the time it would come out as a WAG (wild ass guess), and I could never see that 1% coming. So I learned to sit back and be quiet. Take no risk.
Now, that's the beautiful thing about getting older. You can laugh these things off - throw caution to the winds. And although I'm still mortified about last night, I know that Tom will just think of me fondly as Sheri's nice but dotty old aunt. (I'm looking at you, Tom... please forgive me?) And I'll redeem myself, hopefully, over the years. But the bottom line is that as I've aged, I've gained the ability to put these momentary lapses into perspective. They're the stuff that family stories are created from, and my idol - my grandmother - had a million of them that she was the star of. And if I become as beloved as she was, I won't be doing half bad. A mixture of good living, good loving, a healthy ability to laugh at myself, and a child's curiosity about everything - it would be a life well lived. As long as I can always throw in that random pinch of silly. And since that doesn't ever seem to be a problem for me, (emphasis on the random) I think I'm good.
Mia has inherited the silly - let's hope she escapes the Ditz...