Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Caught By The Ditz

My niece Sheri, and her relatively new husband Tom (they got married last year) have spent their first year of marriage in Taiwan teaching English. They're both lovers of travel and adventure, so what a way to start life together with a bang!  They've returned home to the Motherland, soon to move to Philadelphia where Sheri will start graduate school.  Long story short, they were at my brother's house last night, and the family gathered to have a visit.
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 equal actually making any money...)
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...


  1. Would it be unkind of me to let you know I was almost rolling on the floor with this story?!? I have been in so many similar/familiar circumstances of my own design that it was a very simpatico moment!

    I'm sure Tom will never forget who Aunt Karen is...now it's up to you as to how the rest goes...


  2. What a fun post, Karen. Gotta love it!


  3. Love it - Love your honesty and your ditziness!!
    I know I have done that but it is true, they are stories you can laugh about...for many years!!

    Mis is so beautiful and her fish face is darling!

  4. LOL! That is HILARIOUS! I can just picture it so perfectly in my mind your expression, tone and everything. Hahaha! So funny, wish I was there!

  5. HAHA!!! So funny!! Actually, it's not THAT bad. It's not like you were best friends once or something. And your not old. Or senile : ) Love you Karen! It makes me sad missing out on all these gatherings!!

  6. Awww Karen. You have restored my faith in our age group. I am reading a really good book about memory right now in order to prop up my sagging synapses. I'll tell you the name of it when I remember it.

  7. See, what you don't know is that I'd prepped him on everyone's names and connections beforehand. You just didn't have the prep.

  8. I've been there sister. If it weren't for my wife who knows and remembers EVERYONE she's ever met, I'd feel fooling a great deal.
    Good luck with your laptop.

  9. My hubby has the best memory and can remember people's names he met 30yrs. ago..not me..not me..Once we were at a church event and Jack was talking to a couple. I came over and Jack said, you remember Tom...me: "no, I don't think we've met" Jack: We spent a whole weekend with him a few months ago"..oops.and I was in my 20's!

  10. You are hilarious!!! I love it!!! And I love that you see these momentary lapses as memory making moments! Isn't that what it's all about! :)

    And by the way, Mia is beautiful--even when she's being silly!

  11. Karen...you have such a great outlook on life...I've passed along an award to you on my blog. The posting will appear soon.


  12. This is my first time visiting your blog (from Sush's) and I loved your story. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose brain springs a leak sometimes-

  13. This sounds like an "I love Lucy" episode. LOL

    Nice to meet you. I found you through "First Do No Harm".
    please come visit me. I sgned on to FOLLOW, so I'll be baaack!

  14. Great to meet you. Sush sent me!

  15. Love that photo ~
    Sweet blog ~


Sit down, have some red punch and cookies, and tell me EVERYTHING...

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed