Every now and again I come under attack from my family because of my bad memory. It’s usually started by my innocently remarking that I don’t know some random bit of information like my age or how many years I’ve been married. I honestly don’t see why this is such a big deal. I guestimate, round-up or, when pressed, stop and do the math.
My husband and daughter insist that this is abnormal. That everyone knows their age off the tip of their tongue. I’m not convinced.
I remember lots of things. My daughter’s age for one. The remarkably discounted price of the Land’s End down coat I bought two years ago ($179 coat marked down to $15.99!). Dialogue from books, statistics from gender bias studies, characters from old TV shows, the words to American Pie and Horse with No Name. All of these have permanent space in my memory banks.
But not my age.
If I point out that I am born on an even year so its easy to calculate this leads to more shrieking and arguing. Apparently I am the only one who thinks that five is an even number. I was born in 1965. Five is a number you can easily count by if you have to figure out your age at the drop of a hat, so I consider it an “even” number. Simple.
I doubt I’m the only one who forgets how old they are. It’s not like it matters much between the ages of 21 and 65. That’s probably why I can never figure out anyone’s age by looking at them. Everyone who is clearly not a child seems like + or – 10 years of my age. A close friend revealed last year that she is 70 years old. I had no clue.
Memory is a game. Some things stick and somethings don’t. I’m not bothered by my age, and if I had some really compelling reason, I would commit it to memory.
But I can’t really think why I would bother as long as I can still count by fives.