Great at Trivia… Bad at Names

My memory is kind of crap.

Well, it’s great at certain things.

Need to know the exact West Wing episode in which Leo McGarry told Josh Lyman he’d been in that hole and knew the way out? I’m your girl.

Want to argue with someone about a clothing description in Ender’s Game? I’m your girl.

Ask me to introduce someone around a party where I actually know 95% of the people?

I freeze like a deer in headlights.

I think names are actually my phobia, to be honest.

But that’s beside the point. I realized this mental shortcoming of mine this week when I had to remember names. And the reason it stuck with me is because two or three days later I was reveling in a great universe-refresher from Marvel Comics, and I could remember everything.

Now, I hadn’t read some of these story lines or refreshed myself on them for more than a decade. I went through an X-Men phase in elementary school. And after that, I kind of let it go but there was always a little piece of me that lit up when I saw it on TV and I went to all the movies when they came out.

And I was pretty into Spider-Man back in the day, when it was a black & white cartoon in the paper. And I had read enough of the comics to be really excited about the movies as they were released.

Plus, they filmed a small portion of one of them in Cleveland, my hometown, so that was pretty cool.

But I’m the first to admit that I’ve strayed in the last few years. I fulfilled the stereotypes of college-goer, trying to conform to what the world and my parents thought was the best version of myself. And now I’ve let loose my younger self again.

I have done that a lot – came back to the things I loved a lot when I was a kid. And I’m really glad. These are the things that make me really happy. And I’ve been able to almost seamlessly fold them into things that I learned made me happy when I was off trying to be someone I have pretty much decided I’m not.

Anyways, I’m curled up in bed last night with a stack of comics and squealing my way through this particular overview of all the Marvel universes, and it occurred to me that my name-memory-phobia thing really must just be that: all in my head.

Because I’m reading through and remembering EVERYTHING that I had read as a kid. The time-traveling child of Scott Summers? I TOTALLY REMEMBER HIM. The evil-doers of various story lines? I remember them too!

Ask me the name of someone I met earlier in the week, and I will stutter and try not to cry from embarrassment.

It’s awful.

My brain really must want me to only be able to impress people who think it’s cool that I can remember weird little factoids about movies, television shows and books.

This doesn’t bode well for any future where memory plays a big role does it? I’m kind of screwed.

My geek memory has never failed me. And I hope it never does.

But it would be really nice if it could kick the real-life, grown-up part of my brain into high gear so that I can interact with the rest of the world like a normal person.

Until then, I’m going to stay buried in my books, wishing I had any of the super cool skills of the superheroes and not-so-super heroes I still idolize.

Image is my own.

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