I Remember, I’m Forgotten

Photo by Gisella Klein via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.
Photo by Gisella Klein via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

I remember everyone I’ve ever met, especially those I met before I became an adult. I don’t know if this is an Asperger’s thing, an only child thing, an IQ thing, or a combination of all of the above. Meeting people always seemed like a big deal to me, and other people always seemed very important. I never took any person, any contact, or any interaction for granted.

I find that people don’t remember me though. I recently posted on a message board for alumni of one of the schools I attended, and no one there remembered me, even though I made sure to post my maiden name and the nickname people called me at the time. I had to post the class photos and indicate which one I was, and most of them were still baffled. Some said, “I don’t remember much from back then.” But they all seemed to remember each other.

How could they not remember me? I remember every one of them.

I once bumped into an old school friend (we were close enough to have visited at each other’s houses a number of times over the course of two years and for there to be photos of her in my family’s old photo albums) at a restaurant and recognized her immediately, despite the fact that she had aged dramatically and looked quite different. She looked at me blankly. She had no clue.

I wonder why I am so forgettable. This might sound like self-pity, but I’m not necessarily hurt by it. In a way, it’s a relief. If they don’t remember me, they’re not thinking negative things about me. I can live with that. It’s just that I like to make sense of things, so I wonder why. What mechanism is at work that makes me remember others and others forget me?

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