I think that a lot of people have bad long term memories. Most people are supposed to be good at recognizing faces but in the long run, that memory just fades away. I could walk by people that I haven’t seen in years, maybe months and they wouldn’t recognize me. Sometimes I wonder what causes that. How is it that people can forget this easily? I would understand if they can’t place a name to the face, but completly forget someone altogether, that’s just hard to understand.
A few weeks ago, I ran into an old classmate that I haven’t seen in years. This was the day that I got the free coffee. As we left Timmy’s, my cousin’s boyfriend was in the parking lot. He was with a friend who was in my class during second semester. From far away, something clicked in my head and I knew that I’ve seen him somewhere before. The name didn’t click at first but no doubt, I recognized him.
After talking for a few minutes, his name finally came to me, it’s Bob. He couldn’t remember my name, but I don’t blame him. We didn’t talk much in school, only during the odd times. But the fact remains that someone, who I haven’t seen in years, could still recognize me to some degree. If he is able to remember me a little bit, is it not obvious for someone, who I saw one a week, to remember more than him? Apparently, it is not that obviously.
Once in a while, I would stop by my old workplace to say ‘Hi’ to everyone. The coworkers that I worked with everyday have no problem recognizing me. Heck, even some of the staff members that I talk to once or twice a month still recognized me. Yesterday, when I stopped by, the staff member at the checkout desk was, well, she was checking me out. From the time I entered her field of view, she was staring at me. I didn’t have my glasses on so I wasn’t sure if she was looking at me or something in the area. But as I walked closer to the security desk, I can clearly see that she was looking at me. It was as if she is trying to remember where she knew me from. Because she kept staring, I waved to her to acknowledge her. As I got to the security desk, it probably became clear where she had seen me before.
Another coworker barely even knew me. This was one that I’ve spent a lot time talking to rather than working. She must have walked pass me, within ten feet, and would keep on walking as if she didn’t see me. Either she was focused on getting to her destination, or she was preoccupied with something, or maybe I’ve been totally forgotten. In a situation like this, it feels awkward to have to stop that person and remind them that you still exist. That has happened to me a few times where people would stop me and I don’t have the slightest clue who they are and I’m pretty good with memory. At first, I would try and carry the conversation until I can identify this stranger whom I’m speaking with. It wouldn’t click until we parts ways.
A few days ago, I was in Canadian Tire at the cash register when I saw someone in the other lane. I looked over there because the cashier was checking his money to see if it was counterfeit. He had a hat on so I couldn’t put my finger on where I knew him from. As I was leaving, I started thinking, ‘I know that guy from somewhere.’ After I got into my friend’s car, that guy walked passed us because he was parked right beside us. Then my friend goes, ‘Is that Sam?’ He saw us staring at him so he nodded. It was Sam! Back then he had long hair. This time around, he had short hair and was wearing a hat. My friend and I got out of the car and started talking with Sam for a few minutes, just to catch up on old days. If it wasn’t for my friend, I probably wouldn’t have remembered the guy until I got home.
I think that everyone wants to be remembered somehow and some people will do whatever it takes. If I asked you who was the most popular girl in your high school, the majority of you will probably remember her name. The most popular girl in my school, in my opinion, was Lisa. She was in the cheerleading squad and she was probably the only one that could do flips and splits. If I asked you who was that geek that would sit in the back by himself, you probably wouldn’t have clue. And no, his name was Don Khuth. Being popular or better yet, recognized is something that a lot of people want. They want to be with the in crowd. They want to hang out with the popular people so they can be popular themselves. They want to be known. Sir Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.’ So far, I think I’m on track.
How will history remember you?