I have a lot of thoughts, okay?
But the latest one is really bending my brain. I have a work colleague as a facebook friend. She isn’t part of the company I used to work for but she is a person that I saw regularly as most companies employed the more popular venues at specific times. We have always got on well and I was very proactive in giving her information about the tourism region we both work in. We had a lovely friendship going on, albeit transitory, given that most tourism ground staff move around an awful lot and you learn to not get too attached.
She moved away to another state; we actually bought one of her couches in the moving sale. We’ve remained friends via facebook ever since, although her MLM schemes annoy me as do the constant hippy woo posts. She is much better in person, is my view.
I think of her as a good tour guide. She knows her worth, works with two or three different companies and delivers a good product. Over the last five years we have spent a lot of time together and we have shared our knowledge base as well as interacting on a personal level. We’ve spent a lot of hours together.
Today I had a blinding thought. She had posted a picture of herself on fb (promoting some anti-aging cream via mlm) and something about the way she posed, the way the camera angled along her jaw line, made me jolt and stirred something sluggishly from the deep porridge layers of my brain. I think I know her from before.
I think she was one of the tour leaders in the days of yore; the leading drunken (or soon-to-be-drunken as a cultural experience in many different lands) 18 -35 year olds into deepest darkest eastern Europe. If so, I know this woman. I went out on tour with this woman. We shared bed sleeping spaces and tampons; secrets and confessions. We were as close as you could get for six months of the year until we were not and then we never kept up contact. That happens in the tourism world.
Fast forward about twenty years and meeting a very vivacious blonde working in the same region. No flash of recognition from either me or her.
Ongoing interaction. Some secrets whispered. Past pretty much never discussed.
Yes, she has the same name as that long ago person but nothing triggered a reminder. The same first name anyway. Me, I am older and fatter and have a totally different name to the same one I sported all those years ago; I would be surprised if she recognised me. If it is her.
But the more I think about it, the more the porridge sludge of my brain works and her last name seems to trigger a memory but I can’t be sure if it is a true one. Facial recognition is not my thing (even my husband knows enough to undercover re-introduce me to his acquaintances that I see less often than once very six months) and none of the current tricks to aid memory have helped me out much.
A friend once tried to help me memorizing things, using the Mnemonic Peg system and I was all aglow for at least the first few hours afterwards, thrilling to my more efficient brain. (If you don’t want to read the link, basically the system involves you picking a rhyming word to the actual word you need to remember and then drawing and concentrating on a mental picture of that rhyming word, the more outlandish the better.)
It and me were a cohesive team for at least twelve hours. Then the primary words started to trickle away and I could only remember the rhyming words associated with them, due to the pictures in my mind. Then the rhyming words started to drift away as well and I was left with only the mental pictures. You are supposed to be able to remember at least fifty words using this method.
Less than a month later, I can’t recall a single one of the primary words and only have a vague recognition of the prompter words. But I do have a vividly appalling mental photograph of a turd in an ashtray, ala Mr Whippy mode, curling up to the ceiling and above it, in heavy font, the word ‘ant’.
Obviously, none of this has helped me with my face recognition.
And I still don’t know. The age is right, the hair is right (apparently fluffy duckling look is timeless) and the face, at a certain angle that I used to have a photo of (with the original), is so triggering.
She has never said anything so maybe it is all an extreme coincidence. But also maybe she is as crap at these things as I am. And then again, maybe she has good reason for not dredging up the past.
I know that I am useless at remembering people but surely this must be a new low, even for me?