Memory of an elephant. Yep. That’s exactly what I’ve got, and you–My Dear Readers–can vouch for me. As you know, I can drone on and on about many things, especially about my elephant memory. I did so just week before last in “Dating after Twenty-Three.” Remember? Of course, you do.
But here’s the thing. For this week’s post, I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’m having a memory lapse.
Don’t worry. I’m sure that it’s minor, and I’m sure that it’s momentary. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what the hell this post is supposed to be about. I don’t mean in the broadest sense of its content. Of course, I know that fully well: mishaps and memories.
The idea sparked as miraculously as spontaneous combustion one day last fall when a dear colleague and I were exchanging lighthearted banter, and I ended up fessing up to one of the many mishaps that I’ve suffered down through the years that ended up as memories.
As soon as I shared it with her, she quipped:
“That would be an excellent angle for one of your blog posts.”
I agreed. Almost immediately, I started a draft and made it as far as the preliminary title: “Mishaps and Memories.” In an instant, the two M’s seemed sweet enough to melt in my mouth, so the working title became the final title of today’s delectable treat: “M & M’s: Mishaps & Memories.”
Immediately, I loved the quadruple alliteration as well as the double ampersand. I still love them. Plus, in high school, I learned that every good title has a main title and a subtitle, separated with a colon. Can you believe that I remembered that little rule after all these years and used it here with a full measure of success?
But I sure wish that I could remember the memorable mishap that sparked this idea the day that my colleague and I were having such frivolous merriment on paid college time. (Oops! Did I just say that? Well, so be it. It’s not a problem for me anyway because I’m no longer on the college’s payroll. I’m reinventing myself at my own expense. It’s no problem for my colleague either because I have not disclosed her identity.)
Let’s see. What can I do to jog my memory? I know. I’ll use my alphabet technique for remembering things. Starting with the letter A, I’ll slowly work my way through the alphabet, lingering on each letter for a bit. When I get to the letter of whatever it is that I’m trying to remember, the entire word will flash apocalyptically across my mind.
Well, I’ve been from A to Z and back. Not once. Not twice. But three times. No apocalypse.
Well, duh. Why don’t I just text Jenny? I’m sure that she would remember our conversation. On the other hand, doing that would give me a ready answer and spoil all my fun and yours, too.
If I keep at it, I’m sure that I’ll remember. Aside from my foolproof alphabet technique, I have another technique for remembering things. But right now, I can’t remember it either.
So where was I? Oh, yes. I remember. I was trying to remember my memorable mishaps.
Well, let me just start sharing some, and as I share, maybe–just maybe–I’ll remember the one that Jenny thought was so riveting.
The mishap that I am about to share was the result of my naivete and innocence coupled with my polite and courteous outspokenness, for which I am so well known.
When I started my Federal career, I was part of a large editorial team. One of my co-workers was Ed-–h B-l-–r. After a year or so, I transferred to another editorial position in the same Federal agency, but in a different building.
On my first day in my new position, I was introduced to one of my fellow editors, H-l-n B-l—r.
Since their last names were the same, I assumed that they were related, and I was so delighted with myself that I had a perfect way to get into a perfect conversation with her.
“It’s an honor to meet you. Are you related to Ed–h B-l—r?”
“Do you mean the bitch who stole my husband?”
What an embarrassing mishap. Now, though, it’s a funny memory.
Okay. Let’s try another mishap confirming that I am naive, innocent, and downright dumb when it comes to being politely and courteously outspoken.
Fast-forward, if you will, a good number of years. Same Federal agency. Different position. Different building.
In that position, I had to review everything that the staff ghostwrote for my boss, the director.
One memo caused me to have some major concerns, and I called them to B-n’s attention.
“Go down there right now and tell N-r- that this is nothing but a piece of sh-t.”
I did as directed.
“Good morning, N-r-.” I flashed my widest smile as I handed her the document. “B-n told me to tell you that this memo is nothing but a piece of sh-t.”
N-r- stormed out, taking the stairs to B-n’s office on the sixth floor. I took the elevator, hoping to warn B-n. Fury must have wings. She beat me to his office where I found her giving him a piece of … her mind.
Sadly, these two foot-in-mouth mishaps haven’t taken me any closer to the mishap that I’m struggling to remember.
Maybe it had something to do with technology?
Maybe it had something to do with cooking or baking?
Maybe it had something to do with both?
Surely, it didn’t have anything to do with my IQ test. I don’t think that I have ever disclosed that mishap to one single solitary living soul. No, not one.
And, please, please, please, Dear Colleague who was with me when the idea combusted originally: do NOT reveal your identity by commenting on this post to tell me the memorable mishap that I can’t remember. You must remember that I have done everything in my power to keep it concealed.
Also, doing so would make me look really dumb. Work with me. Give me a little more time. By next week’s post, I’ll surely remember the memorable mishap that I can’t remember right now.