Thursday, November 15, 2012


I ran into a person who I have known for a while but have not talked to for some time recently.  At first when she came up to say “Hello”, I didn’t recognize her face, but did recognize her voice.  She really looked different.  It turned out that she recently had gone through cancer and had lost all of her hair, which was slowly growing back, so she looked quite different than before.
I am not very good at remembering people’s names, and it has gotten worse as I have aged.  Usually when I meet a person it takes me a while to remember their name even after they have told me.  I try doing that thing where I use the name three times in succession and try to build a memory key, but that doesn’t always work.  I think it is odd that often I can remember a person’s voice though and then after a while their name comes to me.  It was that way with my husband.  We had met and dated briefly and then parted for a couple of years.  When I saw him again I couldn’t remember his name when I saw him, but as soon as he spoke his name, and the memory of knowing him before, came to me. 
Memory is a funny thing and age does strange things to it.  It is said that the sense of smell is one of the best triggers for memory there is.  When we smell something that is familiar to us, say the scent of cookies baking, we can remember many things that are associated with that smell.  This is because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, which is an area closely associated with memory.  So maybe if there was a way I could associate a name with a smell maybe that would help me remember better.  But then again, sometimes the smell of some people just makes me sick.

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