Missing brain cells


Vast swathes of my memory are lost to me. When people friend me on Facebook, I’m constantly asking old school mate: “Who is xxxx?”

She’ll rattle off extensive detail: “Little tiny girl – rooooly short …”, “he’s an absolute sweety …” that sort of thing. And I’ll still be none the wiser.

She’s not the only one who remembers far more about my past than I do. People often reminisce about fun times we’ve had and it often feels like they’re talking about someone else because I’ll have no recollection of being there.

Some of the black spots, I’ll admit, might be alcohol related. There were phases in my 20s when I hit the bottle fairly hard after messy break-ups, shock retrenchments etc. But I’ll even look back at blog posts I wrote a year ago and think … did that really happen? Oh, that’s right … And little fragments will begin to drift into my consciousness.

But it still feels a bit like it happened to someone else.

My dreadful memory has lead me to lie to a priest, it’s wiped all recollection of dancing with The Big C when I was 17, it’s blanked most of the six years I spent with my first love.

I worked at ACP Magazines for 20 years (20 years!) and I felt like like I knew everyone. Until I stepped into a lift and a complete stranger would greet me by name. It happened all the time. Being greeted was fine, I love a friendly workplace, but them knowing my name when I couldn’t even remember their face was off-putting.

Introducing people to each other is my idea of HELL. I may have known you for 10 years, but the moment I’m expected to introduce you to someone else, pfffft, your name is GONE.

It’s scary. I must be such a good candidate for Alzheimers.


So I was looking through some old photo albums for photos from my wilder days for my New Year’s Heave blog when I stumbled across some party snaps from my expat years in Singapore. And I’m staring at a couple of shots when I have this sudden realisation: the bloke I’m mugging with looks a lot like Antonia Kidman’s new husband, Craig Marran … ah, that’s right, I used to move with his crowd over there …

Followed by another realisation: that might have been rather handy information when I was working as editorial director of Woman’s Day magazine and was scrabbling for intel on him when they first started dating …


Which brings me to last night – New Year’s Eve – the brain cell destroying night of the year. And I don’t think I lost any. I had two glasses of champers during a three-hour stretch at party I received a last-minute pity invite to after a friend read my blog yesterday.  Hurrah!

I got home sober to discover the Not So Neighbourly Neighbours weren’t partying their arses off for a change. On the one night of the year I might forgive them for it. The street was whisper quiet. It was weird. I almost couldn’t get to sleep, I was so discombobulated. Love that word.

Which means I’m fresh as a daisy this morning. Well, as fresh as a 44-year-old woman can be.

How about you – how many brain cells did you destroy last night? 


2 thoughts on “Missing brain cells

  1. I have the same name affliction! It’s the worst part of my job and I’m constantly devising ways of working out customer names without them realising I’ve forgotten! Sometimes I excuse myself, sneak out and get the rego number of their car and return via the Service department having looked them up on the computer! Or perhaps I’ll ask them to spell their last name…and it’s “Smith” or “Jones”! DOH! God help me if I run into ’em at the local shopping centre!
    Does watching 2 hours and 40 minutes of Les Mis destroy brain cells? Dunno, but that’s what we did for NYE, calling into a party at midnight to watch the fireworks.

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