One of the most widely used drugs on the market for dementia is called Aricept. So, with our typically black humor, a lot of medical types call a monumental memory lapse an "Aricept moment". It's just one in a string of little shorthand phrases we use, but it's one of the most understood. It's our way of saying we had a brain fart, or totally lost track of what we were saying or doing, or that we've really, totally jacked something up beyond repair.
This is the story of my own Aricept moment.
We picked our Bunco secret pals in December, as I've written about before. I was very excited about who I picked, as I consider her one of my closest friends in the group. (And no, she doesn't read this blog, so hopefully she won't even know about this until I fess up in December). For the sake of the story let's call her Rebecca, since that's her name.
Before our first Bunco of the year I went out and bought her a really nice bottle of red wine, which she loves. I wasn't going for anything particularly memorable, just a start of the year kick-off gift. The day of Bunco, my phone rang. It was my friend Laurie, and she was worried. She had drawn the name of the newest member and she had a nagging feeling that this gal's birthday was in January. She didn't want to miss her birthday, but she wasn't quite sure of when it was. I've known this new person longer than Laurie and I said I was almost positive her birthday was in the Spring, so it would be fine to just bring her a little token gift. I said that there were only two people in the group who had January birthdays and her gal wasn't one of them. We went around and around on this, but finally I convinced her and she went off to buy something small, yet meaningful.
That night, I didn't see Rebecca get her bottle of wine in the gift exchange since I was a) on the other side of the room and b) on the happy side of the hangover from hell, but I was absolutely confident in my choice of gift. It was simple, it was personal...it was perfect.
Cut forward a week. I'm at the rummage sale for the elementary school that several of the Bunco Babe's kids attend, and I see Rebecca taking money at the cashier. As Surfer Dude and I get to the front, I reached across the table and gave her a big hug.
Happy Birthday, I said, A day late. I hope you had a great day.
You're so sweet, she replied, You always remember my birthday.
And we left.
I was halfway home when what I had done finally hit me. I had totally blown off my secret pal's birthday. That was bad enough, but how I did it took the prize. I completely remembered that Rebecca had a January birthday. I think I even mentioned it to Laurie during that conversation the day of. But somehow the parallel train tracks of a) Rebecca is my secret pal and b) Rebecca has a January birthday never crossed over. This is doubly (triply, quadruply) galling because this has happened to her before with this inconvenient January birthday, and I know for a fact she was really hurt by it. Mentally, I rewrote what she had said to me minutes earlier
You're so sweet, she replied, You always remember my birthday - unlike that no good slacker of a secret pal I've got.
I was horrified, and started running through damage control options. Shop extravagantly and leave it on her doorstep? Call her on the phone and fess up to the whole mess, blowing my cover that isn't supposed to be "unveiled" until the end of the year? Send her an anonymous apology in the mail? What to do, what to do?
Finally, I hit on this. I'm pushing her birthday back a month. With the cooperation of the February hostess, I'm going to throw a "surprise" birthday bash. If I think really fast on my feet between now and then, maybe I can even make her think I planned it this way the whole time. It's worth a shot. It's the only shot I've got.
Because, oh my god, do I feel terrible.
And speaking of Aricept moments, when I posted the awards I'd recently received, I completely forgot to pass one along. (Is anybody but me sensing a theme here?) So, without further ado, I'm giving the Proximity Award to these very deserving bloggers who make my own world a lot nicer.
Rudee at A Knitting Nurse is proximity personified. She may live a few states away, but every time I put on the unbelievable wool socks she knit for me I feel like she's right next to me. And I know I'm not the only recipient of her generosity, either. So, Rudee...this one's for you. You wear it well.
Then there's Laurie at Three Dog Blog. I think this is tailor made for her because, well, Laurie is everywhere. I don't know how she finds the time to read all the blogs she does - much less comment on them - but somehow she does. They're even succinct, well-thought out comments, that lead you to believe she actually read the whole post before she commented. That's gotta deserve an award.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM