I just finished sending off email thank-yous to all the holiday cards I received this year. Admittedly, sending an email response to a physical Christmas card is probably not up to snuff from an etiquette standpoint. I can only hope that my friends have low expectations, given that the Undomesticated Young Jewish Male is perhaps the least likely demographic in the English-speaking world to do a good job with the whole holiday card thing. Anyway, I have grown to appreciate holiday cards, and despite my failure to fully hold up my end of the holiday card bargain, friends and relatives keep sending them to me anyway. And so I read them and smile and put them up on the mantle and feel warm and fuzzy seeing them up there. So, thank you friends and relatives!
I did have a disturbing experience sending thank-yous this year. I picked up one card from an old friend of mine that had arrived a few days before. It was a delightful little card with a hand-drawn cartoon on the front, portraying each family member as a robot with a Santa hat. “Oh, the robot card! I really liked the robot card,” I thought. Then I opened an email to send them a thank you — and suddenly I experienced the sensation of knowing who to send it too but not the name of the person to send it to. I could remember my friend’s face, the names and faces of my friend’s immediate family, the name of her blog (which I had read several hours before), but not her actual name. I considered looking inside the card, but decided that no, that would be cheating. Finally, after about fifteen agonizing seconds, my brain dredged out the correct name. Stupid brain! What do I pay you for, anyway?
Recently, this has been happening a lot to names of good friends, fairly close relatives, and other bits of information that I should be able to retrieve instantaneously. Last night, I took my sisters and my brother-in-law to a holiday party, and I remember introducing my brother-in-law as, “this is uh, my brother-in-law Adiv.” I cleverly snuck in the “uh, my brother-in-law” part because I needed an extra one-and-a-half seconds to retrieve his name. This is a guy I’ve known for about six years now, not to mention that we had been chatting in the car just a few minutes before. At least I remembered my sisters’ names. And the hosts. That would have been embarrassing.
If I were exhibiting any other symptoms, I’d be seriously worried that this was some kind of early-onset medical condition. Then again, if I were experiencing any other symptoms, would I be the best one to notice? Maybe I should ask friends and family members to please keep an eye out for… what, exactly? Agitation? Mood swings? Irascibility? Hoo-boy. I’m basically screwed.
1. An addendum to the party: as I started up the car for the trip home, I saw a five-or-six point buck galloping down the sidewalk, nearly brushing the car. Fortunately, everyone else in the car saw it too. So I’m not going completely crazy.