Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: An excellent memory seems to freak people out

Q: I have an excellent memory for details and while itís a great asset in my work (I do statistical analysis for a pharmaceutical company), it seems to be a detriment in my personal life for reasons I do not understand.

I can remember innocuous things people said or did or what they wore many months later. Sometimes I bring this up because something in the present time relates to it, but when I do that, people act like Iím making things up ó but if I show them proof with a picture or a text, then they act freaked out.

Iím not reminding people they owe me money or screwed something up, so Iím confused by this reaction, and yet itís happened so many times. Itís really hard for me to curtail my memory and I blurt these things out without thinking because itís interesting or shows Iím interested in them. Iím talking about things like, "Hey, you wore that the last time we all went to the movies, is that your superhero viewing shirt?"

Why is this such an issue with a lot of people?

Super Memory

A: Yes, youíre showing interestóbut you can also appear too interested, because theyíre filtering your remarks through the experience of having typical brains that have typical disposal mechanisms for minutiae. So, for them to remember someoneís shirt from weeks or months ago, plus the context in which it was worn, theyíd have to be waaaayyyyy interested in that person. Like, crushing-verging-on-stalkery-obsessed interested. So your innocent brain gymnastics trigger their alarms. Itís a false alarm, but they canít know that.

Another possibility is that people think ó or feel as if óyouíre showing them up. Or they just donít like finding out their memories are faultier than they thought.

So I suggest you either stop sharing so many of the things you notice, or start sharing more about your quirky retention of detail. If they know youíre that way, then you can all treat it more openly as your parlor-trick brain thing.

Anonymous: I also have a super memory. Yes, friend I graduated high school with in 1990, I remember the gray sweatshirt with red elbow patches you wore in gym class.

My solution: I pretend not to remember. When I see someone for the first time in two years, I donít say, "I hope that econ professor wasnít too hard on you on that project about free trade you were working on toward your masterís degree." I say, "Werenít you in grad school the last time I saw you? What are you up to now?"

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks.Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writerCreatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18

Published: 09/11/18

Tell Me About It: Momís support shouldnít sacrifice her principles

Q: My 27-year-old daughter recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend. Now she wants me to tell her Iím on her side of every dispute.Itís her life, sheís an adult: Got it. But should I really be expected to tell her she acted well when she didnít? ...
Published: 09/11/18