Don’t Ask Me Your Name. I’m a Mother


Point of fact: the truth hurts. But sometimes, it’s safer. You can tell me about some event you have coming up. I’ll smile politely and assure you the Democrat is committed to covering the county’s happenings. It’s all the truth.

But the fact is, when I tell you to “call Frank in the office,” it isn’t just because I’m no longer a staff reporter but a freelancer here at the paper. It’s not a way to get you off my back. It’s not meant to be rude. It’s because I probably won’t remember a word you said. And I want you to be ready.


If you don’t call the paper, you’ll be plenty mad at the folks in charge. And it isn’t their fault. It’s mine.
I’d like to say I would remember it all. Once upon a time, I would. I had a freakish sort of memory. The type that recalled the birth dates of all her classmates AND the date of random events in history. I always had high scores on my social studies tests.

And then came parenting.

And CRS. Which, since this is a family newspaper, I shall refer to only as “Can’t remember stuff” disease.
I want to remember, but the fact is, I can’t. My child has sucked a portion out of me. But I can’t blame it all on her. In nearly 10 years of working for the Democrat, I’ve taken pictures of too many faces, interviewed too many people, to remember them all. And I’m a wuss. I find it hard to admit it. I run into people all the time, people who I know that I know, but people who leave me frantic, scrambling for their name or something resembling a sign that I remember where they work/live/go to school.

I can’t say it to your face, so I say it here. I fake it. I smile. I nod. I mean it in a sincere sort of way, but I just wish you’d spell it all out for me. Name, rank and serial number. Please!

And don’t feel bad. It isn’t just you.

It’s been just a few weeks since my friend’s son turned 6. I bought a present. I attended the party. And I still goofed by calling him 5 on his mom’s Facebook this weekend.

The truth is, I’m better off telling you I can’t remember. Because you’re going to figure it out sooner or later!

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