When I considered whether to go to my 40th high school reunion – my first reunion ever – the first thing I thought about was whether I’d have to confront my high school nemesis, Medusa (not her real name).
A bit later, I joined Tinker who had sat down for a piece of pizza.
“I really can’t decide what the right thing is to say to Medusa,” I said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say anything.”
“Actually,” said Tinker, guiltily. “I was just talking to her. She doesn’t remember being mean to you.”
“WHAT?? You’re kidding!”
“Actually, it’s worse,” continued Tinker. “She doesn’t remember you at all.”
My pizza slice hung suspended in mid-bite. Didn’t even remember me? I had never considered the possibility. I hunted through my purse for my 9 mm Glock.
I had to admit that during the evening, I talked with some people who remembered me well but whom I couldn’t place, and to several whom I remembered well but who seemed to have very little memory of me. I continue to be fascinated by who and what we remember – why some people with whom we had a lot of contact just completely fade away in our memories, and others stand out so prominently. Of course, we can’t remember everything and everyone – just not enough disk space. But it just didn’t seem possible that Medusa, the source of so much angst and trauma, could have erased me from her memory bank. Or worse, never registered me in it to begin with. Is this the ultimate act of bullying, that your bully doesn’t even remember you?
Just wait till the 50th reunion, Medusa. I predict a wheelchair mishap.