I guess I pride myself on my memory, and love quizzes and enjoy racking my brains to tease out that obscure piece of information which will give us the answer to a tricky question. When it comes to remembering the family history, everyone says I have an amazing store of facts, figures, stories and random information. However, on some things I have absolutely no memory at all.
I’ve got a dear friend who lives in a flat, and I’m blowed if I can remember the number. Once inside – if I manage to get in without ringing her to help me, say another resident comes out and lets me in, then I can’t remember her flat number – and in the past even what floor she lives on. There’s a selection of devices on the wall by the outside door – any normal person would recognize them as a keypad and as key safes for residents. It’s taken me about three years to learn which is which, even though my friend has shown me so many times. It just doesn’t stick in my mind.
There was one time when I managed to get in the building and then wandered for ages trying to remember what flat she lived in before ringing her to confess not only did I not know the number but couldn’t remember which of the three floors (yes only three) she lived on. Another time I got in and ended up knocking on the wrong door, although to be fair, it was on the right floor. Luckily no-one was in and as I knew my friend was at home I rang her to tell me which number it actually was… it may have been on that occasion that I kept turning left instead of right, or vice-versa, and she had to come out and track me down.
Part of this is to do with my left/right thing, where I can’t remember whether something is left or right, go left/go right/ on/off, push/pull, open/close, hot/cold. This therefore effects my leaving her lovely company; it’s usually the same problem in reverse, turning the wrong way, getting out at the wrong floor even though the illuminated button clearly says what floor it is plus a cooing voice actually tells me. I was once wandering the second floor having lost the lift and the stairs and came across a postman who pointed me in the wrong direction for the lift but fortunately I fund the stairs. On the ground floor I met the postman again – I shouldn’t have trusted him but I asked where the exit door was. He pointed the way, and there it was, and I pushed it open – and emerged into a lovely garden. I had to circumnavigate the block to find my car.
This is all a thing of the past, so I thought today; I felt confident as I approached. I remembered that the key safes were key safes, and I had to press the keypad to ring the flat. For some reason I used to think she was number 17, but then I had a cunning plan – her flat number, 34, is twice 17! So I smugly pressed 34 and heard it buzz… but there was no corresponding ding-click of the door lock releasing. I pressed it again – I knew she was home because I messaged her before I left home as I was slightly late, delayed by tidying. (My friend had replied – ‘who is Tidying? Tell her to go away.’)
I messaged her again: I am here. I pressed a button. Am I supposed to press something else?
She replied: Press 3 and 8…
I’d thought it was 34… Luckily another friend arrived and we gained admittance by pressing 3 and 8, and we had a lovely cup of tea and chocolate and caramel cupcakes.
PS I found my way out by myself and didn’t get lost.