I have an excellent memory for entirely useless things. I remember telling a family friend that my favorite TV show was Underdog when I was about four. I recall being absolutely enamored of a bruise my friend had on her leg in kindergarten. I remember wearing the same dress as my friend the first day of first grade, but I was wearing it backwards (my mom was back at work, hers wasn’t).
About absolutely crucial information, I’m not so clear. I don’t remember why I can’t write off clothes I buy that I wear on TV; my accountant has told me so many times that I’m embarrassed to ask her again but a thorough search of my brain cavity doesn’t produce an answer. I never remember how to spell embarrassed. (Okay, I just got it right that time, but I swear it was dumb luck.) Last week, I lost my car in a parking lot I’m in roughly every other week. (Of course, I eventually found it but I was dangerously close to having to ask the lot manager to drive me around looking for my car — something I knew was possible because, of course, losing my car in a lot wasn’t all that unusual an occurrence for me.)
It’s actually become something of a party trick for me to tell people the first conversation we ever had. It’s almost always something incredibly innocuous but I tend to remember what was said, how it was said and potentially even what we were both wearing at the time.
My memories of joining the Debutante Ball are very specific. I recall being introduced to the group by almost-Deb Allison Winn Scotch, feeling thrilled to be a part of one of those things I usually heard about and wondered why I never got to be involved in and then receiving a flurry of emails from incredibly motivated, funny and talented women. There was some joke about a shrimp that had to do with something that happened to Kristy on vacation and they all seemed to get and I didn’t, since I was a latecomer to the group. A lot of shared publishing joys and woes and an introduction to how powerful Sessalee Hensley was fairly early on.
With this, I’m not entirely certain which memories are crucial and which useless, which I’ll take with me for the rest of my days and which will float off into the same ether where I logged the information about that parking spot last week (I’m telling you, I’m fairly certain I was on another floor entirely from where I found my car). But I know that when looking back on the experience of having my first book published, I’ll always remember that I had a group of incredibly motivated, funny and talented women seeing me through every step.
And that not getting the shrimp joke never stood in my way.