Saturday, May 2, 2009

Faded Memory

One of the many events we run at work each year is the Provo Corporate Challenge. Different companies compete against each other for three weeks in a variety of events. The first year we took over running the program they asked all of us in the department to help volunteer at the events to take some of the load off of the sports staff. The first year I was told that the pistol shoot would be an easy one to volunteer for because a guy from one of the companies actually runs it, so I would just have to check people in and be a rep from the city. Ok, I can do that.

I didn't really think before hand about the fact that I'm not really comfortable around guns. I was strictly trying to avoid the events where you might have to do on the spot bracketing or explain a rule debate. But that first year as I was standing in the gun shop waiting for people to check in, I definitely didn't feel relaxed. One of my grandpas used to own a gun shop, so it's not like I have never been in one. But the times we would stop by the shop I was more interested in testing out the elk calls and checking out the bottles of animal urine and wondering why someone would put that on their body.

I felt a little different looking around a room and seeing all of the automatic weapons out for display. And when there are targets that are actually photos of people, I'm just not exactly in my comfort zone. Not really the point of this though. So three years ago while working the event I saw a friendly face come walking through the doors. A guy I went to high school with, Matt Smith (name has been changed to protect the guilty.) Matt was a few years older than me, but we had a class together and I had a pretty big crush on him. When he came up to check in I smiled and said hi. There really wasn't any sign of recognition there. He sat down in the room waiting for the new shooter orientation. Since we were the only ones there I decided that I would break out of my normal shy shell and talk to him.

I told him that I didn't know if he recognized me, but we went to high school together. We started chatting about how we knew each other and about what we had been doing since high school. Talked about his brother that was my age and what he was up to. I left with a smile on my face happy to have run into someone I hadn't seen in years. So the next year I was excited to see his name on the roster again. When Matt came up to check in again I smiled and said hi, thinking he was as cute as he was in high school. Matt said hi and gave me that look, where you are trying to place someone you recognize. "Do I know you?" Yeah. You do. I went through the schpeal again about how we had a class together in high school, I knew his younger brother, etc.

Inside I was wanting to yell at him. Remember how we were in the same group in our class? I got my first C in that class because I spent the entire class time talking to you instead of doing my work. I remember that you wanted to become a pediatrician just so you could prescribe sugar pills to mean parents. I remember how you would practice having illegible hand writing because that was a pre-requisite to becoming a doctor. Nothing?

Well I guess we all need those times when we get knocked down to keep us humble right? So I left that year not quite as excited to see him as I had been the year before. Skip ahead to year three. Would he remember me? Now I felt a little nervous seeing his name on the roster. He walks in comes up to the counter. I figure the ball is in his court. Of course I smile and say hi, I can't ask his name because I know it very well, so instead I just say, Matt right? He gives me that confused look again. "Yeah, I know you some how don't I?" Dude!!!!!!! Yeah we went to high school together. "Oh, yeah", still looking confused.

Don't you remember how you personally invited me to your missionary farewell? And how after the farewell you invited me over to your house during the family luncheon. Remember how as I was leaving you told me to do you a favor and get married before you got back? I still don't really know what you meant by that but I did think it might mean there was some sort of recognition of me floating around in your head.

"Did we used to work together though?" NO WE DIDN'T! How about you remember me from THIS!! So Thursday was the pistol shoot and again, I volunteered to go. It was a cross between disappointment and relief to not see his name on the list. I asked the guy running it if Matt still worked for them. He said he had gotten an offer from another company and had left a few months ago. Well I guess my memory will have faded forever by now.

Odd thing is I happened to have another guy I went to high school with come into the office on Thursday to sign up for a softball tournament. Again I didn't feel like I could just let it go so I told him we went to high school together. Now I didn't really expect much because we weren't friends and never had friends that were friends, but there was zero recognition from my name. Oh well. This isn't really making me feel too excited about going to my reunion this fall. Maybe everyone else just tried harder to block high school out and move on. I obviously haven't.


Kristen said...

Wow. I think we all know people like Matt Smith. My philosophy is that they either have really REALLY bad memories or they just care a little too much about themselves.

Wade The Rascal said...

Ah, the human experience. We've all sort of been there. Or, at least, we regular people have. At any rate, I love the way you write. You should write books because your story-telling skills are amazing. Bet Matt Smith will remember you when he sees your name on the front of a New York Times Bestseller.

Kari said...

Thanks Wade. I'll be your photography critic if you'll be my writing critic :)

Britta said...

I always worry that people won't recognize me and I tend to avoid people from High School because I don't want to face the embarrassment - the ironic thing about all that? If I actually do run in to people from High School? I'm always the one who doesn't remember the other person's name.

Andrea said...

Nothing makes you feel more insignificant that having to re-introduce yourself time after time to someone who has spent a lot of time with you.

I should know.

This happens to me ALL OF THE TIME.

You are not alone.