Friday, 20 September 2019

Memory

Sue (Beachcomber) and her partner are over here in the Dales and are kindly coming to take me out to lunch tomorrow.   I did not realise that they had been before and just can't recall the occasion at all.   This morning, after having coffee with friends, I drove into the Market Place to collect some super wallflower plants I had ordered.  I pulled into the side of the road, got out of the car and opened the boot for the garden man to put the plants in my boot.   A lady touched my arm - 'Pat?' - yes, you have guessed it.   It was Sue, who recognised me immediately.   Did I recognise her?   Sadly not.

A lady who comes to our Poetry Group has some condition - and I have no idea what it is called, so if anyone knows please mention it - and sometimes wears a badge to inform people that she is sorry she doesn't recognise them because she has this condition.    I was beginning to think that maybe I had it too.   Then last week I had new specs and was told by the Optician that my cataracts would be 'ready' next time I had my eyes tested.   When I queried with him what difference it might be making to my eyes he replied that quite often when cataracts are almost 'ready' people have difficulty recognising faces.   So take your pick.   What is it that makes me unable to recognise faces - incidentally it doesn't happen once I have seen people a few times and they kind of 'fit into' my memory bank.   But Sue had no difficulty in picking me out of a fairly busy Market Square when she has only seen me once before.

I am really looking forward to seeing them in the morning.

21 comments:

JanF said...

The condition is called prosopagnosia. I have only met one person who has it, he runs a very nice store which sells blown glass. He said that he had a nervous breakdown as a child because of it, I think it took some time to diagnose.

gz said...

Himself has lately had both cataracts done....now he notices far more!! Things he declares are new....have actually been so for ages.....
Make sure you have some sporty wraparound sunspecs..keeps out glare and dust from the sides. Everything will be seem very bright to start with. Eye drops will be the rule of the day, steroid ones four times a day for 4 weeks then artificial tears. He is down to those just once a day now, mainly when tired. Best of luck!

Rachel Phillips said...

No excuses. You don't remember them.

angryparsnip said...

I find i remember faces but not names also know what something is but it takes me a few tries to find the right name.
It is very frustrating
parsnip.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Prosopagnosia is the inability to remember FAMILIAR faces, not failure to recognise someone you don't know very well or haven't seen in years. In this case Sue was looking for you in a place where she knew few other people whereas you were pre-occupied with other matters. It happens to everyone from time to time. Both my parents had their cataracts done and it made a big improvement to both their lives.

Heather said...

Enjoy your friends' visit. I don't always recognise people either and find it rather embarrassing. I had cataracts in both eyes and was very nervous about having them removed. I needn't have worried as the procedure is not painful at all, and the results so worthwhile. I still wear glasses but they are for long-sightedness. A friend of mine didn't need glasses at all after hers were removed.

justjill said...

Had both eyes done. For me as an artist it was the colour I could now see. I still have glasses for reading. I dont remember names of people. I just smile at everyone I come across!

Anonymous said...

I have prosopagnosia, I have always wondered if it was because I was extremely short-sighted as a child and my parents refused to let me have glasses, until they were leaned on by my teachers, and even then they told me I must ONLY wear them in class! I ignored that, I thought they were the best thing since sliced bread, suddenly things emerged out of the blur and had shape!
It is a handicap, particularly at work. It is very difficult when you have to go and have a meeting with someone and realise that you can't recall what they look like and won't recognise them even though you sat opposite them for a hour in a meeting only a few days ago.
The stories about prosopagnosia-type experiences in people with impaired vision due to cataracts do suggest that eyesight has a lot to do with it.
Do you recall any similar cases from your teaching experience, Weaver?

Terra said...

I think I have a bit of that condition; I read a long interview with Brad Pitt where he explained he has it and it is hard for him to be on movie sets where he may encounter people he had a bond with (script writer, camera man, etc.) from a previous movie and now he doesn't recognize them and he worries he will seem rude or have a big ego.

Derek Faulkner said...

"looking forward to seeing them in the morning" - well, let's hope you actually do.

Penhill said...

You have so many friends how can you expect to recognise them all :)

Gwil W said...

I expect you recognize yourself in the bathroom mirror in the mornings. That's the main thing.

liparifam said...

So odd - this is something I was thinking about just this week! I, too, have a hard time recognizing people. Unless I've met someone numerous times, I just can't even picture them in my mind later. When I was younger and in school, I was often thought to be "stuck up" because I didn't speak to people when I passed them, because I just didn't recognize them!

Cro Magnon said...

I was once in the house of a man who wished to show me one of my paintings that he'd bought several years previously. I had absolutely no recollection of the painting at all, and it took several hours before any memory of it came back. It was a very strange experience; one which, luckily, has never been repeated.

Rachel Phillips said...

The interesting thing about this post is the different interpretation and level of comprehension of readers and is a frightening indication on a bigger scale of how information given is disseminated.

Gwil W said...

Sometimes I don't recognize who people. I always recognize politicians, funnily enough.

Gwil W said...

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The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting answers here - thanks for them all.

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Robin Mac said...

First up, I think you have been hacked Pat, if the previous reply is real.
I sympathise with those people who don't recognise familiar faces. I have severe macular degeneration and I just don't see faces ever. I always tell my friends they have to speak to me for me to recognise who is there. Probably there are acquaintances who think I am being rude because I don't acknowlege them, but unfortunately I can do nothing about that.
Good luck with your cataracts - you won't believe how brilliant the colours are after they are done. Cheers

Rachel Phillips said...

It is just Blogger spam doing the rounds this morning.