Selective Memory

So, as an adult (chronologically, anyway), I have certain expectations about my capacity to retain information.  Things like the dates of my children's' immunizations and the day I was married are things I expect myself to remember.  I just don't.

I, however, can tell you that female King Cobra's protect their nests until just before hatching because they are snake eaters and instinctively know when to leave, so as not to dine on their own offspring. 

 I suppose this would be useful knowledge if I were a herpetologist or at a minimum a great adventurer, but I'm a social services caseworker and am afraid to leave my postal code. 

I have no need to keep this information in my long term memory, yet there it is.  I find this quirk in my make-up alternately amusing and frustrating.  I know just a bit about a lot of things, and few of them are useful to me. 

Am I a genetic anomaly? 

Was my ancient ancestress at the watering hole, reciting disjointed snippets to the fighters and flighters?  Did my genetic code only continue on because procreation does actually require a certain degree of concentration that does not lend itself easily to useless babble.  I'd guess the fighters might rather have shut her up with a rock, but if said ancestress could run, the flighters might have had no other recourse but to kiss her. 

There must be an explanation for why I am hard-wired to remember only those things I will never need, sadly at the expense of those things I really wish I could remember half so easily.


Mikki Mikki
31-35, F
2 Responses May 17, 2007

LOL, thanks for my first big laugh of the day. I identify...

Delightful read. Do not fear, more of us lurk out here than you can imagine. I am 54 and can recite the opening narrative to the Christopher Reeves Superman TV show. I'm also very quick with very odd poems from the late 50's including the entire book "Madeline". Is it no wonder I have to keep to one password for everything and write that down? I rock at Trivia Pursuit Baby Boomers, coming up with facts I thought I had no knowledge of. Ask me what was on the grocery list I wrote less than 4 hours ago and I go blank. There just isn't any more room. I need a delete button or at least be able to compact files or maybe defrag my brain. Yet, with the internet I create more havoc for my mind to sort through. An odd fact or comment pops up on TV and I have to hunt it down. Forget the show I'm in wonderland learning about some reference an actor made. Sugar Maple leaves turning upwards before rain. Missed the end of that movie. Ahhh but the mind is a wonderful thing why clutter it with numbers, dates and short term lists.