The Least Sexiest Super Power
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
I hope this doesn’t mean that the Sylar villain from “Heroes” is coming to steal my brain but…
I have this really weird super-power of remembering dates, names, certain numbers, and all sorts of obscure and mostly useless information, but it’s a skill that helped
me get straight-A’s throughout my life. My retention skills for dates is what prompts my daughters to refer to me as “Calendar Girl.”
Oh, as with all super-powers, I can’t control it, necessarily. I’ll be in mid-conversation and suddenly tell you the exact date of a particular discussion five years ago, who else was present, and sometimes what people wore or said. Minute details that tend to upset the other person sometimes. Lots of people think it’s a blessing but it’s a curse when you’d rather forget something and you cannot.
It’s amusing, too, when people think you wouldn’t possibly remember a name or address. I usually at least see all the customer names and/or packaging labels for orders that go out for Spilled Candy Books, and if a customer asks a month later if we received an order that they sent in, I can immediately answer, “No. That name hasn’t come through.” Ten times out of ten, I recognize the name or recognize that it’s not a customer’s name I’ve seen. But of course, someone has to go back and doublecheck orders just in case. Who would believe that I could answer that quickly?
But that’s a skill that can go back for years. Today, an order came through and I choked when I saw the name on the package label. The guy, supposedly a community leader, stiffed us on an order five years ago. I still remember the amount. It stung. I eventually had to write him off as a loss. He probably either doesn’t remember that unpaid transaction or thinks we don’t. But a single glance over his name and I was riveted. Yeah, I remember. Does he, you think?
It’s odd to me how many people don’t remember their childhoods or have huge gaps. I don’t have gaps. I remember everything. Vivid details back to when I was no older than three. Whole conversations before I even knew my ABC’s. Even when I didn’t understand what was being said or why. If people knew how often I hid under dining room tables because I was afraid of this relative or that one (for good reason!), they’d be shaking in their brogans. No one ever thinks to check under the table before having a private conversation, do they?
So I’m a freak. Yeah. Most of the time, I hide that little trick because it weirds people out too much. I often joke that I “don’t do math” on evenings and weekends because I don’t want to have to call it up. If I try to concentrate and call up a date, it’s just not fun. No scrinching up my eyes and furrowing my brow to recall something with a fierce nod or my eyes glazing over. No, I usually don’t worry about it and just let the weird sense of recall happen as it wishes, let it happen when it does, and never take it too seriously.
Having a thing for dates and numbers is not a superpower I would choose. If I were choosing, I’d pick something far sexier. Like whispering persuasive messages. Or hearing an occasional thought. Or having people visit me in my dreams. Or…oh.