the (really) little things
Recently, Tom and Cuz watched “Moonrise Kingdom” on cable. I overheard Tom complain to Cuz throughout the movie about how bad it was, and then heard him continue to complain after the movie was over, for two straight days. About a week later, while perusing the paper for a movie to watch on our date night, he shouted from the living room. “How about ‘Moonrise Kingdom?’ Let’s see that.”
Tom is a great lawyer. He can remember a lot of facts and law. I’m going to assume it’s that kind of income-producing info that is taking up all the brain space where a memory for non-work-related details might otherwise reside.
Like the name of almost every restaurant we have ever eaten at. He can’t remember the name of restaurants we have eaten at ten times or more. I feel bad that I get annoyed that he can’t remember a restaurant’s name to save his life, but I do. I feel worse because he knows I get annoyed and has to pretend like he remembers things, when he doesn’t. Like when I suggested we go to Piazza Italia for dinner last week. “Riiiiight, I love that restaurant. It’s the one on the corner of, um…you know, the one near the store with the…clothes.” Tom searched my face for clues but I wasn’t in the mood. He gulped and soldiered on. “Yeah. The restaurant where there were…all those…windows.” I felt like I was watching him drown in a pit of quicksand, and was alarmed to find myself enjoying the view. “It’s the restaurant we ate at on your 40th birthday, with 70 of our friends,” I snapped. Tom, lighting up from relief: “I love that place! Let’s go there!!”
Tom also cannot remember the name of any actress alive, no matter how hot he finds her. This is frustrating to me, because we have a subscription to US Weekly, which is essentially the Almanac of Hot Actresses. He pretends like he doesn’t read it, but you can bet your sweet ass he’s reaching for my US Weekly way before he cracks his own boring magazines. Anyway, my point is, he has no excuse. He can see the stars in the photos every week and there are always captions, and he should know their names. But he never does. I’m starting to wonder if he has that condition that prevents him from recognizing faces.
We landed on “Skyfall” for date night and afterwards, Tom commented on how hot the woman in it was, and how good that same woman had been in that Michael Mann movie about the gangsters, the title of which he could not, of course, recall. I blinked rapidly in an effort to hold back the annoyance I could feel rising behind my eyeballs. “Are you talking about…Marion Cotillard?” Tom nodded emphatically: “YES!” I took a deep breath and tried to think of something calm, like the ocean, and instead landed on 1) a spewing volcano, and 2) a raging forest fire. “Tom. You seriously think that half-Asian woman in that movie we just saw was Marion Cotillard—the white French actress?” Tom nodded, but was beginning to look unsure, and also like he wished he’d never talked at all. Don’t feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for ME.
Every time I have to correct Tom about some useless fact, it forces me to confront how much of my own precious brain space I am devoting to celebrity trivia. And then that makes me start wondering things like, what could I accomplish if I put down my US Weekly and picked up The Economist, and am I actually getting dumber with time? And then I just feel bad about myself. Can’t have that.
Anyway. You be the judge.