ADHD Memories in Brief

March 18, 2010 Douglas Cootey

One of the wonderful aspects of ADHD for me is that I have a faulty short-term memory. Anything that gets into long-term storage is locked in there for life, but don't count on asking me what I said a few minutes ago. Where this becomes entertaining is when short-term memory wipes the evidence of social gaffes. Years later, you can bump into somebody and not remember why they were entertained/infuriated with you. Is it surprising? We do so much on autopilot. It's a wonder we remember anything at all.

speedohnoAs with most of the adult population on Planet Earth, I am on Facebook. I've watched it change from a college-only site to a business networking site to the sad, silly state it is now where every life form known to man can get an account and play Farmville. I've been rather bemused seeing old friends log onto the site, get extremely excited they found me, then never write me again just like before Facebook.

Fortunately, not all reunions are as disappointing. One was with a girl I knew in high school. We hadn't spoken in 25 years, but had fond memories of our acquaintance from our church's youth group. There was a fair amount of pleasant reminiscing before she dropped a bomb.

She had a crush on me then?

Well, yes, but it was natural—I mean, mutual. No, I am referring to one particular event that stayed with her for years. In high school, I was far trimmer than I currently am now. The only things bulging on me were muscles. I used to belong to the swim team, ride my bike all over the Cape, and fit in size 32 jeans. I was also determined to defeat my genetically-encoded fair skin to get a tan. This much I remember. What I didn't recall was the day we had a youth group pool party with other churches, something we referred to as a Super Saturday, where I got into a bit of hot water.

She and I were chatting by the poolside when I decided to drop my shorts. Underneath I was wearing my team speedo. She "remember[s] laughing and being shocked, but in a good way." I then gracefully settled onto my shiny, silver tanning blanket and proceeded to swelter in the sun for fashion's sake. I didn't swelter long. The youth leaders rushed over and tried to cover me up with a towel and beg me to put my shorts back on. I was 16. I worked out in a speedo daily. I didn't understand what the fuss was all about.

She recalled that I "messed w/ [the leaders] in a fun way" before putting my shorts back on. She also claims that my speedo and tanning blanket were matching, but I would suggest it was the sun gleaming off my bone white skin that she remembers instead. A silver speedo would have been daring even for me, but then what do I know? I can't remember any of it.

Sure sounds like me, though. Can't wait to see what else she remembers next time we chat. In the meantime, I've seen my shape in the mirror lately. I will make sure to stay clear of speedos. Oh, I'm sure I'd still make a lasting impression, but one that would require long hours of therapy to overcome.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, March 18). ADHD Memories in Brief, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

March, 18 2010 at 6:11 pm

Once again, a good laugh! Thanks!

March, 18 2010 at 4:12 pm

Short term memory loss can be a blessing at times, but to te spouse of an ADD afflicted individual, it is more often a curse! You asked to pick up what? Where did I put that? Honey, have you seen the . . . ? Ah, well. MDH has many endearing qualities . . . a good memory just doesn't happen to be one of them. :-)

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