Detail RetentionI just finished a conversation with my friend in Quebec about the card I sent to his family that they haven’t received yet. Turns out, I sent it to the wrong house number. His neighbors must have it.

But I did have to ask him if maybe he had forgotten the house number, since that’s the number I had saved in my computer. They’ve received my cards in the past, and no one ever said I’d sent them to the neighbors.

When I asked him how certain he was of the house number, my friend scoffed. He knew the house number, all right. You don’t forget things like that. “You wouldn’t forget your name, would you?” he asked.

“Actually, today, I forgot what state I was in when I went to the store,” I told him. (The lady at the register thought that was pretty funny.)

I reminded him that people forget basic information all the time. We go to the store for milk and leave after spending fifty dollars and still return home with no milk. We search for our cell phones as we talk on them, complaining to the person on the other end about how we can’t find the phone. Sometimes I push my glasses up to adjust my vision before I realize I’m wearing my contacts. These are not clever moments, mind you, but they’re so very human.

On the flip side, however, we can remember every word of our favorite song, every nuanced step along the way that lead to choosing the perfect school, car, or house. We remember the sound of our footsteps along the road, the distinct smell of rain, every moment of a vacation. And we remember every single, minute detail of a first kiss.

Some things just aren’t as important.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see