You might think forgetfulness is a fault.
It certainly is inconvenient to be vague, absent-minded, prone to losing your keys or leaving things behind.
It certainly seems to be a flaw in my operating system, to my partner, who is a logistical god. I mean really. Moving parts are his specialty. He anticipates things in advance, so I rarely even have to fill up the gas tank (so rare in fact, that I don’t even know what side it’s on). (It is conceivable that his strengths may have enhanced my weaknesses. But they were pretty baked in, before we even met. So I think it’s part of my wiring. As much as I’d like to blame him.)
In fact, I’m going to say that it’s part of my design… and it was baked in, intentionally, by some Grand Designer, to override my tendency towards stoicism and self-sufficiency.
You see, being forgetful means you have to rely on other people’s kindness, and you get constantly surprised by how widespread it is…
I have been pleasantly interrupted as I walked around the car at Lil’wat Gas Station, looking for the gas cap flap, by a pick up truck of strangers, smiling down on me, as they filled up a huge tank.
“I know it doesn’t look like it,” I say sheepishly “but I am a feminist. It’s just that my husband always fills up the car for me.”
“There’s often an arrow or a light on the dash,” they tell me, helpfully, and I am genuinely amazed at this fact.
I have left my yoga mat behind at Stay Wild after an early morning juice and yoga session, and Leah just tucked it behind the deep freezer for a few weeks, until I realized it was missing, and retraced my mental steps and asked her if I’d by chance left it there. I felt so well cared for, to know she was willing to just stow it aside for me.
I spent all my dried-fruit money yesterday at the gymnastics bake sale, at the Christmas Bazaar, and in the sensory overload of that place, I left a purchase behind. Sumire (the mom-goddess-baker who was shepherding the crew of gymnasts to bake-fundraiser-glory) texted me an hour later, to tell me I’d forgotten it and that she had it, and then we managed a fly by door-to-door exchange.
I’ve forgotten as many incidents of my forgetfulness, which feels on point… but the actually point is, I am woven more into relationship because of this “fault” or failing of mine, than I would have been, if my memory were impeccable and my personal management skills were certificate-worthy. (There are such things. I am in awe of you project managers. Really. Feel free to practice on me anytime.)
It’s impossible not to feel utter gratitude when I think about these moments, knowing they all occurred at other people’s inconvenience and my greatest nemesis idea is to be an inconvenience to others, and yet I was, and to myself, and no-one exploded, no-one disintegrated, and I even grew friendships more deeply because of feeling so cared for.
How can something that generates such a feeling of gratitude be a fault or a flaw?
Maybe all our faults and flaws were implanted in us for such a reason. To allow us to need each other. To bring us, awkwardly and apologetically, together.