September 26, 2010

not exactly wonder woman

I have two superpowers: the ability to almost always know, without looking at a clock, what time it is, and the ability to remember trivia, specifically from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

The first superpower can be quite useful, at least personally. For other people, not so much . . . mostly because of a lack of trust. "Do you know what time it is?" they ask. "Yep. About 4:20!" is my response. They will inevitably dismiss my answer when they realize I don't have a clock and go in search of someone with a cell phone or watch or other timepiece, only to find the actual time is 4:21. So, the superpower remains useful only to me. I mean, if nobody else is willing to hold onto my cape when I take off, then it's not my fault they don't get to fly.

The second superpower is more a skill than an innate gift. I can tell, almost always, the exact year of a song, movie, political event, fashion trend, or pop culture fad. Even skill is the wrong word. It's more a by-product of a mobile life and a brain for details.

This morning in church, Wayne asked about the song, "Celebrate" and I responded with "Kool and the Gang, 1980". I know, because the first time I heard that song, it was a fall morning, and I was listening to WKYX as I was getting ready for school. I liked the song instantly, ("it had a good beat and you could dance to it). I remember thinking it was going to be a big hit . . . it became our prom theme that next spring.

St. Elmo's Fire? 1985. I know, because I had a suit almost identical to the one Ally Sheedy wore, but I couldn't wear it the next year, because I had been pregnant and it no longer fit.

Los Angeles Riots? 1992. It happened just days before I found out I was expecting Kevin.

9 to 5? Christmas 1980. I know, because I saw it with my best friend on New Year's Day and it was the first thing I recorded in the 1981 "Miss Piggy" Calendar he gave me for Christmas. Oh, yeah.

Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"? 1987. I know, because MTV was about the only channel worth watching in Anchorage, Alaska in the middle of the night when I was awake with my firstborn for 2 a.m. feedings. It was a very different MTV then.

Jessi Colter's "I'm Not Lisa, My Name is Julie"? 1975. Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs"? 1975. "Rock and Roll All Night" by Kiss? 1975. I know, because for my 12th birthday, my parents let me have their stereo (complete with a totally awesome turntable) and, because they didn't have a clue what kind of music I would like, they bought me the #1 record in all three genres: country, rock, and pop. (This was in the pre-8-track and really pre-rap days.)

Ronald Reagan's shooting? Spring 1981. I was in Mr. Wilson's English class.

Toe Socks? (Originally) 1975. I gave them as Christmas gifts to all my best friends in the 7th grade. They were so cool, and so ridiculously uncomfortable.

The last time the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl? 1986. I know, because I recorded it as a major event in Kacey's baby book.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? 1969. Easy. That one was released on my 6th birthday. I watched it from the back of our station wagon at the drive-in while wearing footie pajamas.

Nixon defeats McGovern. 1972. It was the only thing on tv the night my sister and I had a boy for a babysitter at our apartment in Texas. He was boring. So was the election. At least to a 4th grader.

Okay, I've probably made my point. Yeah, my memory is pretty good. At least with the long-term stuff. But mostly, because I moved 24 times in the first 24 years of my life, I have a frame of reference for everything. If I can remember WHERE I was, then I automatically know WHEN it was. It's not exactly rocket science, but sometimes it makes me look smart. And I can use all the help I can get.


The Frat Pack + Me said...

Wow I am impressed....even toe socks? Wow!

E.T.'s Mom said...

That is SO impressive!

MichaelPolutta said...

Trivia on "Celebration" - it was played to celebrate the return of the Iran hostages.

1975 was not pre-8-track. They were in widespread use by the mid-late 60's.

~Stephanie said...

Yeah, I meant the stereo was a pre-8-track. I think my parents bought it when they married in 1962 :)