If memory were eyesight, I’d be Mr. Magoo.
Information passes into my ears and drops into the abyss of my brain, never to be seen again. Names, dates, appointments, life events — both trivial and monumental — are lost to me.
When it comes to things like my childhood, I get snapshots instead of the whole photo album, pieces rather than the whole puzzle.
The Lovely Mother of My Children remembers not only the name of her third grade teacher but also the boy who sat behind her in class, what he looked like and how he freaked her out by saying he had X-ray vision and could see her underwear.
I’m sure I said creepy stuff like that to girls, but I can’t remember it.
Now, when it comes to useless information, I’m your dude. If you need to know all the KISS albums — in chronological or alphabetical order — or the plot for every episode of "Little House on the Prairie" or the rules for the "Designing Women" drinking game (every time Julia Sugarbaker asks, "Have you completely lost your mind?" drink two), put me down as your Phone a Friend. Otherwise, make like Obi wan Kenobi and move along.
My mental lapses are one of my reasons for writing this column — that and various editors made me — because it helped me remember so many sweet and sad, exciting and downright silly things that happened to me as a clueless father, husband and eventually single parent raising a daughter with his ex-wife.
Had I not been motivated by deadlines and the need to remain employed, the experiences would still have occurred, but the memories would have been lost. And I never would have shared them, thus ensuring years of future therapy for my children.
My daughter still can’t wrap her head around the fact that there are people "out there" that she’s never met who know her only as Jellybean and have been reading about her since before she was born.
"Why do they care about me?" she asks.
While writing about my family, I always sort of thought I was writing about everybody’s family — only with more references to hair metal and cartoon characters. But to be honest, this column was a selfish assignment because, to quote the worst Aerosmith song ever, "I don’t wanna miss a thing."
This column kept me from forgetting.
From The Diva’s first date, to Jellybean singing "Cold-Hearted Snake" in daycare, from "Tales from Sleeping with a Pregnant Lady" to a Father’s Day request of no more "Frozen," I told the stories of my simple life and the everyday experiences that make it worth living.
These experiences won’t stop. Unfortunately, my writing about them will. This is my final column for the Anniston Star. It makes me terribly sad, but I’ve been lucky to have such a great platform for nearly 10 years.
There are more stories to tell. Heck, I’d planned to write about Jellybean’s infuriating need to constantly correct me, even when I’m being sarcastic. And her ability to argue about the strangest things, whether it’s Selena Gomez song lyrics ("No, it’s ‘Go ahead. Go ahead now,’ not ‘GOAT head’") or theories about our favorite movies ("There’s no way a train killed the kid in ‘Stand by Me.’ He looked like he was sleeping. I bet Ace killed him. That’s how he knew where to find him").
Jellybean loves to talk, and I love telling her stories. But for now, that must come to an end.
Thanks for the memories.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org.