Can you remember dates and stuff for non-anniversary events in your past?

The other day I was watching a TV show in which a person was challenged to say what they were doing at some point in the past, like “in spring of 1995.”

It occurred to me that I cannot for the life of me remember that sort of thing for long stretches of my adult life, unless it’s an anniversary. I can remember when I met my wife, because that has an anniversary fixed to it, but I cannot for the life of me even remember in what YEAR I dated that chick Janet. I mean, I really liked her and we dated for awhile but I don’t even recall, exactly, the calendar year. Was that 1994? Or 1993? I have the same problem with all my pre-wife girlfriends. I dated this girl named Ally for awhile but that might have been anywhere from 1993 to 1997 and I forgot her last name, too.

And there was this time me and some Army buddies got into a huge brawl at the Prince George and they threw us all out. Now, I will grant you I was pretty drunk at the time, but the event continued through to the next day when I woke up in a buddy’s stairwell and we went out partying to celebrate (but not at the PG; we were banned for life.) I can’t remember what year that was, either. It was 1991, 1992 or 1993. I think.

Was the time I tried to pick up Susan’s Colombian cousin in 1997? Or 1996? What year did I get rid of the Pulsar and get the Buick Regal? You know, I’m no longer even all that sure what year I finally graduated. Was it 1999 or 2000? It’s on my diploma but I lost that. I keep thinking I should order a replacement but I keep forgetting to.

Jesus, I’m only 34.

Much of my life is like that. I’ve gotten used to it. I associate certain key points, and if I can remember if something happened before or after it, then I’m going well. For example…

I moved to Sydney in 2001 - I remember this, because it was shortly after September 11 that I moved.
I met my (now) husband online in late 2002. I only remember this date because it was a couple of months after my dad remarried, and because I know that hubby came to visit me from the UK in mid 2003 - about 7 months after we first started talking online.

There’s other, minor anniversaries and etcetera that I use, but those two are the big ones. But with things like “When did you buy that book/dvd/pay that bill/have that day off sick?” It’s a case of “Er… A few weeks ago, maybe. Maybe a couple of months. What day is it?”

I’m 22. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Which may or may not be very long, things are hazy.

I’m the same way, man. It must have been all that Stelco fragrance we breathed for all those years (sorry you still have to!). I have to write down the years from ages 0-16 and how old I was to figure out what grade I was in, in what year, and how old I was at the time. I remember the birthdays of a handful of people, but only the month of some others. Like my lifelong best friend’s birthday is next month. But what day? I dunno.

I don’t remember the day it was in late April 1998 when I got off the plane in Orlando to stay here forever. Or the day when I got my green card. I can’t remember my wife’s cell phone number! I have to look it up. Every time. As I sit here, I can’t conjure it up at all. I can’t remember the day when I got hired for my current job, five years ago. It was in the spring. Does that count? I’ve worked with 49 people who have come and gone in that time. I couldn’t pin down the months any of them worked here. Years, maybe. The only time I’ve had off is when I had pneumonia. Three, or maybe four, years ago.

I used to be the guy who knew all the right lyrics to hundreds of songs. That came in handy, when I was a performing musician. Now I know most of the lyrics of dozens of songs. I probably couldn’t get all the way through “American Pie” now. I do remember my wife’s birthday and our anniversary. I remember the incredibly important stuff. The rest? It’s slowly evaporating. I’m 47. What was my name again?

Heh. You’ve just reminded me of a whole bunch of other things that I can’t remember, fishbicycle.

What date did hubby and I get married? I dunno. It was in January sometime. Perhaps the 20th or so. But I’d have to check the marriage certificate to be sure.

When’s my best friend’s birthday? August. 27th? Or 22nd. My ex-housemate’s birthday is one of those two dates. Whichever one that’s not, is Gazz’s birthday.

How old is my little brother? Well, he’s four years younger than me. But then I have to remember how old I am. I know I posted it at the end of my other post, but that was after a few minutes hard thinking.

I know hubby’s mobile phone #, but I have to keep checking what mine is and I have a habit of writing his down instead.

I know I was employed in May 2004. I can’t tell you what the exact date was, even though I got my “two year bonus” on that date just 2 months ago.

Hell, I forget how to spell my name from time to time (and don’t get me started on the “WTF is my surname?” debacle that comes up every time I have to sign something)

Marcie once asked me if there had ever been a time in my life when my memory was good. I told her I couldn’t remember.

I can usually figure it out, but it takes a while. I have to think about where everything was and what grade I was in and so on. I couldn’t say, just off the top of my head, the year.
I can usually give a approximation by how old my sisters and I were. I’d never say “summer of '98.” I’d say, “when my sisters and I were two, five, and seven” or “when I was seven”
Usually I’ll go through a story, starting by not knowing how old I was and figuring it out by the end.

like… the time I went to six flags and got totally lost. How old was I? Well, I must have been under fourteen because I was with a friend I fought with at the end of last school year and we stopped speaking. I must have been older than eleven because I remember we couldn’t go on a Tuesday because I had ballet and I started taking ballet on Tuesdays when I was eleven. Anyway, we were at six flags and we were in the water park and- oh, I must have been younger than thirteen because I wore a pink and green polka dot tankini bathing suit in public without being paralyzed by how fat I was… but I remember turning down ice cream once I got found and telling my friend I didn’t have enough money for lunch, so maybe I was thirteen. Yeah, I must have been thirteen because later on we found some boys and my friend told them she was sixteen and I thought she was stupid for lying to them. She was fifteen, so I was thirteen.

I remember the people that have the same birth date as me, or my ex best friend and of my first sibling. I remember the date I graduated, because my uncle was in a coal dust explosion at the power plant. I know what grade I was in when I got Sydenhams Chorea. Everthing else needs extrapulation.

Glad I’m not the only one. I’m 38 and I’m embarrassed by how much of a blur my own life can be, sometimes. I think I’ve been telling people that I spent 6 months backpacking around Europe around 10 years ago for several years now.

And that time I had major surgery on my left hand and spent a week in the hospital due to infection stemming from some quack doctor’s incompetent stitch-work on a relatively minor injury: must have been, oh, about 10 years ago.

And so on…10 years ago seems to have been a very active period of my life.

I’m not so good on the anniversaries and birthdays, either. Thankfully, I’ve got all of the important ones entered into a computer calendar, programmed to give me enough warning to keep myself out of trouble.

Strangely enough, I have a fantastic memory for stuff like this. My friends think it’s weird, but it’s just how my brain works. Like they’ll say “Remember that time we went out to that one bar and played pool because that other place was closed?” And immediately in my head, I’ll think “St. Patricks Day 2003.” I don’t know why. Sometimes I remember entire days, everything I did and saw from when I got up to when I went to bed, years later.

I remember very few non-anniversary “special” dates.

My mom reminded me that the day we moved from Iowa to Seattle was the same date we moved back to Iowa – August 8 (23 years later). I wouldn’t have remembered, but it was significant to her.

I remember writing a check at a grocery store on 6/6/66.

The date I lost my virginity is another one, even though it’s been 42 years.

Quite a few, yes. But that’s because I tend to relate them to the liturgical calendar as well as the civil calendar. So when I moved to New Zealand I flew out on 6 August (Transfiguration) etc etc.

What is it with females that allow the bulk of them to remember a birthday the second they’re told? I don’t know when Columbus Day is. I don’t know when Mother’s day is. I DO know that it’s by my birthday (a day I forgot a couple years ago, believe it or not) and sometimes ends up being ON my birthday (which saves me from having to get a present). I don’t know ANYONE’S birthday. Not my dad’s. Not my female birth giver’s. Not my best friends’. I remember my ex’s. I know mine. That’s it.

I don’t get how people get this date shit. I need a fucking intern.

Yes, “fucking” is both used as a verb and an adjective at the same time in that sentence.

I came out to my English teacher in a journal entry dated 5 January 1997. (I still have the journal.)

I lost my virginity on (I believe) January 27, 1998; that was the month of the big ice storm, and I know it was a Tuesday because I was late to my first linear algebra class.

I moved out of my parents’ house on January 8, 2000.

The first time I ran for office, polling day was November 27, 2000.

Oh, and I broke up with Potter on March 10, 2004. I remember that one because it was the day before the Madrid bombings, which suffice it to say did not improve my mood.

Oh, yes, I’ll do that all the time. Major landmarks over the last eleven years or so are moving to Montreal, graduating from high school, coming out, graduating from cegep, moving out, the various boyfriends, the various apartments, and the various elections.

Very fuzyy on my past chronology.

Really, I can’t tell you how old my cats are. I got them when they were just a few weeks old. I’m pretty sure they’re in the 6-9 year old range. I can narrow it down to where I was living when I got them, but I lived in the place for about 5 years, and the best I can say is I get them sometime in the middle.

I’ve kept diaries every day of my life since I turned eight. Having every day of your life in print is the oddest feeling. “What was I doing on January 8, 1973? Let’s check.”

No, no, that’s not what my OP was about.

I’m a guy and I remember every birthday. I still remember birthdays for friends I had in elementary school. That’s an anniversary. What I can’t do is keep the events of my own life straight if they aren’t fixed to major anniversaries.

Mother’s Day isn’t on a fixed date, so that’s understandable.

I can do time periods pretty well, exact dates not 100%. I remember what I’ve done a lot better now then I used to, I used to be good at remembering dates in history, but I’ve stopped caring about that now. But I can tell you many of the things that have happened to me, I also can remember many of the roads I’ve driven on, places I’ve been, and even what I did in many of my classes. The last one gets one of my co-workers who when to the same school as me a few years after me and I remember my surveying class in detail and she doesn’t remember it at all.

But ask me someone else’s birthday anymore and I really have to think about it.

I can figure out the date of pretty much any event in my life, since about 1990, to within a week or so. Someone can say, “Hey, remember that time we went to Bar X and I met that guy Joe?” And I’ll say, “Yeah, that was right around December 22, 2002.”

If I don’t actually remember the date, I can triangulate it from the details I remember:
[li] it was cold that night, and thus winter;[/li][li] my friend Julie showed that night and gave me a Christmas present (the Further Beyond Nashville CD), so it was probably right before Christmas;[/li][li] it was after 2001 because Julie and I weren’t dating anymore;[/li][li] it was before 2003 because Julie was not yet dating Whatshisname (or else she wouldn’t have been out with us);[/li][li] after we left the bar we went to my apartment and cranked up The Clash because Joe Strummer had just died, and I know that was right before Christmas because it was fresh in my mind when I read it in the paper’s annual year-end list of Who Died This Year;[/li][li] and come to think of it I remember Joe Strummer died on 12/22 because that’s an easy number combination to remember;[/li][li]etc., etc.[/li][/ul]
It’s more a matter of having a head for details than for dates. Also I’ve had a fairly eventful life with a lot of moves and such; just remembering where I was living when something happened usually narrows it down to within a year or so.