Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Bridget Too Far

"The past is never dead, it is not even past."
-William Faulkner

Recently I have taken to temporarily going back to bed in the mornings before Spouse goes to work. Spouse would venture an argument on my interpretation of 'recently' and 'temporarily' but nevertheless, there I was one morning, three-quarters into a slumber when I became aware of Spouse making a telephone call in the next room.
"May I speak to Bridget Jones please?"
I was not certain that I heard it correctly. Indeed, I ruminated on the possibility of the entire thing being a figment of a dream that, for reasons unclear to me, included the muffled mention of a movie character from some years ago- a movie, I might venture to add, that had almost passed under my radar.
I got the distinct impression that Spouse was embarrassed, was trying to make amends and, judging by the intonation of his voice, I gathered that something untoward had transpired in the course of the call.
It was at that point, though, that I fell into the last quarter of my nap and I knew no more.
Days passed before the subject arose, and I came to understand what had happened.
Spouse had been attempting to return the call of a recruiter named Bridget Burns, and had accidentally, terribly, requested Bridget Jones instead.
It was never apparent whether the person on the other end of the line heard the dreadful error, but after Spouse fumbled graciously with the right name, and following a moment's aching silence, the receptionist agreed to put Spouse through to the Bridget she was most familiar with.
The movie which bears that name had passed, for the most part, under Spouse's radar too and the slip therefore was a baffling one to both of us.
I can only surmise that we absorb and store a good deal more information than we have frequent access to. Sometimes, the oddest detail can spring from seemingly nowhere at all and startle us with its banal mediocrity. We muse: why did I remember that? Why now, of all moments? What possible use could that fragment have had, stored in the mind for years upon years, emerging not when specifically called upon but when it saw fit to intrude on unrelated business?
As for poor Spouse, who was only trying his best to get through to Bridget Burns, that intrusion occurred at quite the wrong time- or the right time, if a good round of mirth is called for, and if one is not the unfortunate speaker but a member of the proverbial audience.


tangobaby said...

This is cute. Poor Spouse. It must be a boy thing, too, because my Boy thought that I was Bridget Jones too before we went on our first date. (It's a long confusing story so I won't bother with it here, but he was surprised to learn that not only was I not named Bridget, but that I also did not have a cute accent. Luckily we were able to move past that and start dating.)

I'm sure Ms. Burns gets that a lot.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I so know what you mean. I have to be really careful what I put in my head. It tends to stay there ready to pop up at the craziest times.

Tom the Piper's Son said...

Interesting story. Your own reaction to "Bridget Jones" is an important angle.
I perked up when I first read this because I do have a friend named Bridget Jones - and then I'd been reading a lot about the painter Edward Burne-Jones of late....

The things we store in our brain:
a friend at work had me take an online quiz on a movie - it happened to be LA Confidential which i'd seen a few imes. The thing is; i got all (16?) of the answers right (many involving names, though oft multiple choice) and yet it was ALL
guesswork. there was not a one where i definitely knew the answer straight off.
It perplexes me that i retain such info but alarmingly little, without recourse to guides and notes etc., of the technical stuff, processes in particular, that i need to know at work for instance.
I guess i'm a name person.

Pappy said...

Funny story. I think we've all done similar things on the telephone when the cognitive process goes on vacation for a few seconds. Pappy

hele said...

That bit of information must have been quivering on the edge of its seat, waiting for a moment, any moment to fall into the conversation.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Tangobaby, that sounds like a rather interesting story :) how funny that you found a parallel in my tale. Everything is connected, isn't it?

Pamela, It could be years later that something pops up, so we're never quite ready when it does. As you said, best be careful what goes in there!

Tom, your tale about the quiz is just what I was referring to- for me, too, the film in question was not one I had put any effort into remembering and was surprised at myself. Our minds work in strange ways that we can't even guess at.
As a matter of fact, just reading your comment, I remembered something else which would serve the illustrate the theme- I'll get writing on it. It fascinates me, how we think and the things we come up with. I'm very much somebody who stores dates and can recall when such and such a thing happened- but no rhyme or reason for why I remember it.

Texican, I do think it happens to us all at some point. We can only hope that the person on the other end thinks they've misheard and saves us from humiliation.

Hele, it saw its chance and grabbed it. We kept it at bay for so long, then let our guard down. It won't happen again. Though, no, it probably will ;)

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