This little 'story' might raise a chuckle
If there is anyone else besides me
Who has run afoul of 'associative thinking'.
My husband and I married in Ottawa, Canada,
And honeymooned with my parents in Tokyo.
Dad was a security guard with the Canadian embassy,
A position related to his early army career.
We were made very welcome in the embassy circle,
Graciously included in all social activities
And local travel experiences,
Making friends everywhere.
With so many new faces and diverse circles
I began to falter with remembering names.
So, I decided to be more adept,
With the hugely popular technique
Of 'associative thinking'.
And it worked a treat – mostly.
Another young couple invited us
To share an overnight in a small hut on straw mats
At the foot of Mount Fuji.
We were thrilled!
The young woman was Miss Graves.
Of course, she had a given name
But it was surnames that really mattered.
'Aha!' I thought. I'll not forget that name,
'Cemetery', I'll connect 'cemetery'.
And so I stored it away if ever needed again.
Which never happened until two years later.
Back in Ottawa, deep in teaching and college studies,
We were invited to an embassy party!
It was a wonderful surprise.
Our mixed marriage had been highly noted
During our honeymoon travels,
Mostly with smiles and good wishes.
One ranking gentleman in particular
Wanted us to participate in this social circle,
'To catch up with you.'
So, once again, in the smooth flow of government society,
The same young woman,
Looking even more elegant on home turf,
Came straight over to welcome us, hand outstretched.
My mind flashed, 'Think! Think!
Ahhh – cemetery!' and I clasped her hand.
'Miss Tombstone, how lovely of you to include us
In this gathering.'
The gentleman at her shoulder snorted
Like a walrus heaving up on an ice floe.
'Ah', he gasped, 'Ha! Ha! It's Graves, Miss Graves!'
And he was off again. 'Ha Ha Ha Ha!'
I know we had a good time.
But the party itself isn't even a blur.
I remember NOTHING.
From that moment a total blank.
So unlike me, with a memory like an elephant.
Well, I remember hissing inside my head,
Oh, My God! Never again!'
Cynthia Buell Tomas, 2020