I wear many hats: counselor, swagger coach, shopping and shoe consultant, unpaid Uber driver for my kids, unpaid writer, mother, wife, Gary…
Yes, I’m a Gary.
If you watch HBO’s “Veep,” you get it. If not, allow me to momsplain. Gary Walsh is personal assistant to senator/vice president/former president Selina Meyer. He’s her “bag man.” Not only does he physically tote around anything and everything she needs, he carries a lot of valuable info that he discreetly leans in to whisper on those many occasions she’s caught completely blank. In one episode a few years back, the two get into a fight and Selina dismisses him as unimportant, but Gary fights back with all he does for her: “I’m your calendar. I’m your Google. I’m your Wilson the volleyball.”
Yup. That’s me.
I’ve been married for a looooong time and I’m a pretty good wife, but I’m a really good Gary. I bail my husband out on a regular basis. He’s a top-tier guy and all but he’s, well, bad with names and faces and overall general remembering. Yes, I think that pretty much sums it up. I’ll share some recent examples:
Scenario 1, at a charity event with a lot of faces swirling around.
Him: “That guy, over there. Do we know him from somewhere?”
Me: “Yes, he used to be your boss.”
Him: “Ooooh yeah.”
Scenario 2, shopping at Costco.
Him: “That lady, she’s walking toward us, like she knows us but she’s scowling. Who is that?”
Me: “That’s my parole officer.”
Scenario 3, in the living room.
Him: “That kid, over there, she looks really familiar…”
Me: “That’s our oldest child, born Feb. 16, 2000. She’s been really busy with school and scholarship applications and has been holed up in her room, so you haven’t seen much of her.”
Just kidding about that last one. Oh, and, ahem, the one before that. OK, and even the first one, too. I exaggerate, but I really do have to ID people for him everywhere we go.
I helpfully text reminders about birthdays for family and friends and even his coworkers and usually add “Gary” at the end of them. But I tell you, I am paying the price. My brain is so bogged down with important (and not-so-important) dates and information that it’s the mental equivalent of me schlepping all his stuff around for him. It’s exhausting. I like to think that it’s because my gray matter is so crowded with day-to-day hoo-ha that this is why my kids think I’m stupid for being unable to I remember basic facts I learned in school like what is the capital of Wisconsin? Or, where is the Gobi Desert? AND I lose track of celebrities who died. How did I miss that Robert Guillaume passed away last year?
So, I guess I’m not foolproof, but you know what? I come through when it matters — like when my husband couldn’t remember where he’d left his work bag or his badge. I knew exactly where to find ’em. Now, if I could only remember where MY keys are…..