Friday, March 23, 2007


I received an IM from a friend the other night that read simply:

"Why no T-Bone?"

No "hello." No "hi, how are you?" Just those four words. Yet immediately, I not only recognized it as a line from Seinfeld, but I knew the specific episode and scene it came from, as well as who said it.

Granted, that was an easy one, since that is the episode my name, Bone, was derived from. (By the way, thanks Renee for explaining that on another blog. I love my readers!) But it's not the first time this has happened.

I can pretty much do that with any Seinfeld line. Yet someone has to tell me when their birthday is at least five times before I can remember it.

I can name at least eight current pro bowlers off the top of my head, and recognize them when I see them on TV. And I don't even watch bowling all that much. (Except apparently I do.) Yet I have trouble remembering much of anything any female said to me even twenty-four hours ago. Or five minutes ago.

How can this be? Well, I have come up with a theory. You may want to sit down for this. You know, if you normally read my blog standing up...

I think I may have selective memory.

(Pause to wait for gasps of disbelief to subside.)

Please don't let this negatively affect your opinion of me. I'm still same old rugged, General Hospital-watching, 24-recapping, Seinfeld-quoting, Jason Morgan-esque ladies man you've come to know and love. But, I do have a problem. And admitting it is the first step to recovery.

Now... what were we talking about?

Oh, yes... bowling!

No, seriously. I've also come to believe my selective memory could be partly due to the fact that, at times, I may also have selective hearing.

I know, I know. This is almost impossible to believe. It's like hearing that Rosie O'Donnell hangs upside down for fun. But let me give you an example:

If I'm watching sports (or Letterman, or poker, or You've Got Mail) and a girl calls, I would venture to guess that I fail to comprehend anywhere from 50-75% of what she is saying. If it's a really exciting game, or Alabama is playing, that number could be as high as 99%. (I would say 100, but I normally eventually hear them saying my name repeatedly when they realize I'm distracted.)

Why do I do this? In my opinion, it basically comes down to two simple facts. I have a short attention span. And, I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Sure, sometimes I fake it, who doesn't? Like with the television and phone calls. But in reality, only one thing or the other is getting thru. And if I'm listening to her, then I'm missing the game. And, well, obviously...

Now one might ask, "Bone, why do you specify when a girl calls, and not a guy?" Well, with guys, conversations tend to be short and have a specific point. Let's look at a couple of examples of guy conversations:

Example one:
"Are you watching this?"
"Did you see that crap call!?"
"That's terrible!"
"I agree."
"Alright, I'll call you back."

Example two:
"Hey, I'm not gonna be able to make it tonight. Sheena and I got back
"Oh. Alright. That's cool."
"So, uh... I guess I'll talk to you later."
"Yeah. Later."

In these examples, notice how a short attention span wouldn't really come into play. I can usually pay attention to the first three or four things someone says when they call. But after that, it's all downhill, swiftly and steeply.

Contrariwise, with women, there's often a lot of "how was your day" and "guess what happened to me today" kind of stuff. Conversations can, on occasion, begin to wander aimlessly, dragging on sometimes for hours.

It stands to reason that if I don't even hear half of what she says, there's no way I can be expected to remember it. So selective hearing leads to selective memory, and that, I believe, is what I have.

When I mentioned this newfound realization--epiphany, if you will--to a couple of women, their responses were surprisingly uniform. Of course you do, you're a man.

Yes friends, aparently my selective memory and selective hearing are only symptoms of a much more serious, terminal condition, known as being a man.

"I'm only a man in a funny red sheet. And it's not easy. It's not easy to be me..."


  1. Well. Glad to be yer first, Bone.

    You actually WATCH bowling on TV?

  2. Want to know something really really really sad?

    'Course you do.

    I know the license plates and phone numbers of all the cars my father owned, and houses we lived at, from when I was two, to 18.

    I don't know my own license plate number.

    I have two cell phones. I have to look up the number from the phone I do know the number to, to call the other phone, when that phone is lost.

    So, I'm with you dude.

    It just goes downhill from here.

  3. Does the selective hearing and memory pertain to IMs as well?

    Because if so, I shall endeavor to keep my sentences short and sweet the next time we "talk."

  4. Well I can tell you that 'selective memory and selective hearing' is definitely not just something certain guys have , my mom and one of my sisters are examples( my mom will sometimes ask things like 'how was your day' and 'what do you think of this' despite the fact that she usually does not really listen{or remember}the answer,my sister does not do that though,sis, pretty much, only hears and remembers[in great detail]things she finds fascinating and/or does well,like calculus ).
    I,somewhat unfortunately, remember almost everything [even silly things, that I have positively no interest in, that I just happen to see, read or hear].

  5. don't bug me while I'm watching TV...I won't hear a thing you've said. I'm pretty sure that DH tells me 85% of the important stuff he has to tell me while I'm watching TV because I won't know a thing about it...and then I get ticked because he'll tell his mom and not me.

    Okay, I also think that he will tell his mom something and think that he's told me because I won't know a thing about it and his mom will bring it up.

    I think it's a priorities thing. If you're watching TV or the game, how can you be expected to hear or remember...just let the machine get the call and call them back when it's over!

    Oh, no big on explaining your name. I could have looked up the epp and given a script too if called upon to do it.

  6. Great post, glad to know how your name came about (I kept thinking the old childhood song that had lyrics, "Give the dog a bone").

    However, you should have told us how many phone calls you handled while writing this piece, but I suppose you don't remember.

    thanks for the laughs

  7. Selective memory... I definately have that, just ask Jawana. lol We seem to 'fight' quite a bit about her telling me to do something, and then me not remembering etc.

    Speaking of Sports on TV, we were talking about the WPBA at the office on Friday , so I got to tell the story of how you and me and J-mo are on the 2003 and 2004 ESPN WPBA tour, right there on TV (soon to be ESPN classic), for all time! Every time the girls break, "There we are!" lol

    Speaking of sports, are we doing tennis this afternoon?

    Also, I need some advice on grilling. Do you grill out? I posted about our first grilling experience, which was somewhat lackluster. I need tips on grilling a good steak.

    Can a george forman grill do that? Have you tried on yours?

  8. Blondie: No! Well... sometimes on Sunday afternoons. Especially when it's not football season O:)

    Eileen: Wow, I don't think I ever even knew the license plate numbers of any cars my family owned, until some of us started getting personalized tags.

    Remembering phone numbers has gotten difficult to me now with cell phones, because I put the number in one time, then just click on the person's name and never think about what their number is.

    Xinh: Not really. However, the short attention span does. So if I sometimes disappear for minutes/hours/days at a time, it's probably because I've found something on TV or gotten a phone call :)

    GirlFPS: my mom will sometimes ask things like 'how was your day' and 'what do you think of this' despite the fact that she usually does not really listen{or remember}the answer

    Oh, I totally do that! I'll ask a question, someone will answer it, then ten seconds later I'll ask it again.

    Renee: Yeah, I probably should use the "Let me call you back later" line much more, instead of when someone asks if I'm busy, answering with "no."

    Sage: Haha. Exactly. Now that I'm on the sixth comment, I'm starting to have trouble even remembering what this post was about :)

    JavaBooBoo: Oh yes, I didn't even mention how many professional women's billiards players I could name :)

    Are you grilling with gas or charcoal? Charcoal just takes practice. The Foreman will cook most anything and it's easy, but it can't take the place of an evening of grilling outside.

  9. Bowling?

    You've Got Mail?


    So much I still don't know. And don't bother me on football Sundays unless you are asking me if I want anything from the fridge.

  10. t's like hearing that Rosie O'Donnell hangs upside down for fun.

    That was my favorite line.
    It was another great Bone post. If you want me to rate them....

    But in defense of my sex, Lucia and I call each other during commercials or did when we still watched them and have almost identical calls to yours with the guys, but not about sports

  11. re: glasses. I think the selection of frames for kiddos is much better now. I let her pick and then decorate.
    Her doc says she doesn't need to wear them all the time, but she's having fun exploring what all looks better with them on. It's a whole new world for her.

  12. Guys can have a full conversation with just a few words and lots of grunts and groans.

    I can have a full conversation with my buds using smilies and acronyms. :) hehe

  13. I forgot to say that your post has great examples of your memory

  14. This post explains so much...

    And if it makes you feel any better...Jason Morgan is also known for his lackluster memory.

  15. "known as being a man" ha ha. ;) i have this awesome memory which freaks me out sometimes. as a child i loved that memory game. i'm such a freak.

    my birthday is april 18th.
    my birthday is april 18th.
    my birthday is april 18th.
    my birthday is april 18th.
    my birthday is april 18th.

    now you won't forget!

  16. So, you're admitting to short attention span and selective hearing? Awww, just makes us love ya more!!

  17. Brookelina: Well, Sheena was just a made-up name. Although those were very close replicas of real conversations.

    Pia: I realized as I was writing that you alluded to my selective memory in the Roast-a-Bone.

    And yes, feel free to speak out in defense of your sex. As I only have access to my brain, I can't speak for the females :)

    Renee: Probably so. With glasses, it really is all about picking the right frames.

    Kerry: FWIW, I have no idea what U R talking about.


    Heather B: And if it makes you feel any better...Jason Morgan is also known for his lackluster memory.

    Excellent point! Is it any wonder I'm compared to him? :)

    Sizzle: Hmm... Normally if I'm to have any hope of remembering a birthday, I have to first convert it to all numbers. So, 4/18. Then I have to figure out a way to remember those numbers. I don't know why but it works slightly better that way for me.

    Arlene: Aww, thanks. Think of it as a cute quirk, rather than an irritating flaw :)

  18. I have a short attention span. And, I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.

    Um, Bone, I'm pretty sure if you looked up all that research about the differences between men and women, that exact quote is there somewhere.

    Especially the concentrating on one thing part.

  19. It's all about the 'selective' part, Bone.

    Men choose (select, I'll use them as synomyms here) what to remember. What to pay attention to. The things men DO choose to pay attention to are those that they actually care about.

    You use things like 'selective memory' and 'selective hearing' as excuses to get you off the hook for not paying attention to things that you deem insignificant, usually those that are said by women.

    Take, for example, remembering someone's birthday vs. remembering 8 pro bowlers.

    Remembering someone's birthday says to them "You're important to me. You've played a part in my life. It's your special day and I want you to know that today, I thought of you."

    I'm going out on a limb and guessing most of the women in your life remember your birthday. They write emails, most likely call you, and perhaps send cards and cookies (that last part may just be me projecting what I do). And it makes you feel good about yourself and special, right? Exactly the point.

    So two months later, when you don't remember her birthday, what's that say about you? That she isn't important enough to you for you to remember. And that's a slap in the face.

    It's as simple as a calendar hung where you are going to see it on a daily basis: you find the month and the date, scribble her name (legibly enough that you can read it) on the square, and give her a call on that day.

    You just choose not to do these things and use the "I'm male" excuse.

    On the flip-side, you can remember insignificant (in my opinion) details like the names of 8 pro-bowlers because you think that's important. Why, I'm not sure, maybe to look cool in front of your friends?? Who knows.

    Either way, now that I feel like I've lectured you enough (err, sorry about that), and written a comment long enough to be a post all its own (err, sorry about that too) it seems time to tell you this post is hilarious. Even as I roll my eyes in frustration over the perfectly trumped up excuses of men, I can't help but laugh.

    You are who you are, Bone, and I think we'll keep you around. Selective memory/hearing/vision/everything else your little heart desires aside. You entertain us too much to have it any other way. ;-)

  20. I slipped on over here after reading a few well placed comments on other's blogs.

    I just have one question: How was your day?

  21. lol Maria that was great!!!

    Its not just guys that do the short convos! and its not just girls that do the whole long convo on the phone!!! One of my ex's...yeah, I had issues getting him off the phone!!!

  22. First off, if she is calling during THE game you don't need her...and might I add a rowdy WAR EAGLE here :) No seriously, people need to understand that religion and bama football go hand in hand. LOL

    I have issues with email. Tons of email each day...if the important stuff is not visible in my preview pane forget it. My husband writes "keep reading" every few lines when it is something I really need to read.

    Um, bowling? You watch the gulf fishing tournaments too don't you? pool? How 'bout that spelling bee?

  23. I'm the same way with SITC lines. It's becoming a problem.

  24. Huh? What'd you say? Sorry, I drifted off there...bowling's on...

  25. It's also known as a birth defect as I've heard others refer to it. you can't help it, you didn't ask to be born this way.

  26. I'm not sure how I feel about the revelation concerning your love for professional bowling. There just comes a time in two bloggers' lives when they have to acknowledge the differences between them are too wide to cross. This might be our chasm, Bone.

    As for Rosie O'Donnell hanging upside down: Is that even possible?

    The beauty with we men is that everything boils down to what's most important. We don't need to know about details like anniversary dates, birthdays, or when God of War II is released to make our girlfriends happy. We just need to tell them what to do and when to do it.

    Isn't that how life is supposed to be?

    I'm sure that's in the Bible somewhere, one page or another.

  27. the pro bowler thing is scarier than the selective hearing.

  28. My husband knows everything about Seinfeld as well. It gets kind of irritating.

    When it comes to watching TV and talking on the phone...I would suggest a DVR so you can pause the show or game you're watching. However, it doesn't seem like you'd want to do that. Then you'd be responsible for remembering what people tell you. And who wants that? :o)

  29. DCChick: I'm sure you're right. But I didn't want to speak for all men. At least not in this case :)

    TC: Ouch! Someone forgotten your birthday? :)

    Maria: *long heavy sigh* Fine. How was yours?

    (That was a good one.)

    ATag: Yeah, I've had a couple of friends who were long talkers. But in general, guys don't tend to hold long, engulfing conversations.

    Kontan: Yeah, if anyone is calling during football, it's pretty much a waste of time. Unless it's during a commercial or halftime to discuss the game.

    And I'm the same way with email. As I've started to get more and more email each day, I've forgotten some of those early rules of email etiquette.

    Lux: Oh good. I was beginning to think you didn't watch TV :)

    Lass: Eh, it wasn't important. Who's bowling? Walter Ray Williams, Jr? Norm Duke? :)

    Carnealian: Thank you. I completely agree.

    Zeus: Sigh. I knew if I kept revealing my deep, dark secrets, that this was bound to happen. Please, just one more chance :)

    Carmen: I have a feeling you echo the sentiments of many :)

    Kari: Exactly. It's cute at first, but after awhile it starts to become irritating. Yet, I continue to quote lines and relate everything to the show.

  30. I have a short attention span too, my mind often wanders when I'M talking and I forget the point I was trying to make.

    I don't even like to talk on the phone anymore... I can't type without them knowing I'm blogging and not really paying attention. ;)

  31. This is a MALE trait? Really? I do this to my husband all the time. And when I hang up the phone after talking to someone, he asks me all these questions that I didn't think to ask the person I was talking to. He gets exasperated. "What DID you talk about?" And I have to fake knowledge of what we're up to tonight, because I wasn't listening while "we" were making plans last night.

    I'm impressed with how much you know about TV shows. Even if I did watch TV, I know I'd never have all that down, either.

  32. I have noticed that you have a short attention span while IMing too. All forms of communtion.

    It's ok, if you were any other way you wouldn't be Bone. We'd have to call you T-bone.

  33. 33 is my lucky number so here I go: T-Bone would have been a great name as it would have been a musical reference point

    For some reason I don't find knowing the names of 8 pro bowlers as sad as knowing every Seinfeld

    Nobody on the show or was writing the show lived in NY then so they mythologized it as you do.

    I do think watching bowling on TV is a bit weird, but...

    One of your comment moderation comments (?) was truly hysterical but I forget which one.

  34. Mert: I don't even like to talk on the phone anymore... I can't type without them knowing I'm blogging and not really paying attention

    Wow, I think you and I may be the same person :)

    Actonbell: Wow. OK, so maybe it's not a guy thing. I hate getting that "We just talked about it yesterday" line O:)

    Hotpink: Yes, yes. Maybe it's more ADD than selective memory. Hmmm...

    Pia: Hmm, that's interesting. I think 9 out of 10 readers would think knowing the bowlers was weirder.

    Your comments are really getting funnier and funnier.