Toastmasters Will Save My Memory (Unless I Forget to Go to Meetings)
Well, the Toastmasters International Speech Competition for Area D3 in Utah just happened this past Saturday, March 24, at Olympic Park in Park City, UT, and lo and behold I won. I took first place with my speech “Wynton Marsalis Had My Back,” a poignant, yet humorous account of when my saxophone-playing son got to meet his hero, legendary jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. Winning this contest brings me one rung closer to the top level of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, which takes place later this year.
The thing that really amazes me when I win a Toastmasters competition is not that I’m able to write a speech that a smattering of people find entertaining, it’s that I can memorize anything longer than a three-item grocery list when half the time I can’t even remember why I walked into a room in my own house. Honestly, it’s a challenge for me just to get my kids’ names right when I call them. I have a 50/50 chance I’ll match the right child with the correct moniker and most of the time I get it wrong.
The worst is when I’m in a social situation in which I have to spontaneously introduce someone and for the life of me I can’t remember anything that even remotely comes close to resembling that person’s name. Never mind that I can recall just about every word of our last conversation, in which I learned (and can summon up) their boss’s name, their hairdresser’s name, their third grade teacher’s name, and even their dog’s name. (Just get that damn dog in here and I’ll introduce him all over the place.) But don’t ask me to shout out their name in case, for example, a piano is about to fall on their head and it’s life or dead if I don’t call on them to move out of the way. Best I can hope for in this situation is to bring it to someone else’s attention so they can be the hero. (I’m very gracious that way.)
Every once in a while my memory does kick in, usually for useless things like lyrics from 1960s TV show theme songs. So even though I often blank on my ATM pass code (usually when I’m just about to pay for a cart load of Costco items which doesn’t include the one thing I actually came in for, because I forgot what it was) I can still belt out the tunes that opened Gilligan’s Island, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Partridge Family, and Green Acres like my life depended on it. I’d be a great contestant on Jeopardy as long as one of the categories wasn’t Places Stacy’s Car Keys Might Be Found.
So in honor of winning the Area D3 contest for the Toastmasters International Speech Competition, I bring you this uproariously funny little ditty about a woman who can remember lyrics to a song, which happens to be about not being able to remember if she turned off the stove. It’s by Pam, um,… Pam… wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue, uh… oh hell, you can read, right? Just look at the damn YouTube credit and watch the video. You’re going to love it.
I dedicate this to my lost brain cells.
Pam Peterson! Yeah, that’s it, it just came to me! Pam Peterson! (I think memory loss contributes to middle-aged ADD.)
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available on Amazon.com.