Opinion: Photographic memory


My wife was looking through my smartphone to find a photo I took on a recent vacation.

“Do you ever delete any of these images?” she asked. “You have a lot of really weird stuff in here.”

“Don’t erase anything!” I told her.

I’m becoming more forgetful, so I take pictures of almost everything. Mary Ellen and I went through my phone together to discard any unnecessary shots. She said this would give me more memory, but she was referring to the phone, I’m pretty sure.

The first thing we did is delete the six close-ups of my foot. Not sure how that happened.

“OK, Dick. Here’s an album full of photos of old to-do lists. Why are you saving those?”

“That’s in case I have the same things to do another day. I can just copy and paste. There should be a folder full of different grocery lists in there, too.”

“This image of your computer keyboard, is that so if you have to replace it, you can show the sales clerk what order you want the letters in? This photo of the list of all your passwords will be handy if someone finds your phone and wants to share in our life savings. And who are these people I don’t recognize?”

“Mary Ellen, I took their pictures so I would remember them.”

“Who are they?”

“Either the folks I play pickleball with or new reporters at Channel 8.”

“But you still don’t know their names?”

“No, but now I’ll at least recognize them when I see them, and I’ll know for sure whether I’m at work or the YMCA.”

“Dick, here are several pictures of an old man with thinning hair and a double chin.”

“That’s probably my friend Luke at the nursing home.”

“Nice try. They’re the worst selfies I’ve ever seen. You tilt your head back to eliminate the extra chin, but then you look like you have the world’s biggest nostrils.”

She continued, “I’m seeing lots of photos of an attractive redhead. Is something going on behind my back?”

“Very funny, Mary Ellen. I was standing right in front of you each time I took your picture.”