Airing Family Secrets via Haute Couture

Two days ago, on her 72nd birthday, my mother shared her newest mnemonic device.   And I thought, in all fairness, I should pass along the technique, in case you want to remedy your own memory deficits by adopting my mother’s method.

This all came up when I asked my mom to call us in Haiti during our family’s annual let’s-celebrate-mom’s-birthday-event scheduled for yesterday afternoon.

When I asked my mother to make the call, she said, “Well, I’m afraid I’ll forget.” 

I reassured her that she didn’t have to worry.   I would email my sister and ask her place the call. 

“No,” my mother declared confidently. “I’ll just clip a clothes pin to my lapel.”

“Really,” I replied. 

“Of course,” she claimed.  “Someone is bound to ask why I have a clothes pin on my blouse.  And when they do, I’ll remember we were supposed to call you.  It works every time.”

“Every time,” I said, dumbfounded that my mother had used the technique enough to have gathered such data.


“Wow,” I added.  “I think I’ll have to blog about that.”

“Oh, you should! It works really well—-and everybody has an extra clothes pin hanging around!”

“Sure they do . . . “

. . . but—-for those of you whose laundry habits have surprisingly not carried the clothes pin over into the 21st century or, god forbid, who lack the sartorial daring to add clothespins to your accessory repertoire, my mother claims the piece-of-paper-in-the-middle-of-the-living-room-floor technique works almost as well.

But, of course, I wouldn’t want to hang all  my family’s dirty laundry out to dry.

5 thoughts on “Airing Family Secrets via Haute Couture

  1. That is AWESOME!! Your mom sounds just as funny as mine! Clothespins?? Paper in the middle of the floor?? Whatever happened to a sticky note on the bathroom mirror. 🙂

    Great post.


  2. My mom has a similar trick, only with her rings. She’ll put her wedding ring on the wrong hand, and then when she notices and moves it back to the correct hand it reminds her why she moved it in the first place. I’ve always thought it was odd, but it works for her!


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