Love On The Brain

July 11, 2013

Humor

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s first name is, actually, “Love.”

Why do I know that?

So, basically I get the gist of what she did last summer.

So, basically I get the gist of what she did last summer.  It was bad, right?

No, really: why?  I don’t know where I learned that, or why, but I know that.  I’m not a fan of hers, nor a detractor.  I can’t be, I’ve never really seen her in anything, except maybe about 40 minutes of I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I think she was on a TV show that might have been about ghosts?  Or something?  So, why does my brain hold on to that tidbit of quasi-information?

I’ve always been one of those people who know a lot of seemingly random information, but usually there’s some context, some reason.  I can think of virtually no scenario in which I’d need to know that.

She shot a movie where I live once, and I think she lived here for a while at some point.  So, I suppose it could have been handy then, in case I bumped in to her and we got talking, and I said, “That’s an interesting point, Miss Hewitt.” And she said, “Please.  You can call me Love.”  In that case I could say, “Oh, okay; how kind.  I will do that, since that’s your name.  Thank you.”  Instead of saying, “Oh, can ICan I call you Love?  And you can call me ‘Om Mani Padme Hum,’ you ridiculous Hollwood-hippie.  Fuck off with you.”

But her being physically located near me is in the past. So this scenario is highly improbable.

"I get an A+ in blood!"  That's how I have to remember a simple detail that could save my life...

“I get an A+ in blood!” That’s how I have to remember a simple detail that could save my life…

So, then, again: Why does my brain hold on to this tidbit?  Shouldn’t there be a little censor, developed through eons of filtering useful information?  It took me years to remember my friend Mark’s phone number.  Years.  I lose my wallet every day.  I had to come up with a handy mnemonic to remember my blood type, for God’s sake.  Shouldn’t the brain have evolved to decide what’s important?  If two people are bleeding to death, Darwinism suggests that the one who knows his blood type should live, and the one who know that George Clooney’s hair is naturally curly, but that he has it straightened can die.

Yet when something conveyed to me Jennifer Love Hewitt’s birth surname, nothing in my brain said, “That’s mildly interesting, but totally unnecessary to continued survival or enrichment.”  Maybe even worse?  If someone ever says, “Did you know ‘Love’ is actually Jennifer Love Hewitt’s first name?”  I’ll have to reply, “Yes.  Yes, I did know that.  That is a fact I already knew.”  And that’d just be sad.

So where am I going with this?  Nowhere, I suppose. But I guess I do wonder: is this a weird thing about the brain/my brain?  Or is this something sad about our society, that celebrity tidbits stick more than, say, world events or important details of my own life?

Is it just me?  What weird things does your brain hold on to?

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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91 Comments on “Love On The Brain”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    More like what it cannot hold on to. Of all things you’d think I’d remember, my own Mom’s birthday I have to look at a reference to get right. I have it narrowed down to two of 365 days, though. So the card gets there on time.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      My wife has trouble remembering ages: mine, her mom’s, her own… We had trouble signing our daughter up for swim lessons because, according to the date-of-birth she entered, she hadn’t even been conceived yet.

      Reply

  2. Renee B-W Says:

    I can remember the licence plate of the car we had when I was ten, my best friend from junior school’s phone number, a school project I did when I was 12, and the picture that was on my locker at kindergarten. I have one of those brains like yours that remembers all the non-important facts, but can never remember whether it’s the grizzly or the brown bear you’re supposed to run from. Then again, I live in NZ so I guess that one’s not too important for now. I’m also pretty good to have on a pub-quiz team…

    Reply

  3. Vanessa-Jane Chapman Says:

    I remember silly things and forget the more important things too. Like, if I meet new people, I always forget their names, but I’ll remember how they take their coffee, or really anything about their food and drink choices! Yep, always remember the food and drink, never the names…

    Reply

  4. Life With The Top Down Says:

    My brain holds onto the birth dates of just about everyone I ever met. When the comes up I’ll think “Oh, it’s Sean’s birthday” someone I haven’t seen since I was 10, yet I’ve been calling our billing service at work for 9 years and must look up the number every time.

    Reply

  5. Adventures in Kevin's World Says:

    You remember it because it is somewhat unusual and out of the ordinary. You probably would not remember her first name if it was actually, say, “Heather.”

    And now, because of you, the rest of us will remember this completely random tidbit. Damnit.

    Reply

  6. angelajardine Says:

    Sadly, BM … you are not alone. So a prize goes to whoever can fit our brains with a filter to sift the crap.

    Or maybe you can train your mind to do that with Buddhism … (I wrote that from behind the couch in case you called me a ‘Hollywood-hippie’ – actually that would be a ‘tiny-Cornish-village-hippie’ … but I digress, as they say on blogs).

    Interesting fact about the gorgeous George, though … and I actually don’t have a clue who Jennifer Love Hewitt/Love Jennifer Hewitt is, so I feel quite privileged.

    Reply

  7. Michael Says:

    I’ve got Superman’s World of Cardboard speech from Justice League memorized. But I can forget what a real person said to me five minutes after they’ve said it. How odd.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Yeah, that’s the problem with being a kid (I’m assuming you were a kid when this stuck…): your brain is a sponge, but you’re absorbing kid stuff. And the cartoons that try to incorporate real learning are so boooo-riiiiing.

      Reply

  8. Go Jules Go Says:

    I don’t know my blood type or my brother’s street address, but I still remember Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s real name is Jonathan Weiss.

    Also? When I was a teenager, I was such a ridiculous romantic and huge fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt that all of my social media handle stuff was “Love” and then a bunch of numbers. (You may have noticed on my YouTube handle that THEY DON’T LET YOU CHANGE.) Like some g.d. hippie.

    P.S. – He has his hair straightened? Really? Welp, there goes my sister’s address.

    Reply

  9. jennpower Says:

    I think the reason we remember random, useless information is just that- it’s random. When we find it out we weren’t expecting to: so we hold onto it; much like we hold on to a funny story that happened or a traumatic event. I can remember that Tim Horton’s has all of it’s food shipped even though the slogan says always fresh always Tim Horton’s because I was told that by a friend at the cottage: what had we been talking about before? How people would need jobs after the summer: it was a random fact from a friend that didn’t really have anything to do with the conversation, so I’ve always remembered it.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That’s a good fact to remember, though, I think. It’s a great example of the state of chain restaurants, and that advertising has a pretty wide berth when it comes to “Truth” in advertising.

      Reply

  10. Angie Pantazi Says:

    After reading your latest post, the only info I retained is that George Clooney straightens his hair. Now that interesting tidbit has pushed out all the other important stuff in my brain, like my daughter’s birthday and my ATM pin number. Damn you, Byronic Man!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      How long can your PIN be? Maybe you could make is “georgeclooneystraightenshishair.”

      And I’m sure your daughter will remind you about her birthday eventually…

      Reply

  11. angeliquejamail Says:

    I have a generally sharp memory, but one thing I cannot remember is names. In college, one of my nicknames was Queen of Obscure Knowledge. I could remember a person’s dorm room number, phone number, last four digits of their social security number (because that’s how we were assigned emails back in the Dark Ages), but not their names. Even my students: I can remember almost every paper they’ve ever written in my class and what needed to be revised, even a few years later, but I have to relearn their names every January.

    It could be worse, though. Jane Goodall can’t remember people’s faces. Some misfiring in her brain or something.

    Reply

    • Paul George Eberlein Says:

      Useless tidbit: People who can’t remember people’s faces have a condition called “Lashley’s Scoloma” which tends to hit me whenever someone I do not
      remember from High School always recognizes me instantly.

      Reply

      • angeliquejamail Says:

        Thanks! I couldn’t remember what it was called, though Goodall talks about it in one of her books. Is yours selective? 😉

        Reply

        • Paul George Eberlein Says:

          To deal with it, I actually remember people’s names first, then I connect the name to the person’s voice and finally I connect the voice to the face. That’s why people often complain that I don’t greet them first upon our initial meeting; I am waiting for them to speak so that I can first remember their name and then their face.

          Reply

          • angeliquejamail Says:

            That’s a neat idea.

            Reply

          • cannopener Says:

            Look up prosopagnosia, actually. 🙂 I’m writing my thesis on it. “Lashley’s scoloma” gets 2 hits on Google. TWO. I’ve never seen that happen before! And one of them is the comment above. Lashley’s scotoma, on the other hand, is actually the blind spots you get during a migraine aura.

            And yes, I know it’s ridiculous commenting almost a year after the fact…

            Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      At least she can be like, “No, I don’t remember you. But I’m Jane Goodall, and I’m really important.”

      Reply

  12. speaker7 Says:

    I think I know more useless than useful information like soap star Michael Damian sang the song “Rock On” featured in the movie “Dream a Little Dream.” The two Coreys appeared in the video. I remember this, but not the name of my second grade teacher.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I read recently that Corey Feldman had his Dream a Little Dream jacket stolen at a House Of Blues. And you realize what that means?

      It means he was wearing his studded leather jacket from that movie out in public circa 2012.

      Reply

  13. silkpurseproductions Says:

    Oddly, it may be a Jennifer Love Hewitt thing. We use to watch “Ghost Whisperer” (never saw those “Summer” movies). I really liked the supporting cast, but never took to her. I read an article about her all about how she just “loves to be in love” and pretty much “loves” all her leading men etc. She made herself sound pretty…sleazy actually. When they killed off her leading man on the show I couldn’t watch anymore to see who she would be sleeping with next. Now she actually plays a Madame in a “massage” parlour, so to speak. Can’t stand it, but I always think that she “loves to love”. Thanks to you Mr. Byronic I can say this about the little horn toad. “Love loves to love”.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That does sound kind of gross, actually.

      And always like the titles to the sequels of those movies. Never saw them, but I enjoyed their desperation. “Just So You Know, I – Despite All Intervening Events – Continue Remembering What You Did All Those Summers Ago.”

      Reply

  14. Lorna's Voice Says:

    Well thanks a lot. Now I have that useless piece of info stored in my brain, crowding out something that I could actually use. I don’t know what, but that factoid will be sitting there saying, “Ain’t no way Love’s moving out for you!”

    And, really, George Clooney’s hair is naturally curly? Now there is something worth storing up in the grey matter… 😉

    Reply

  15. Anka Says:

    I just found out my blood type is A+ yesterday. Thanks for the handy tip. Now I’ll never forget. Also, found it was your birthday recently–Happy Belated!

    As for what my brain holds on to, every time you lick a stamp you’re consuming 1/10 of a calorie. I always wondered why stamps had a weird after taste.

    Reply

  16. kevindeisher Says:

    My brain holds onto phone numbers. I can remember my dad’s office number from more than forty years ago when I was only nine years old. I remember every phone number I have had and there have been a lot. I remember old friends numbers even though they have long since moved on. Weird to me but it is what it is.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Wow. That’s interesting. Very left-brain. Surely there’s some useful application of that. I suppose if there’s ever a game show that revolves around remember phone numbers, your ship will have come in.

      Reply

  17. battlewagon13 Says:

    I consider myself a very good trivia player – and that’s not really something to be proud of. Because frankly, I can’t remember what my wife said to me yesterday or what I had for breakfast this morning, but dang it if I can’t forget that Franz Honiok was the first victim of World War II. And he’s not even related to me.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Years and years ago I was watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” The big question was “Who directed the video for Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’?” The guy phoned a friend who said it was Joe Dante. All these years later when I think of it, I get a flood of adrenaline and want to shout, “NO! He directed ‘Thriller’! Martin Scorsese directed ‘Bad’!”

      Reply

  18. SimplySage Says:

    Since we use so little of our brain perhaps the vast portion we don’t use stores this type information in that vastness. Can you imagine how much other useless information lies there??? 🙂

    Reply

  19. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Why do I know that the four “Golden Girls” were Blanche, Sophia, Rose and Dorothy? Why? Why? That’s valuable brain territory I could use to remember where I left my house keys.

    Reply

  20. UndercoverL Says:

    The Average Any Lives To Be A Decade Old. Jupiter Has 66 Moons. The Qat Is An Evergreen Tree Native To The Arabian Peninsula. Sorry About The all-caps… Gatorade.

    Reply

  21. thefoodandwinehedonist Says:

    I wrote a post that was a prime example of how I’m the king of remembering completely worthless info. It’s where I “brag” about being able to name more pro wrestlers than US presidents. It was – http://foodandwinehedonist.com/2013/01/07/presidents-vs-pro-wrestlers/.

    I feel no shame in posting the link because I mentioned how it was inspired by your Winnemucca post….

    Anyway, the only way I can make money off of this is if they ever came up with a trivia show called “Who wants to be a Millionaire by admitting you know completely worthless crap?” I know Jeopardy is out there, but you actually have to be somewhat literate and informed. Plus the stakes are way too low.

    Reply

  22. donofalltrades Says:

    I’ll probably always remember that Byronic Man wrote a post about Jennifer Love Hewitt and did not once mention her amazing breasts. Freak!

    Reply

  23. Snoring Dog Studio Says:

    If I could only get the tune of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” out of my mom’s brain for good, I would be grateful for an eternity. Because it’s in my brain all the time, too.

    Reply

  24. Ashley Austrew Says:

    I only remember random tidbits, too. Like, this post reminded me of an article I read about Jennifer Love Hewitt. Only thing I retained? She drinks a Diet Coke every morning with breakfast.

    Reply

  25. Renee B-W Says:

    Um, BM, are you sure about your Jennifer Love Hewitt fact? EverythingI can find says she was named “Jennifer Love Hewitt” from birth – the middle name “Love” was the name of one of her mother’s best friends from college.

    Dang it, now I know too much about Jennifer Love Hewitt too…

    Reply

  26. pegoleg Says:

    I’ve often pondered this. How I can recall what I paid for almost everything I own, but can’t remember stuff like when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, or how you determine the circumference of a circle. Obviously it’s a question of priorities, and that makes me pathetic.

    Reply

  27. adixon210 Says:

    If you want the name of a 90s pop icon, I’m your girl. If you asked me what I ate for lunch two days ago, I’d laugh in your face. If I remember the birthdays of my immediate family, I consider my memory to be successful overall for the year.

    Reply

  28. theduffboy Says:

    Reblogged this on Duffboy and commented:
    Now, is it wrong that all I can think about is songs with the world “love” in them? Such as “Why can´t this be love?” by Van Halen or the Tina Turner song, you know the one…

    Reply

  29. themeredithmouth Says:

    I remember the name of Jabba the Hutt’s whiny sidekick (Salacious Crumb). I remember birthdays and middle names of friends from 15 years ago. I remember strange celebrity tidbits – Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were roommates at Yale, Jonathan Brandis is dead (that one floored a co-worker, as she was unaware that he died), Carrie Fisher shares a birthday with my mother…
    But just try to get me to remember my house key before I go out the door for work.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You know, I knew that about Jones & Gore (although I thought it was Harvard), but when I read it I read it as “Tommy Lee” the drummer from Motley Crue, and thought, “Hm. That seems unlikely…”

      Reply

      • themeredithmouth Says:

        It is Harvard. I’m finally getting around to caving in to the pressure to watch “30 Rock,” and having watched the episode “Greenzo,” I looked up Al Gore on IMDB.

        Usually when I look up people on IMDB it’s because I think I’ve seen them in “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,” but this time it was to settle the Harvard vs. Yale debate going on in my brain.

        You win this time, Byronic Man.

        Actually, you’ll probably win every time. Let’s be honest.

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          “I bet you aren’t even bothering to compost your own feces!”

          Love Greenzo.

          And I’ve just finished season 2 of 30 Rock, so I’m not far ahead of you. I feel like I’m showing up to a New Year’s Eve party on January 2nd.

          Reply

  30. thesinglecell Says:

    I have a bizarre memory. I can remember tons of stuff people think is astonishing, yet can’t remember what I had for dinner last night. To answer your question directly: I remember every phone number I’ve had since I was two years old (there have been 11). I remember the illustration from a story called “Lemonade Rain” that was in a book called “Star Bright” that I read when I was five. I remember the back page of a book I used to “teach myself” how to read when I was four. I seem to have memorized all the lines to every episode of “The West Wing,” which is sort of embarrassing slash awesome.

    Reply

  31. Dana Says:

    I can remember birthdays and phone numbers, but damned if I remember names or faces. (This sucks, because I work in a job that is all about meeting THOUSANDS OF STRANGERS all day and needing to remember them by their faces and/or names. Too bad I can’t ask for all of their phone numbers in advance, just in case I need to remember them. “Oh, you’re the (206) 347-5595 lady? Awesome! So good to see you again!”)

    PS: The A+ in blood mnemonic is freaking amazing. I remember my blood type anyway, but now I have to start saying “Ohhh, that’s negative”.

    Reply

  32. Daile Says:

    I always wonder what information my brain has to push out in order to hold on to lyrics of 90’s pop songs instead

    Reply

  33. tamberrinoartstudio Says:

    I know the name of every dog and cat in my neighborhood, but I can never seem to recall the owners’ names. I have to refer to them as “Twinkles’ mom” or “Snoopy’s dad”. It’s embarrassing!

    Reply

  34. lisali Says:

    Ahh, what good is memory anyways? There is always Alzheimer’s and dementia to look forward to…

    Reply

  35. Elyse Says:

    My mind is filled with random, useless information.

    The tid-bit I get the most use out of, though, is the fact that Wilbur and Orville figured out how to fly by studying the flight of turkey vultures which have little feathers on their wings that go up or down for take offs and landings. I get to use this one a lot because I live near Washington DC and there are many turkey vultures around.

    Reply

  36. PinotNinja Says:

    I can remember tidbits of celebrity information and gossip like nobody’s business — seriously, if you ever need to know everyone who Jennifer Aniston has dated or the name of all of the Beckham kids, I’m your girl — but I forget the birthday of every important person in my life. Every one.

    Apparently, the universe is just trying to tell me that I really need to become friends with more celebrities, because my brain is clearly only capable of remembering their birthdays.

    Reply

  37. findingsolace13 Says:

    I have a hard time with remember anything that bores me. If I’m not being enticed you can think if it as forgotten.

    Reply

  38. thealternateplanet Says:

    I can remember quotes and lyrics about two listens through, ask me exactly why Niki Manaj thinks starships are meant to fly and I can tell you immediately, she didn’t pay her rent this month, ask me what my shift pattern at work this week is ‘….someday?’. The positive is I made up a lot of songs for my exams, the downside is singing isn’t usually allowed in the hall.

    Reply

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