This is for the absent-minded eclectic scientists and other geeks among us.
I used to have a friend who liked to complain about her husband a lot. It was all so sad. She wanted him to accommodate her in myriad ways; sort his laundry correctly, remember her birthday. At one point he asked her to put up signs all over the house to remind him of things she wanted him to do. She would take the signs down when they expected company.
She would remind him to remember her birthday and bring her flowers, on the previous day. Once he dutifully bought the flowers, and then hid them in the washing machine until the next morning, when her birthday was.
They were, of course, dead by then.
The sadness there is that it was obvious to any reasonably sensitive external observer that this guy absolutely adored his wife, would be there for her when it counted, to the very end. If anybody would be doing any leaving there, it would be her.
And he had (and doubtless still has) so much going for him otherwise; very charming, easygoing, presentable man, has work that he loves, honest, straightforward, gentle; easy to work with, from what I have gathered from some of his colleagues. So many pluses.
I hope she sees that by now. I tried to point it out at times. Won't presort the laundry correctly? Give me a break, girl! But yes; her husband is yet another outlier, like so many of us. I don't know to describe what he is, because he's very unlike me, I can't imagine myself inside his head very well. He's someone who, for example, can shut out external stimuli when he's working on computer mapping to the point where he doesn't even see his own wife hovering around him (his wife told me that once).
Some of you may be like this guy. You who don't remember birthdays. You who don't remember a lot of stuff. But it's not because you are cold or unfeeling.
You are, as well, good at compartmentalizing, while I'm not worth beans at compartmentalizing. No filters here.
You're just made that way, like my old friend's husband is too, to at least some extent; and it's hard for a lot of us who aren't made that way to understand you. The best thing to learn here is that we don't have to understand you, just take it up on faith that you are good, honest people who mean well, but who are also just kinda different.
And beyond that, I may even be very good at filtering and compartmentalizing stuff that I don't even realize I'm filtering and compartmentalizing.
And just about anybody whose orbit is on the eccentric side, may well be unconsciously that way too.