Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Once I Found my Lost Keys in my Hand

Someone I love dearly is starting to have serious memory issues. Sometimes she uses one of my nieces as an external hard-drive of sorts. “Sweetie, remind me that I put my car keys in the side pocket of my purse,” This after first telling me to remind her, looking at my expression, then rolling her eyes and wisely resorting to the First Grader.
My own short term memory issues are nothing new. I have always been like this. Maybe it is a blonde thing, I don’t know. I think I use short term memory space for other purposes, perhaps long term memories, perhaps Pac-Man patterns. My BFF has excellent short term memory and oddly enough I have excellent long term. Between the two of us, we almost make up an entirely functional human being.
Someone was telling a story recently, about a time when we were little and had found a nest of baby rabbits. “Remember there was an old guy who used to yell out his window, ‘Leave those bunnies be!’?”  “Yes,” I said, “Mr. Imars.”  “Oh for pity’s sake, how can you remember that?  That was the only time that man ever spoke to us!  It’s been at least twenty years.”  Because I remember everything, the cost of banana popsicles, which librarian let me check out books that were too old for me, who stole my wicked cool bike (yeah, dude, thanks for the awesome name for the evil column).
Short-term memory is a whole other deal. I have none, but I have excellent coping skills. It has made me very empathetic to the elderly with similar issues and to my loved one who is losing her short-term memory. On top of that I have a list of useful tips to share.
·         Park in the same place, put your keys in the same place and write things down or put it into your telephone immediately.
·         If you need to get something done, do it right now. This is always a gold star in the working world where I receive kudos for my prompt response. They don’t realize there are only two choices in my repertoire. Now or never.
·         Eat the same breakfast, that way you never get tripped up by this question. I never have trouble with the other meals. The brain has just slept very soundly through breakfast my entire life.
·         Own it, don’t try to fake your way out when you forget. You just look ridiculous if you do. Doesn’t this sound so much better?  “I know you told me your name six times today, I do remember it was something complex. Beth Wilson?  Got it.”
·         Dig deep and keep a good attitude. There is always an adventure waiting every time you forget. If it doesn’t lead to the ER or the impound lot, it’s not a bad thing.
This morning I traipsed into the Dentist’s office and gave my name. The receptionist got very quiet as she looked through the day’s appointments. I go there all the time, they give free chapsticks and my dentist is super sweet and this isn’t the first time they got very quiet at check-in. I sighed and waited, knowing what the problem was and promising myself that for now on I will not be texting, checking Facebook and inputting appointments into my schedule all at the same time. I’m just not a good multi-tasker, I think it involves short-term memory. The receptionist said, “Your next appointment is in August.”  I double checked my phone and sure enough it was in there for August too. I wondered briefly where I was supposed to be today at 1:00. Well at least I’d kept up with the latest Zombie Apocalypse comments on Facebook, right?  Besides while I was in town I dropped by the post office and mailed my BFF her hair flattener. She forgot it at my house this weekend, despite her excellent short term memory. Perhaps this means we might need an external hard drive for our next road trip. Know any First Graders for hire?


  1. Sunday I was searching for my phone. Couldn't figure out where I'd set it down. I was in public so I was trying not to mentally freak about having lost it. Kept patting my pockets and sifting through my purse with my free hand...wait...why did I have only one free hand?
    Oh...there's my phone.

  2. At least you found it eventually, right? While I did have help finding the keys in my hand, I'm fairly certain I'd have found them eventually. Maybe. Okay, probably not. Whatever. What do you think of the blue lipstick?

  3. Got the hair straightener. Thanks for the gum ball reward for my short-term memory faux pas. The straightener was too hot to pack Sunday morning so I left it out to cool. The pain that I was trying to deny existed from the last minute facial waxing five minutes before my drive home (who does that?) shorted out the short-term memory. Actually, I think it was my body's fight/flight response to prevent any further waxing. Or it could have been that foreign feeling of relaxation. Thanks for a great escape!

  4. Was kind of worried about that dragged behind a horse redness on your face. Hope it's fading by now.
    I don't know why nobody never makes all red gumballs, I'm sure there is a huge market for that. With us alone anyway.
    With you gone and now Dances-with-Unicorns gone, life is dangerously approaching normal.
    Enjoy flattening things, and call me if you feel like running away.