To all of my aging sisters with resistant gray. . .
While I tend to be in denial about having turned 50, it’s more difficult to deny the forgetfulness that creeps up on you throughout your forties, then becomes a full blown case of empty headedness by FIVE-O.
I’ve compared stories with friends and we all seem to have the same propensity for losing keys, books and the like. I’ve managed to devise ways of compensating.
For keys multiple sets helps. For books, commit to reading in only one place. Recently I had built-ins put in the bathroom.
Admit nothing. That’s my way of compensating for my troubled memory whenever possible.
Recently at breakfast I forgot I am lactose intolerant. I ate a melted cheese toast and a carton of yogurt, followed by a hot chocolate chaser. My 30-year-old daughter, an R. N., was on the receiving end of my discomfort. “Mom, you know you’re lactose intolerant. You could’ve spared me.”
For a denial to be convincing, I recommend clinical terminology and not even a hint of doubt. “That has been neither proved nor disproved. I’m still waiting for an official diagnosis. Today, it seems, there is evidence in support of that theory. Sorry.”
When caught in the act of absentmindedness it’s a little more difficult to feign ignorance.
For example, if you forget to take the house keys with you, and can’t remember the code to the automatic garage door, it’s probably best not to climb up onto the cable TV housing, scale the adjoining neighbor’s wall and dangle from their balcony railing (you forgot, of course, that you no longer possess the upper body strength to actually hoist yourself up onto the balcony floor). This gives rise to questions by people wearing badges and their syringe-wielding friends.
“What are you doing up there, ma’am?”
“Do you live there?”
“Where were you going?”
“My house. It’s right there.” You manage to point with one hand, while supporting your weight with the other Pilates-sculpted bicep.
“Why don’t you use a key?”
“Why don’t you use the garage door code?”
“How ’bout I call your daughter again? What’s her name?”
“Forget it. I saw her earlier today. She’s not talking to me.”
“I’m lactose intolerant.”
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