Dawn Watson/CNBNews Contributor
Lately I find that my short-term memory has fallen out of my brain. I’m not sure whether it has to do with my age or the fact that I’ve block some of the weirder shenanigans of my recent past. But whatever the reason I’ve lost track of some of my day-to-day history.
A friend will ask, “Do you remember me saying that yesterday?” and I’ll try to bluff my way through it by acting indignant and responding, “Well, of course I remember! Who wouldn’t remember that?” when I have no idea what she’s talking about.
My kids are quick to tell me that I’ve already enlightened them about this-or-that at least a dozen times but my close friends will just patiently wait it out until I get to the punch line, then laugh politely. That’s why they are my close friends.
People continue to humor me when I present them with gifts I gave them the previous year, greeting cards I’ve already sent a few times, and recycled stories of events that happened a few years ago but have already told them.
It’s no coincidence that I sometimes over-pay bills; I simply forget that they were paid, previously. It makes my creditors happy, but I run out of money and forget why.
On the other hand, I recall every word of the theme songs of every cowboy show of the ‘50’s. Impressive, but not really useful.
I vividly recall my first day of kindergarten, how my grandmother’s roses looked when I was three, and my first kiss when I was in sixth grade. But don’t ask me what I had for supper last night. It’s gone and forgotten.
When I visited my doctor, I asked him whether I should be worried about dementia. He left the room for an emergency and when he returned, he asked, “What were we talking about?” which caused me to worry about his dementia.
I’d like to think my forgetfulness is due to the tremendous amount of knowledge I’ve accumulated in my sixty-plus years of life but who am I trying to kid? I skated through every milestone with little more than a bruised ego and most of it wasn’t worth remembering. And yet, I do.
I remember my first dog, my first-grade teacher, the red dress my mother always wore to picnics. I remember my father’s banjo, and the gap between my brother’s teeth. These things are as clear as if they happened yesterday. But what happened yesterday is unreachable.
I don’t know whether to be worried about what’s going on in my head or if I should just enjoy the memories I still have. Only time will tell.
But if you stop me on the street and I look puzzled, identify yourself and spare me the embarrassment of searching for your name.
Ten years from now, I’ll probably remember who you are. And I’ll consider you a close friend.
Cartoon courtesy of Bing