With so much discussion about Alzheimer's out there, it's no wonder we all worry a bit about that dire fate as we grow older. I can't think of much that is more frightening than to be in the beginning stages and know you're sliding down a slippery slope with no brakes to a destination beyond your ken. That's not even considering the anguish of the loved ones who have to cope as you forget who they are.
As a column-writing doctor pointed out a few years back, we tend to be over-sensitive to memory problems as we age. He stressed that our memory is probably NOT any worse than it has ever been -- we're just noticing the lapses more. I take comfort in that attitude because my memory muscle has never been all that well developed. I'm always tucking things away in a safe place and then forgetting where the place is. I usually find the missing item when I go looking for something else entirely.
When I was tending bar, I managed to train myself pretty well to remember the names of customers, although I found I could remember their regular drinks even better. In the beginning, though, glitches occurred in the most disconcerting manner. I remember a pair of truck drivers who used to come in for lunch all the time. Rocky and Kirby. Okay, I said to myself, that's easy. Rocky Road and Kirby vacuum cleaner. Got it.
Next time they wandered through the door, I cheerfully greeted them with, "Hi, Rocky! Hi, Hoover!" When I saw the jaw-dropped expressions on their faces, I knew I'd called up the wrong vacuum cleaner...and in my frantic attempt at recovery, all I could think of was Electrolux.
My most mortifying memory lapse, however, happened when youngest dotter was freshly hatched and home from the hospital. My neighbor, Lucy, called one day and said she and hubby were dying to see the latest addition and why don't I trot over for coffee and show and tell? That sounded good so, her older siblings in tow and Patti snuggled warm in blankets, off we went a-visiting. It was a lovely afternoon and much was made of the baby. Lucy's husband, a softy all the way, had taken charge of Her Infantness and wandered into the other room, cooing and conversing with her while Lucy and I caught up on the affairs of the neighborhood.
Suddenly I noticed the time and jumped up from the kitchen table. "Oops! Gotta get home and fix supper!" I grabbed the kids and off I went. There I was, flitting about the kitchen, trying to shake off an uneasy feeling that something just wasn't quite right. And it wasn't. About then, Lucy arrived at my door, holding Patti and sporting a wicked grin. "Are you missing anything?" she innocently asked.
Things like that can get you kicked out of the Good Mommy Club. Fortunately for me, other mothers have assured me they've committed the same lapse so I guess it's forgivable. As long as you don't try to move out of the state before the kid is returned.
This little jaunt down Untrustworthy Memory Lane didn't come out of the blue. A friend (thanks, Glo!) shared this delicious find from YouTube, featuring Tom Rush singing The Remember Song. To one degree or another, I suspect all of us can identify.
P.S. Oops! I almost forgot -- check the comments in the last post. Ralph came up with the perfect C-words for whiskey and sex. (grin) Thanks, Ralph!