Thursday, June 2, 2011

Short-Term Memory Follies: Why Is This Razor In My Hand?

I bought a laptop for my late father when he was 70-ish, thinking he could maybe find some use for it in his retirement.  The only thing he ever used was email, and even that he only used to receive the worst kind of bottom-feeding junk out there.  Stupid jokes, pictures of naked ladies on the golf course (tee hee), religious chain letters, and every weird conspiracy theory that you could debunk in about 5 seconds flat on Snopes.

Every time I saw him, he was scaring the shit out of me about something: don't park next to vans, don't blast your car's A/C when you first start it up, don't wear overalls (what?).  But you might want to consider that Nigerian prince's offer cuz that one seems pretty legit.

Many of the jokes were about being old, senility, dementia, Viagra, etc.  I remember one of them, which described a scene of "roomnesia", where the person was going from room to room trying to accomplish something but getting continuously distracted and forgetting what the original mission was.  But the tasks and distractions were pretty normal stuff:  paying bills, taking a phone call, looking for a stamp, etc.

It struck me that this happens to me all of the time, but perhaps the sequence of events aren't the stuff of viral email jokes.  Take the following as an example...

Audrey was in an ABA session with Raven, and, it being the first hot summer day, I decide that I really must take advantage of the free time and shave the winter's growth off of my legs.  It's way too big of a job to do in the shower, so hunker down on the bath tub ledge with my sharpened machetes and get ready to have at it.

I notice some kind of green leafy thing congealed to the side of the tub.  I remember that when Audrey puked a week or two ago I'd shaken out some of the sheets and towels into my bath tub.  I'd cleaned the tub (I swear) and Audrey had even taken several baths since then, but somehow there was still this hunka hunka upchuck stuck on the near side of the tub that I must've missed.

Completely grossed out, I get up and go to my bedroom to get a Kleenex to remove it, wondering if that will suffice or if a sandblaster will be necessary.  I notice that Audrey and Raven are now up in her bedroom, and Audrey is rifling through her drawers.  She's still in her pj's and has decided that she needs to go out on her bike right that minute.  She's pulling out winter clothes because I still haven't done the whole winter-to-summer drawer switcheroo yet, so I stop her, dig out some summer clothes, and get her dressed.

I escort her back downstairs to help her find some shoes so that she doesn't go out in her snow boots.  In the meantime, my husband has decided to whip up some probiotic-rich, homemade coconut kefir and the kitchen is covered in bits of coconut flesh and its sticky juice.  The ants are already amassing at the border, so I stop to clean it up.

But the counter also has a bunch of papers, mail, and crap on it so I have to move that stuff first.  I see some forms from Easter Seals that are already late and I start in on those.  My husband is watching some JFK and Viet Nam documentary and I get distracted by that.  The forms are more detailed than I thought so I throw them back onto the pile on my desk and finish cleaning up the kitchen.

I finally start back upstairs and just as I get up there Audrey comes in wailing "MY MOM IS GOOOOONE!!"  I go back downstairs to show my face and talk her down from the ledge (when am I ever gone????).  Then back upstairs, I dig out some almost-guaranteed-not-to-fit shorts and try to squeeze into them.  I look down and see my massively hairy legs.  Ooooh yeah.  I go into the bathroom to shave them, again notice the puked-up spinach, just as I hear Audrey running up from the basement as her session has come to an end.

I shudder to think what old age will bring.  But then again it might improve my lot.  I will undoubtedly have no brain cells left by then and probably wouldn't even see or notice the puke, ants, dirty kitchen counters, or the hairy legs.  Bring. it. on.

25 comments:

  1. The story of my life!

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  2. RIght there with you, Sista.

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  3. Just an amazing piece! Thanks

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  4. I think we are twins separated at birth!

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  5. You just described my everyday. Except I would never have been able to remember the sequence of events that distracted me like you did. I'd just find myself in the tub, unshaven, and think "What in THE he'll have I been doing all day?"

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  6. Thank God, I'm not alone! Typical day for me (especially the part about "My mom is GONE!") You're just egging BD on - aren't you? And please tell me you got to the puked up spinach! ;)

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  7. You are not alone Lynn...you just described a completely typical day in my little home...I keep wondering if I'll be the youngest person on record to have alzheimers...

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  8. I was getting so out of it I got tested for ADD/ADHD because I could not remember anything for the life of me. Completely understand.

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  9. I can relate to this story a bit too well.

    Sob!

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  10. So, what, you mean that's NOT a normal day? Huh...

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  11. You shave your legs, clean the bath and wipe kitchen surfaces? Even if only occasionally? You're so way ahead of me...

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  12. Right there with you. I've decided in order to cut down on the chaos in my house I'm going to have a "do it now" attitude. So if I see a toy on the floor, I will put it away immediately, rather than letting things pile up. Unfortunately, this means that it can take me 1/2 hour to get to the bathroom to pee. Thinking I need a new strategy.

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  13. This is so my life as well. Thank God. Cause really i was getting pretty depressed that I was losing it for sure lately.....

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  14. Did you write this post or did Big Daddy? 'Cause he thinks you're hairy, and he has trouble focusing, too.

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  15. I call those "but first" days.

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  16. Finally, something to look forward to in old age: the complete inability to give a shit about anything!

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  17. An add-on to AllieF's comment -- you don't give a shit and even if you did, you're too deaf to hear and your eyes are waaaayyyy too gone to see that hunka hunka upchuck anyhow!

    Here's to those "senior moments" getting closer and closer together. I'll be saving so much money on beer when that finally happens!

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  18. In all honesty, this is the third time today I've tried to leave a comment. At this point, I don't even recall what I was originally going to say (although I'm sure it was insightful and witty). After fielding questions/comments about flipping tank tops since dawn, I will just say, "There was supposed to be a lucid comment here."

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  19. Don'tcha hate that? I don't think it has anything to do with old age, I think it's called "parenthood".

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  20. I think every Mom can relate to this story! I swear...I always hop from one thing to another and rarely even accomplish what I started off doing.

    I hope you at least got the old dried puke cleaned up!

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  21. That's not normal? Crap. That's how this place functions. I don't think anyone (except my husband) is capable of completing a task in its entirety.

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  22. So my MIL bought her father a computer about 5 years ago. Got him hooked up with Internet access...the works. Then like two years ago she had to do some maintenance on it. AND FOUND THAT ALL HE DID WAS LOOK AT PORN ALL DAY. True story. So, you know, you could just do that.

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  23. Are you following me, crazy lady? ARE YOU? 'Cause that right there, that's MY day. You stole my day, yeah you did.

    Oh, except for the hair balls. Two dogs...my house has hair balls that I chase around...until I get distracted again.

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