Over the past several years, I have noticed that I am getting more and more forgetful. I’m sure I’d be more alarmed at how much I actually do forget, but since I already forgot, I don’t worry about it.
Everyone forgets things. You forget something on your grocery list, or forget to call someone back, or forget to put the clothes in the dryer.
That’s natural. But forgetting to put your glasses on when you cannot see a blasted thing without them, and walking out the door to go to work, and wondering why everything is so blurry, now that’s not natural.
Or, after you’ve walked out the door to go to work after rushing to get ready and actually have had to stop and look down at your legs to make sure you have pants on.
Don’t laugh. I’ve done it. And I’m proud to say I have never been pantless yet.
For years, I have been calling my sons by both their names. I address Georgie as “GeorgieDonnie.” And Donnie as “DonnieGeorgie.”
We have a new daughter-in-law and I remember her name clearly—Michelle. Blonde hair, blue eyes, great smile. So I’m not that terrible. Yet.
I do call George by his correct name. At least I think I do. I can’t remember. Of course, in my house, his name is most often “Yo!”
I can remember my first day of kindergarten and what I wore (red, black and white plaid jumper with a white blouse and black shoes).
I can remember my first pair of high heels (I was in 6th grade and the shoes were white).
I can remember the perfume I wore to my 8th grade graduation (Evening in Paris, blue bottle).
I can remember where my locker was in high school, and all the words to the song “Bali Ha’i” in French, which a group of us sang in the annual musical (Bali Ha’i, peut vous appeler).
I can remember my hospital room numbers when I gave birth to both my sons. (Georgie—Room 183 and Donnie—Room 201).
I can remember the dates that both my sons left for college (Georgie, Aug. 18, 1999 and Donnie, Aug. 23, 2003).
I have forgotten to put coffee in the coffeemaker, so that when George goes to pour his morning cup of joe, he gets nothing but hot water.
I have put cereal boxes in the fridge. I have scorched more than one burner cover because I forgot to take them off the stove before I turn it on.
This creates a wonderful, lingering aroma of burnt tin wafting throughout the house.
I have forgotten to put water in the pan while steaming fresh green beans, filling the house with another unforgettable scent of blackened green beans with a slight hint of charred Teflon.
I have forgotten my cell phone number, my social security number and my age. I have forgotten where I am driving and why I am driving there. Oops. I just had a thought, but I forget what it was. It was funny, too. Darn it. You would have laughed.
I was in my craft room one night when George came sauntering in.
He asked me, “Were you just in the bathroom?”
I said yes.
He said, “Did you wash your hands?”
I responded, “Uh, yeah. Why?”
George informed me, “You left the faucet running.”
Yep, forgot to turn off the faucet.
If it wasn’t for Post-It notes, I’d be in trouble. I write reminders to myself on them. I staple them to the handle of my purse so that this way I will not forget. Next I will be stapling them to the sleeves of my shirts. Or my forehead.
In the great book Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne wrote, “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? ” I’m thinking that A.A. was speaking directly to me.
I am writing this for all my people who experience the same problem with their memory. I’d name them all, but I can’t remember who they are.
Ilene Black has been a resident of Ewing for most of her life and lives across the street from her childhood home. She and her husband, George, have two sons, Georgie and Donnie.