INKLINGS: “What did I do with . . .?”

  • Thursday, August 15, 2013

Those of us of a certain age – which is definitely me – can be constantly beleaguered by questions like the one above, in addition to such queries as: “Have you seen . . .?” or “What did I come in here for. . .?” When septuagenarians live together there are unlimited opportunities for shaky memories. Jim and I are no exception but happily we can usually laugh about our shared senior moments
I tell Jim it’s his “mental” eyesight which is the problem. I don’t understand how a man who could maneuver a jet fighter plane all over the world can’t find his socks! One day he asked me what I did with his myriad of white ones. He groused all the way to the bedroom that I should just leave things alone where he could easily see them. I admit it. I was guilty. I moved them from the right to the left side of his dresser drawer. I-swear-this-is-true!
But I also swear that I’m worse. “Certain age” notwithstanding, I alas, have always been absent minded – which I believe in my case should be correctly termed “future minded.”  I always seem to be thinking about what I’ve got to do next, often effectively blocking out what I’m supposed to be doing now. I once spent an afternoon looking for my car keys: upstairs, downstairs, in purses, and porches all to no avail. It was only when I went to get dinner vegetables from the freezer that I discovered them atop a box of broccoli. I was only 33 then.
The current banes of my memory are basically two: keys and my Daytimer notebook. Both are constantly missing. I’ve pretty much solved the keys thing by firmly placing them on a marble topped table in our entry – most of the time. But that notebook’s got my life in it: appointments, notes, to-dos, addresses, phone numbers – just everything I need every day. I carry it with me all around the house. The problem is I also leave it all around the house. I’m continually asking Jim if he’s seen it. But the other day we had a “loss” situation which takes the cake – and this time it wasn’t me. And it wasn’t him – exactly.
Jim had a sticky note with measurements for skylight glass in his hand while on the way to the hardware store. He was back inside in three minutes without it. ”What did you do with my sticky note?” he teased. He couldn’t remember the measurements as our son-in-law Todd had gotten them. I was afraid Jim would try alone to get them again, so I jumped up to help locate those numbers.
“We’ll give it the Perry Mason treatment,” I told him, channeling the methods of that fictional detective. Accordingly, we retraced his steps searching the sides of his recliner, the back of his bass boat, all the kitchen counters, his study and even his bathroom. “Well, let’s look in your truck,” I said, you might have dropped in in there. He hadn’t.
Just as we were about to admit defeat, I spied a triangle of yellow paper peeking out from his moccasin sole. There is was. And you know, corny as it is – I just can’t resist saying that all kinds of senior problems can be solved, if you just stick together!

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