18 Comments

I DON’T REMEMBER


I’ve been forgetting things for years–at least since my late forties. I remember distinctly telling a friend that I was losing words. I didn’t think of it as an indication of advancing age, but as a major catastrophe, since I was always good at words. She smugly passed it off as of no interest to her. I made a mental note to cross her off my Christmas card list.

First it was names, then things I was forgetting. I had just become a grandmother for the first time, so I wondered if that had something to do with it. We had recently moved back home to California, and I was helping Dr. Advice remodel an older home, while teaching at both our local college and at the City Recreation Department, when I found myself pointing and referring to things at each place as “You know, that thing over there.”

When this first happened, I did what everyone does, I scrolled through my mental alphabet trying to hit a familiar letter. In fact, I did this very thing today when trying to remember the name of a woman who had been a girlfriend of a late friend of ours whom I just saw last weekend a large gathering. I remembered that she had had long red hair (it’s grey now) that she used to toss around like a mane. But when faced with trying to remember her name I drew a blank. So I just smiled broadly and exclaimed how glad I was to see her again. Today, while both Dr. Advice and I were deep into the Wall Street Journal, I blurted out “Linda!” My good husband gave me a look which said I had clearly slipped over the brink.

It is a well-known fact that presidents, CEO’s and other ordinary people often sit beside someone with a better memory that theirs and surreptitiously ask the name of the person speaking to them.

I have learned not to get too excited about these things, so I just drop the thought and move on to something else I will probably forget before finally remembering it. I used to think that eventually the correct word would come to me, but now I realize that some things are hopelessly gone forever and that the new things don’t stick. There is a frozen blackberry cobbler which is made by some company I just can’t bring to mind. I know it is put out by a local restaurant, and it is a common enough name, but I’ll be darned if I can keep it in my mind. Each time I discover it, I swear I will always remember, and so I repeat if over a to myself a few times to make sure, but the next time I want to buy it–it’s gone again.

I once knew a woman who couldn’t remember her sister’s name when she went introduce her in a wedding reception line. I even remember her name; it was Adele. She moved away forty years ago. When I gave my first solo performance at my voice teacher’s home, while standing in front of an enormous grand piano, with audience three feet in front of me, I froze, and remembered nothing. Standing beside my handsome groom over 66 years ago in front of an Episcopalian priest, I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to answer, so I so I began to quietly sob.

All this makes me feel sad and a bit wistful, but now mostly it makes me feel old. Is it another symptom besides the physical? I don’t know the answers and if I did, I’ve probably forgotten them. But one thing I do remember is the friend to whom I confessed my word loss forty years ago, who while not a victim of Alzheimer’s, can’t remember a darn thing either!

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18 comments on “I DON’T REMEMBER

  1. Oh yes. Don’t we all wish we had better memory? I have yet to figure out why it takes hours or days or sometimes weeks and sometimes never to be able to think of a word or a name, or whatever. I’ve read that mind exercises ar supposed to be helpful. For years I worked crossword puzzles but when I began blogging I let those go. A few months ago my computer was “having spells” so I went back to puzzles. At first it was very difficult but as time went on the puzzles were getting easier to complete. I think I shall go back to “puzzling over puzzles” and leave my computer shut more often,

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    • Don’t you dare stop blogging! It’s much more fun than puzzles. And we would all be poorer for without your wonderful stories.

      ________________________________

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      • Kati you flatter so well. I have considered seriously to stop blogging, Some things can only be said so many times and I’ve begun thinking that so many others have the ability to create such interesting and marvelous stories. You are a good example of fine writing and so is Gerard. And I can’t leave out those bloggers who have such wonderful photographs. Actually, I suffer from extreme envy. 🙂

        Regards,
        ~yvonne~

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      • Not so, Yvonne. Glad you enjoy my stories. That’s thefun part of blogging. Learning about so many interesting people. keep blogging! ________________________________

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  2. Yes Kaytiseversosweetly,
    The one thing you haven’ forgotten is to put up brilliantly written and very witty observations of life and its foibels. I enjoy your words very much and I thank you.

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  3. ‘t’. I forgot the ‘t’.

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  4. Yes. First it’s unfamiliar names, then everyday names, then rarely-used words, then … er ….. um… oh dear!

    The volume gradually gets turned down and then’s switched off altogether, I suppose.

    Just thought I’d cheer things up a bit.

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  5. I can’t remember what I was going to write. Just kidding. I seem to have the same affliction. Great writing, keep them coming,

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  6. Oh pshaw!!!
    You still have enough words to write engaging stories my dear.

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  7. That blackberry cobbler wouldn’t belong to Marie Callender, by any chance?

    I have the same trouble from time to time. Today, I saw a picture of a toucan on a woman’s blog. She’d done the illustration herself, and it was lovely. It made me think of that woman who used to be in the movies. You know…. her.

    Today, of course, we have google (and presumably the NSA and FBI) to save us from our forgetfulness. The wonder of it is that I could type in nothing more than “that woman who wore fruit on her hat”, and voila! Carmen Miranda!

    Of course it’s more awkward in social situations, but I finally figured out the perfect technique. I give the person whose name I’ve forgotten a straightforward look and say something like, “I’m sure we’ve met, but I can’t remember your name. I’d rather embarass myself by asking than not know who you are!” It hasn’t failed me yet, except with one fellow who said some very rude things and stalked off. I’ve never seen him since, so I don’t think it matters. ;

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    • This is funny! The cobbler came from —-just give me a minute. It’ll come to me. Oh yeah. It’s Claim Jumper. (It took 2 of us!)

      I used google this morning to find out what Lot’s wife’s name was—I suggested “Sarah”. there were a lot of those. Solidgoldcreativity had a poem about Lot’s wife. nice blog.

      Read my last blog “To Be a Star”. It has a last line or two about forgetting names.

      I really liked Cowgirl Up! All the pictures were great. Texas really knows how to throw a rodeo! Cowgirls and boys are close to my heart. My grandson and his wife are one of each—-calf roping, etc. They live in Colorado on a ranch. My daughter rides English in So. Calif. Cheers

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  8. Love your attitude, Kayti … “I have learned not to get too excited about these things …”

    It’s started happening to me too. The funniest was when I was talking about my friend’s baby handwarmers as “muffins” instead of “mittens”. Makes life more interesting I find 😉

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