I have a problem. I was going to write about something today, but I’ve forgotten what it was.
I have discovered that this is one of the pains and pleasures of getting old. The memory starts playing tricks. It becomes erratic. I haven’t quite reached the stage where I forget to put my trousers on before going out, but I have come close. I suppose that day will come. It won’t be funny for me, but the neighbours will have a laugh.
I always had a strange memory. I could never remember names or faces. I remember a name for the length of time it takes to say it. I have a “I know that face from somewhere” moment in the street only to realise later it was my brother. But numbers? Give me a number and I’m OK. I know my phone number, my credit card number, my bank account numbers, my library card numbers, every phone number I ever had [If anyone is interested, my first number phone was back in the ’50s – 907339. Don’t bother ringing it – they changed them all in the ’60s]. No problem at all with numbers.
It’s true what they say about long-term and short-term memory as you get older. I could give you graphic day by day accounts of my pre-school days, but don’t ask me what I watched on telly last night. Not that the latter is a good example – 99% of telly these days is instantly forgetable anyway.
One of the good thing about this is that we have an endless supply of good films on TV. People complain that they are all re-runs, but we don’t care. We have forgotten that we watched them so we can watch them all over again. I get the odd deja vu moment when watching a film, and realise at the very end that I had seen it before [three times], but what the heck..
Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to books. I read a lot. And I mean a lot. But I get books out of the library, because I don’t recognise the author or the plot, and then get home to realise after the first couple of pages that I have read it before. Hate that.
I lose things too. I can walk from A to B in the house, and somewhere in between I’ll put down my pipe or whatever. When I reach B I find the pipe is gone, and have to retrace my steps and try to remember where I’ve been.
Luckily we have two phones, but one is a mobile and the other is a wireless handset. The keyword here is “wireless”. It isn’t tied down, so it gets lost. Again, many happy moments wandering around the house with one phone ringing the other until we hear the lost one warbling from under the couch, or under the dog’s blanket. I just wish the remote controls had phone numbers, so we could find them as easily.
Herself is worse. She goes off and buys her fags and puts them away somewhere. We then spend many happy hours looking for them as she has forgotten. They usually turn up in the deep freeze or the coal hole or somewhere like that. Happy days.
But yesterday I had two experiences. One was that my daughter called. That’s not strange in itself, and we are always delighted to see her. No. The strange thing was that she phoned me before arriving to say there was something very important she had to collect. This morning I realised she had forgotten to collect the whatever-it-was [I’ve forgotten what]. She has memory lapses too and she young!
The other experience was stranger. I called into the local shop to get the paper. I had been in earlier in the week and bought a lot of stuff, but his Laser machine was on the blink so I couldn’t pay him. He said I could pay the next time I was in. So I bought my paper yesterday and told him to take the full amount off my Laser. He looked blankly at me. I reminded him about the Laser machine and the fact that I owed him €50 [50 is a number, so I remembered it.. Q.E.D.]. He had forgotten. And he is a young lad.
So there is hope for me yet. Or no hope for them. One or the other.
I have just realised that it is earlier than I thought. I thought it was 1pm, but my computer says it is midday.
I forgot to put the clocks back last night……………