– Confederate license tag
One of the unofficial jobs of a younger spouse must be to watch the older spouse for signs of advancing seniority.
If so, my wife has been busy over the past week in which I have seemingly been afflicted by a severe case of Stage 1 forgetfulness.
If she is keeping a record (and knowing her thoroughness, I assume she is) she has recorded that I left my driver’s license at a book store checkout, drove to work without my wallet, left my keys in the front door overnight and cannot find any of four spare house keys I had made … in case I lost one. Oh, and I forgot my work ID that gets me into the building at 6 a.m. and had to use my secret entrance.
“I think you’re getting worse,” she says at breakfast.
“It’s OK as long I remember my pants,” I respond wittily.
But she’s got me wondering. I am task oriented. I make lists for every day, often the night before. I always have. My college notebooks from the 1970s show them in the margins.
I do that so I won’t forget something, because I hate it when that happens. Such failures are too easy to remember.
Eight years ago, I told my good friend Mickey I’d meet him for lunch at a restaurant at Augusta Exchange.
The day came and he called me from the restaurant asking if I had forgotten. I had. I was sitting at my desk at work eating a sandwich and reading the news wires.
I had absolutely, positively, unconditionally forgotten all about it and him. I felt so bad, I not only paid for lunch the next day but also bought him a University of Tennessee camouflage ball cap to show I was sorry.
At my most recent physical, I asked my longtime physician if the years were beginning to fade my memory.
I told him I seemed to have some problems and was struggling to remember peoples’ names.
“Could you ever?” he asked.
“Not really,” I admitted.
“Well, that’s not a problem?” he said
So I guess I just hit a bad streak. It happens.
But, just to make sure … I’ll still keep making my lists.
I’ll keep writing myself Post-It notes and hiding spare keys and stashing cheap reading glasses in every room in the house. I will put my wallet on the mantel where I always leave it. And I’ll go to the hardware store and have more spare keys made.
And I have made a deal with several younger co-workers.
“Listen,” I told them confidentially. “If you ever see me start to lose it. If you see me struggle to figure out simple tasks. If you see me get as confused as old (fill in name of workplace example here), pull me aside and let me know. I will happily get out of the way, move on, step down. Surrender the field.”
They have all agreed (some eagerly) to help me out.
But you know kids these days.
So often, they forget.