2018-02-28 / Loose Ends

Partial recall

I love a charade
Susan Nienow

My life has become a long game of charades. I am forever forgetting the name of a flower and then launching into an unannounced game of charades so the person I am talking to will guess the right word. Butterfly bush and dogwood would be easy to act out, so naturally I don’t ever forget the names of those.

I forget the name of gomphrena, an annual with a round flower head, and the name of Itea, Virginia sweetspire, regularly, and they are really hard to pantomime. It isn’t just flower names that get lost in my head. Sometimes it’s the name of an acquaintance or the name of a fabric design.

I have tried tricks, like remembering the first letter. No luck. I can forget the first letter as easy as forgetting the name.

Now is a good time to mention that this is not dementia of any kind. I have been forgetting things since I had my first child. For a while my second child was my portable memory. Then she got too old to hang around me all the time, and I’ve been on my own ever since.

Charades doesn’t always help. For one thing, I need someone else with me for it to work. Sometimes it is forgetting what I did with something. This morning, already running late, I got in the car, put it in gear and reached for my phone to put it in the cup holder.

Oops. No phone. So I went back in the house and started hunting. After two cruise-throughs I returned to the bedroom for the under-the-bed hunt and decided to look in the top drawer next to the bed. It was there! It had probably fallen into the drawer when I fumbled around trying to turn off the alarm.

That was two forgets. I forgot to put my phone in my purse when I got out of bed, and then forgot where it was when I last saw it. You can see charades wouldn’t have helped.

Dates defeat me. I rarely remember birthdays or anniversaries other than my two kids and my other half. If I do remember, it’s early and I buy a card or gift and then forget to mail them on time. Two forgets.

In my past I have forgotten about a meeting that was at my house, forgotten dental and doctors’ appointments – but only on Mondays – and have forgotten to cook the vegetables for dinner more times than I have remembered.

Because this is a recurring problem I have set up systems that work most of the time. I don’t schedule things for Mondays, I don’t cook anymore, and I don’t put things away or I will forget where they are. This way whatever I need is either on my desk or on a stool in my closet.

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