Monday, October 29, 2012

What Was I Saying?

So, there I was, naked and dripping in the shower, a towel ten feet away in friend Lynne’s long bathroom. And yes, there was a towel hook next to the shower.

John is forever reminding me. “Reminding” is our code word for nagging. If he got to proof these prior to my posting them he’d defend himself by saying he has to remind me or crazy things happen—and he’s right. Without his reminding I would plan a dinner party for the night I’m supposed to be doing colonoscopy prep. Or I’d tell three different couples they could spend the holidays when I have only two spare bedrooms.

And this is me on a good day. It was much worse when I had chemo-brain.

John: We’re going to that potluck Saturday, remember?
Me: Oh. Right.
John: You said you’d bring your cheese potatoes.
Me: Oh. Right.
John: Do you have the ingredients?
Me. Oh. No.

He would work out a plan for us to get the ingredients and help me schedule the time to begin cooking. He’d patiently go through his mental checklist as often as it took to get me dressed and out the door, potatoes in hand. (Note: My cheese potatoes are spectacular. And I do share recipes.)

Our Middle Child worked a college summer job with her father’s company and they rode to work together. One day she came home saying, “Mom! Why does Daddy keep reminding me of things over and over? Why does he treat me like I’m four years old?”

I pondered a moment. “Well, he’s lived with me for a very long time.”

Just then John walked in saying, “Honey, you have a dentist appointment tomorrow so we’ll have to drive separately.”

Middle Child said, “I know I have a dentist appointment tomorrow! I made the appointment! Why do you remind me of things over and over?”

John pondered a moment. “I’ve lived with your mother for a very long time.”

Back to me, naked and dripping in Lynne’s shower. (I know, you didn’t want that image in your head the first time, much less again, but you probably needed a reminder.) I stepped out onto the shower rug and shuffle-slid across the cold tile. And the next morning I actually remembered to hang the towel on the hook. Sometimes I amaze myself.

How about you? The memory of an elephant, or of a … Wait. Is there an opposite of an elephant’s memory? If so, I forget.


  1. Hell, I've checked to see if I locked the back door three times because I can't remember if I did. Nice post Valerie. Reminds me of how getting old can suck although it can be nice when you can get your kids to do things for you by playing up your age. Your cousin "Jimmy" from Owosso.

  2. Hi Valerie! I've resigned myself. My memory is shot. Too many surgeries, too many anesthesia. That's what I blame it on. Or my hard drive is full and I can't find the delete button.

    Anyway, I've learned to write down things. Especially errands. But I don't always have my notebook. I should make a habit of recording myself on my phone. Yes, it does record, but I never do it. Oh well. It takes 30 days to make a habit. Tomorrow is a good day to start.

    1. I write things down, too, but sometimes misplace the notes, finding them long after the fact. Fortunately I have other gifts and charms, and John sweetly concentrates on those.

  3. Hi Valerie,
    The worst for me is when I'm driving. The other day I was taking some friends to the airport but when I went to put Frankfurt Airport into the GPS I forgot and instead put in the Consulate, which in my defense is where I'm usually going.
    Fortunately, they still managed to make their plane.
    Miss you and the group. Hi Carole!

    1. Hi, Dana! We miss you, too. Every time I drive to the writers' meetings I pass your neighborhood and think of you. Hope you're doing well!