Who are you? Those three words were screaming through my brain like a runaway train when a woman I swore I’d never seen before in my life shouted my name in a parking lot the other day.
As she approached and asked question after question about me, my children, and my work, I could not for the life of me remember who she was. While I frantically scanned her uniform for a name tag and mentally ran through a list of names, I cheerfully answered her questions with probably a little more detail than interested her. But little did she know that on the inside, I was stalling, freaking out, and planning my escape route.
Want the cold, hard truth? This is what happens when the stars unalign, hormones dry up and blow away forever, and tiny aliens invade an aging brain and scramble it like eggs.
As sweat rolled down my armpits and into my shoes, I tried to recall all the tricks for remembering names. Unfortunately, the only trick I could remember was how to make a coin disappear. Seven minutes later, the woman had learned more about what had happened to me in the last six months than my husband knew. As she reached out for a hug, I embraced her and enthusiastically remarked, “It was soooo great to see you again!” I knew that one day I would really mean it … when I figured out who she was.
Thank goodness I’m not the only one who is suffering from memory loss. Yesterday, while I was feverishly searching for the W-2 form I had somehow misplaced, my husband came into the kitchen, looked up at the ceiling for five minutes, and then walked out. “I’ll be back when I remember what I came in here for,” he yelled over his shoulder. This morning, he was telling someone at breakfast about the wonderful meal he ate last night at a local restaurant. After he completed a lengthy description of a beef and bean enchilada that would make a food critic proud, he suddenly realized there was only one problem: he couldn’t remember where he ate the spectacular dinner. “What was the name of that restaurant again?” he asked me in a panic while the person patiently waited. I just wish I could have helped him. I was too busy trying to remember where I put my wallet.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know it could be worse. Every night, I thank my lucky stars that I’m not wandering around the neighborhood in my underwear, howling at the moon, and calling out for one of my sixteen cats. Not that I could recall the cat’s name anyway. Or the way to get home. Or even that there’s a moon in the sky after dark.
Sharon! See, I knew I’d finally remember that woman’s name. I should call her up. Maybe she knows the name of that restaurant. Now if I could only figure out what I did with her number.