Monday, April 22, 2013

Who Stole My Swiss Cheese?

Today I wanted to write about something that has been on my mind lately. Mainly the fact that a lot of things don’t seem to be staying on my mind lately.  In other words, my ability to remember things seems to be getting…what’s that word I’m searching for?… worse. Whew. Found the word.

Words, numbers, people? How many more things can fall into this abyss?

Here how I picture it. And apologies if I’ve accidentally plagiarized this from someone else, but how can you blame me?  How would I remember that?

As I was saying, here’s how I picture it. I see my brain as sort of a big slab of sliced Swiss Cheese. The more layers of Swiss Cheese available, the greater the chance that every single hole in that slab will be covered up by some cheese, and if you were to hold it up to a light it would perfectly block it. Nothing would fall through.
But as the layers get slowly taken away, one by one, holding it up to the light you start to see those little spaces where the holes go all the way through. Take off another layer, and bam, more holes can be seen that go all the way through. And it’s in these imaginary holes that I imagine some of my memories falling through. Forever lost. Like no inkling whatsoever what it is I was supposed to have some recollection of.

“Did you eat the rest of that chicken in the fridge?”

“Huh? I don’t think so.”

I have absolutely no memory of haven eaten the rest of it. But it pretty much gets proved that I did.  

“You put that second load in the dryer right?”

Hmmm…did I? And actually, it doesn’t matter to me whether I did or not. What matters to me is that I truly sometimes don’t recall whether I did or not. (Oh and usually I did not because let’s face it, I’m sort of lazy.)

What else?

The word mix ups.

“You know you just said you were going to the library when you meant to say you were going to the post office right?”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yeah, you did”.

In my defense, I had just been thinking about the fact that our library books were coming up due. I was absolutely sure I'd said post office, but why would Susanne lie to me? (Unless this is some sort of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane ruse that she playing on me.) This, by the way, is but one of many example of saying the wrong words and having no idea I’ve done so. So far only Susanne has let me know of these mix ups, so that means I either only do them at home or, more likely, my work colleagues are being kind.

Facebook friend requests. I’ve come to dread them. What person’s name will pop up and how long will I stare at their little picture hoping that something will come to me? If I’m lucky, I can remember the person clear as day. Recall entire conversations from when we were seven. But more often than not I start the detective work. Who are their other friends? Is there an old yearbook handy? And if God is smiling at me that day, an invisible key unlocks something and it all comes flooding back to me. But sometimes there appears to be no smiling by God. Stupid Swiss Cheese. (Oh and if you’re a FB friend, don’t worry, I’d never forget you! ;-)

Numbers and Letters. You know, those same numbers and letters you use every day? I’ve actually been known to stare at my screen and then my keyboard completely unsure of where to even start with my passwords. I’m talking about my very often used passwords. So far I’ve always figured it fairly quickly, but it’s sort of scary. And the other day I had to repeat my phone number at a store (because of course I forgot my courtesy card), and I started with my area code “202”…then nothing. Just a big hole in my Swiss Cheese. I tried again… “202”…it came to me after about 10 seconds, but I did not like those 10 seconds. (Nor did the impatient clerk.) Sigh. And don’t talk to me about the times that I look at the keyboard and for a moment cannot for the life of me find certain keys. Doesn’t help that different keyboards put their “” signs in different places. It’s still frustrating.

Last Names. It’s getting like 50/50 now that a person’s last name will come right to me. More often that not, I start silently going through the alphabet hoping that an initial will be of some use. Thank goodness when I start typing names in a "To" line I get a little help from that auto function that gives me names to select from. And thank you Google Serach for knowing what I’m searching for before I do.

And speaking of automation, thank goodness most of our bills are scheduled via an automatic bill pay. I had a hard time enough keeping up with all that years ago when I had a lot of Swiss Cheese. I shudder to think of what a pain that would be to deal with now.  

Oh, and lately if something is not on my calendar, a list, or a sticky note, it’s as if it does not exist.

I actually wrote myself a note to write this blog post.

So why is this happening? Age? Pinot Grigio? Heredity? My tendency to exaggerate everything? Maybe all of the above. Maybe none? As much as I complain, and worry about my memory, I don’t really think I have anything to worry about. Do you? Seriously! Did I tell you I’m a little bit of a hypochondriac?

The only bright side of this whole Swiss Cheese theory of mine, is that my anxiety seems to be lessening in general.  I’m actually not remembering things that used to stress me out.

So on the whole, thing are going pretty well. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! -Monica


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