I don’t know if I’m having more “senior moments” as I get older or if I’m just more aware of them when they happen, but it sure seems like they are increasing rapidly. There are times I can’t remember the name of an every day item, like remote control, so I sit there sputtering, trying to explain to my son what I’m looking for. It goes something like this:
Me: Have you seen the…thing.
Him: Um, what thing?
Me: (Pausing to think) You know…the thing…for the TV…to change the channels.
Him: (Laughing) The remote?
Me: (Laughing, but feeling a little stupid and slightly angry that I couldn’t remember the name of it) Yeah, the remote.
Him: (Pointing at the object right next to me) It’s right there. Wow!
This is just one example. I forget the names of people I’ve known for years, the names of bands I’ve listened to for years and the words to songs of bands I’ve listened to for years. I forget what things are called, common phrases and well known clichés. I want to say something, but I can’t remember a specific word. It’s right there, just out of reach, taunting me. So far, I haven’t forgotten the names of my wife and kids, or my own name. That would not be good.
I know that I forgot stuff a lot when I was younger, but I think I just didn’t focus on it as much. When you’re a teenager and forget something, even something important, it’s usually casually dismissed. “What do you expect, he’s a teenager. Who knows what’s going on in that head?” Ah, but forget something not the least bit important when you’re in your 40’s or 50’s and you get the having-a-senior-moment treatment, where you get laughed at and told what something is, or who someone is, in a condescending manner (that’s called a telephone, you dial someone’s phone number and you can talk to them). It is kind of funny…when it’s not you. No, actually, even when it is me I laugh most of the time.
I had a good laugh this week at my own expense. I not only had a senior moment, I had a senior morning. I usually drink some kefir in the morning (if you don’t know what that is, click here), but when I got to work I remembered that I hadn’t had any that morning. OK, not a big deal, I don’t have to take it. A little while later, I went to take my daily multi-vitamin and it wasn’t in the container I carry it in. Neither were my other supplement and medication I take. Not taking my vitamin, supplement and medication for one day is not a life-threatening situation, but I definitely feel better taking them every day. Besides, I can just take them when I get home. So I texted my wife and told her all the things I forgot and wondered what I else I forgot that morning. She quickly texted me back and reassured me that it was OK and that we all have our days. And then this at the end, “You have your underwear on, right?” Now that would be a huge senior moment, going commando, because I forgot to put on my underwear. Or even worse than that, wearing them on the outside of my pants.
We had some good laughs at my Mom’s expense growing up. We were always doing stuff, mostly good but some not so good. Mom must have sensed something was going on at times because she would suddenly and unexpectedly show up (she did tell us when we were older that when it was too quiet she figured we were up to no good). When we got caught doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing, she would say our name to get our attention. Or should I say that she tried to say our name. With seven boys she sometimes didn’t get the name right the first time…or the second…or the third. So if she caught me, she’d say, “Billy…Harold…Stephen…you know who you are!” By then, everybody around was laughing, including Mom. Now obviously, these were not situations where anyone’s life was in danger or where we were doing something illegal, we were just doing the stupid things kids sometimes do. It probably would have been easier for her to just call us “You there” or “Hey you” because as soon as she said that we would have stopped whatever we were doing and she wouldn’t have had to go through the list of names. Maybe her plan the whole time was to defuse the situation with laughter. If that’s true, then it was a brilliant plan in my opinion.
Laughing is good for you. Some people even say that laughter is the best medicine. Whatever happens, I’m going to laugh at myself and others like there’s no tomorrow. I just hope I don’t suddenly stop mid-laugh, look around at the other people around me and, wondering what the heck we’re all laughing about, blurt out “Who are you people?”