Category Archives: Memory Loss
I do not have a good track record with doctors. So, I tend to avoid them if at all possible. I prefer to use the internet for my diagnoses.
MILlie, an elderly friend of the family, needs to go to the dermatologist. The only one she likes is in a different town that is about two hours away. Because I have had experience with trying to convince MILlie to try a new doctor in our town, I know better than to try that again. So, I agreed to take her. Which, in case you were not paying attention to my first paragraph, is a major sacrifice on my part. I am not telling you this merely because I want you to admire my heroism, but also because I want you to truly understand the irony of the last line of this post.
I called MILlie to make sure I had the right contact information so I could make the appointment.
“Well, let me get out the phone book,” MILlie said. “Okay. Here’s the address.”
“That’s okay. All I really need is the phone number for now,” I said.
“Well, it’s right across from the hospital. It’s in a big building. Across from the hospital. And, it’s in a suite. S-T-E.”
“No problem. If you can just give me the phone number, I’ll get the directions from the internet later, and then you can point out the building to me when we get there,” I said.
“Oh. Am I going to be with you?”
When we last left our young heroine – me – STOP LAUGHING! Are you laughing at the “young” or the “heroine”? Both?!!!!! Fine.
When we last left our young heroine – my 9 year old daughter, Dimples – we had just arrived in Irving, Texas after a grueling (okay, it wasn’t as grueling as the time leading up to the ride when we were trying to pack up the car) 6 hour car ride to find that we had forgotten to pack one slightly important item for her two-day synchronized swimming tournament – her swim bag.
I should probably educate you on what is generally in the swim bag of a synchronized swimmer participating in one of these mega events: a black swimsuit, a team swimsuit, at least 4 towels, nose plugs, team warm-up suit, goggles, team swim cap, white swim cap, black flip-flops, and yoga mat. Some swimmers also pack their knoxing supplies (boxes of Knox gelatin, bobby pins, hairnets, combs, paintbrushes, and cups).
We realized the swim bag had not traveled with us from San Antonio at about 8:30 the night before the competition. Each of us thought one of the other two family members had put it in the car.
Before I noticed the bag’s absence, and told anyone not to panic, I did a quick mental inventory of what I knew we had. Fortunately, I had packed the knoxing supplies and towels separately, and had some extra nose clips and goggles. Not Dimples’ favorite nose clips and goggles, of course, which almost sparked
a the first meltdown of the weekend once I made my announcement about the swim bag that had go AWOL.
For some odd reason that actually seems logical, Dimples packed her suits in her suitcase, instead of her swim bag. The suitcase somehow made the cut when I was weeding out things that did not really need to ride with us to Dallas, such as the ten receipts from recent veterinary visits. Lest you think that I have some kind of rational approach to packing, I should also tell you that we brought along enough bottled water to survive a nuclear holocaust and some other extremely important survival items – like my umbrella. In case it decided to rain at the indoor swimming pool.
Dimples got a new team swim cap at the Team Meeting that night.
The yoga mat has always been a luxury item for which a towel can substitute in a pinch.
That left the white swim cap, which would be needed at 7:30 A.M., and the black flip flops.
After a year of doing this, I have learned that I am the only inept mother in the group. I was pretty certain every other mom not only had their daughter’s white swim cap, but also brought extras. I was right. They also could have given me cases of nose clips or goggles.
Disaster #1 averted. Mostly. (Our Dallas friends came to the rescue with some black flip flops, fortunately.)
I would like to point out that, although I forgot my daughter’s entire swim bag, guess who was the only mom who had a Sharpie with which to write everyone’s initials on their new team caps?
That’s right – our youngish, heroine, who can always be counted on to remember trivial items. Me.
Two weeks ago, I took our elderly friend, MILlie, to an optical store. To get new glasses. MILlie did not like the new glasses that we got 6 months ago. So, since the day after we picked up those glasses the second time (because they did not suit her the first time) she has been wearing the ones she vehemently opposed before we ever began this adventure last year.
Despite the fact that I had taken MILlie to an eye doctor in town, she chose to go back to her former eye doctor 2 hours away – the one who had been responsible for the first pair of glasses she hated – to get another prescription. Then, she proceeded to hint to me, not so tactfully, that she needed to get that prescription filled with new glasses.
I polled friends to find out the name of a local place that would meet MILlie’s expectations – something better than the l0w-cost chain store I had taken her to the first time. Finally, one friend gave me a reference. It turned out to be right next door to the eye doctor to which I had taken her. I had initially spurned this place because it looked quite pricey. MILlie used to get her eyeglasses at Sears, and I was pretty sure she could not handle the sticker shock.
When I explained to MILlie that this was the only other place I had heard of in town that had pleased 100% of the customers I had polled (not mentioning that I only knew one customer), but that it was definitely going to cost more for one pair than the two pairs we got 6 months ago, she pondered it for a couple of weeks. Finally, she started to hint that I should take her there.
The new shop is a small “boutique” store with one person, the owner, working. MILlie chose the biggest coke-bottle lenses she could find from the display wall, and told the owner that was what she wanted. He told her that they were too big. She looked at me.
“Uhuh,” I said. “I am not saying anything this time. I gave you my opinion last time, and you ended up hating them.”
The owner persuaded her to try another pair that was slightly smaller. She turned to get my opinion. I shook my head, and pursed my lips stubbornly.
She finally ordered a pair with absolutely no input from me – despite at least three more attempts.
Today, I took her to pick them up. When we arrived, there was another pair of ladies already waiting. The eldest one, when called to the chair where fittings took place, set her glasses down on the table, looked the owner square in the face, and said, “I do NOT like these glasses. I don’t want bifocals. I want one pair of dark ones for driving, and I want another pair for reading.”
Her friend, who looked about 60, turned to me smiling. “Bertie has never been one to mince words.”
I grinned, but inwardly I groaned. I admired Bertie’s honesty, but I was afraid MILlie would, too. If MILlie suddenly decided she wanted two different pairs of glasses instead of the multitasking pair we had originally ordered, I was going to have to give this job to someone else and/or feed her glasses to Wonderbutt.
Bertie tried a new pair of frames, and turned to her friend, who said nothing. Bertie turned back around, and her friend looked at me, smiling with closed mouth as she moved her fingers across her lips. I sensed a bosom buddy.
Finally, Bertie was pleased. Her friend quickly got her own business taken care of, and it was MILlie’s turn. I held my breath for the announcement that she would like to change her glasses.
But the announcement never came. MILlie tried on her new pair, and declared herself satisfied. The entire trip home, she exclaimed about the crispness of the leaves on the trees.
I tried to be hopeful, but that was what she did six months ago…
Now that I have officially announced my Presidential Candidacy, and I have been Officially Endorsed by my friend, The Hobbler, I feel that it is my obligation to inform you that I may or may not possess all of my faculties. The following anecdote will help you make an informed decision about my ability to perform my job – or any job, for that matter.
My husband, the long suffering Cap’n Firepants, asked the other day, “Hey, did you notice the corn in the Tupperware dish on the counter?”
“Yeah, why did you leave that on the counter?”
“I wanted to remind myself to tell you where I found it.”
Neither one of us remembers putting the leftover corn in the pantry (otherwise known as the unrefrigerated closet that does not preserve food) with the clean Tupperware.
To his credit, he never said it was me.
But I know he thinks it.
And I think it, too.
This post is dedicated to The Dictator. She knows why.
Some dogs, like our dear young bulldog, Wonderbutt, have a startling habit, which I shall title The Poop as You Walk Habit.
This habit is a somewhat comical sight, or at its worst an inconvenience, when the dog happens to be walking on his own property. You can almost bring yourself to admire the dog’s multi-tasking skills. But it tends to disturb other people when the dog goes off the reservation, so to speak. Especially if the dog happens to choose a neighboring reservation for the deposition of said poop.
Now, this is not really an uncommon problem. This is why many neighborhoods have rules about cleaning up after your dog. Rightly so. (Although I would like to make a side note that this rule is clearly not enforced for anyone else in our neighborhood since we regularly find foreign dog poop in our front yard.)
Anyway, the previous dogs that we have had in our family have not had The Poop as You Walk Habit. Mrs. P.I.B., our golden retriever, has been a model of pooping behavior for most of her 10 years. And, the rest of our family, including my 9 year old daughter, seems to be fairly good at waiting until we get home, too. So, we have gotten out of the Bring a Bag When You Walk Habit.
This is exacerbated by the fact that we have gotten out of the Walk Habit altogether since it is Winter. However, we decided a walk was just what the Firepants family needed on a recent particularly chilly 70 degree day. Cap’n Firepants determined that he should stay behind to guard the house from Indians, so it was up to Dimples and me to protect the dogs from varmints and other dangers during our walk around the block.
Picture this. It’s a beautiful day in Texas, and you and your daughter are accompanying your canines on a happy-go-lucky tour of the territory, giving Wonderbutt much-needed exercise and Mrs. P.I.B. much-needed attention from admirers who are also enjoying the fresh air. (Mrs. P.I.B. has always drawn the most compliments when we walk. Even when Dimples was a baby in the stroller, people would come up to us and tell me how beautiful my dog was, completely ignoring my stunningly attractive infant.)
You are about halfway through your jaunt, and Dimples says, “Uh oh.” You freeze, because you know there are only two things that “Uh oh” in that tone can mean. Either Dimples just passed gas – which really wouldn’t need an “Uh oh” out in the fresh air, or –
“Quick. You can run faster than me! Take his leash!” I yell frantically. We tangle up the leashes for Mrs. P.I.B. and Wonderbutt in our haste. Mrs. P.I.B. is more than willing to run, even with her old arthritic joints, and Wonderbutt is more than willing to continue jogging in the opposite direction so he can finish his business facing the same way he started.
Finally untangled, Dimples begins the dash.
But it is too late.
And, of course, there are plenty of people to witness our shame.
At least it’s not in someone’s yard; it’s on the street.
Where everyone walks and jogs because we have no sidewalks.
Where young mothers push their strollers.
I make a big show of gathering large leaves and collecting Wonderbutt’s piles while Mrs. P.I.B. and the rest of the neighborhood watch me. The Channel 5 News crew televises my crime to the rest of the city and outlying areas.
Dimples and Wonderbutt are long gone around the corner.
After pushing the mess into a nearby sewer grate, I make the shameful walk home with a puzzled Mrs. P.I.B.
Cap’n Firepants greets us at the door, shaking his head, having already surmised when Wonderbutt and Dimples burst into the house, what crime I have yet again committed.
I hate beautiful days.
I am considering becoming a Jedi Knight.
I’ve checked out the Temple of the Jedi Order, and it appears to reflect most of my religious beliefs. I am a little hesitant, however, in committing myself to a religious order in which none of the council members have last names, and one of them is named War Beauty.
You might ask what inspired me to consider this life-changing decision. I can’t really pinpoint the origin, but I think there may have been several factors.
#1 – The Catholic Church changed some of the wording in the mass. This makes it very hard for me to think about my grocery list while I am mindlessly repeating responses I’ve spoken for 40 years. If I become a Jedi Knight, then I can say some of the cool lines I’ve memorized from the Star Wars movies instead.
#2 – While I was standing against the wall between Stations of the Cross #4 and #5 at the Christmas mass that was apparently attended by every breathing person in San Antonio, I began to question how my spirituality was being enhanced by trying not to faint as I watched a little boy in the last pew practicing his Star Trek Vulcan hand shake.
#3 – I heard a story on the radio claiming that there has been a rise in people listing Jedi Knight as their religion on censuses being taken in other countries. Which means it’s not a trend yet in this country. I LOVE to be a trend-setter.
#4 – The Jedi Creed happens to be a variation of the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, who just happens to be my favorite saint. Because he always has animals surrounding him in his statues.
#5 – They apparently have two Corporate addresses – one in the United Kingdom, and one in Texas – the state in which I happen to reside. That can NOT be a coincidence.
#6 – I will not have to be in a mixed marriage because my husband already worships Star Wars.
#7 – It will sound so cool when I run for political office to state in my ads that “I….Am a Jedi Knight.”
I have not applied for membership, yet, as I still have a few questions. My biggest one does not appear to have been answered on the Temple of the Jedi site, so I had to look elsewhere. The results were less than satisfactory. You see, one of the recent changes in the Catholic Church has been to modify the standard response to the statement, “The Lord be with you.” Formerly, the response was, “And also with you” but is now, “And with your spirit.”
I can’t get it right. I either say the old one, very loudly and wrongly, or I say something to do with the Spirit that is far more complicated than the actual response:
“And with the Spirit of St. Louis.”
“Goin’ up to the Spirit in the Sky. That’s where I’m gonna go when I die.”
“We’ve got Spirit. How ‘bout you? We’ve got Spirit, yes we do.”
My brain is apparently not equipped to remember the Vatican’s version.
So, I thought I better check the response to, “May the Force be with you.”
Apparently, this is a point of confusion for the Jedi.
So, I’m putting a hold on my membership until this little detail gets resolved. After all, I don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the Fires of Hell.
“O.K. not your boyfriend’s nickname?” was his joking response.
“Ha.” As if. With a husband named Cap’n Firepants, who needs an Idiot for a boyfriend?
Despite my husband’s seeming alarm, he is quite used to my unconventional methods of reminding myself of things. It really didn’t surprise him at all that I would add a memo to our electronic family calendar so I could remind myself that one of my favorite bloggers was having surgery and I was supposed to send the patient some good thoughts that A.M.
Just that morning, as a matter of fact, I had employed two other memory techniques that just made Cap’n Firepants shake his head.
When he was about to get in the shower, I said, “By the way, your razor is in my makeup organizer in my medicine cabinet.”
He paused. “Uh, why?”
“Well, I remembered late last night that I needed to ask you about those gift cards before you left for work. You were already asleep, so I figured if I stuck your razor in my medicine cabinet, you would ask me if I knew where it was after frantically searching for ten minutes, and I would remember that I needed to ask you.”
He shook his head, told me where the gift cards were hidden, and headed in for his shower.
I continued to get ready for work. Thirty minutes later, I grabbed the presents I was bringing to work with me and headed out the door. Except my keys weren’t in the key bowl.
“Gosh darn it. Where are my keys?” I was already running late. Geez! Oh yeah. In the refrigerator. That’s where I put them when I need to remember to bring something to work. What was I supposed to remember? The presents. That were already in my hands. So, basically, I remembered the items I was afraid I would forget, but not the device I was using to help me remember them. Typical.
Once, I went on a trip to an education conference when our daughter was really little. So, my husband’s parents came to stay with him to help out while I was gone. I called the first evening to see how things were going.
“Guess what my parents found in the freezer?” Cap’n Firepants asked me.
“Oh!!!!! My keys?”
Now I was really perplexed. “Just tell me. What?”
“Your curling iron.”
Oh yeah. I had put it there to cool it off really quick before I stuck it in my suitcase. So, now his parents not only thought I was a bad cook, but that I somehow figured cylindrical hair appliances belonged in one of the food groups.
If I had programmed a calendar reminder to look for my keys in the fridge to remind me to pull my curling iron out of the freezer, my in-laws would never have discovered what a whacko their son had married. At least for another month or so.
I should be thankful, I suppose, that when the “Idiot’s Surgery” reminder popped up on my husband’s phone he did not promptly text me to ask what time my surgery was scheduled for that day. Married to me for eleven years, and he still does not immediately jump to the conclusion that I’m an idiot. There’s that.
I mean it. You there. Stop it. You’re creeping me out. Shoo.
No, not you, Loyal Blog Reader. You’re fine. Stay right there. It’s the Other People I’m trying to get rid of.
You know. The ones who started following me with absolutely no kind of invitation or wearing of provocative clothing, I swear.
It’s those darn Pinterest People.
So, here’s the thing. I heard about how great Pinterest was, and how I just “had to get an invite”, so I begged someone to invite me, and created an account. Because I totally missed the Facebook bandwagon (this is why I haven’t liked you, in case you’re wondering), and I didn’t want to get left in the dust on anything else.
But then I didn’t have time to actually use my account. And then I forgot my account name and password.
And then someone was showing me again how it cool it is, and I thought I should really try to figure out WTF my name is. My Pinterest name, I mean. I only forget my own name when in the presence of people who – well, I digress.
Shockingly, I figured it out after three tries, and there it was. My empty bulletin boards just waiting for some pins.
And then I noticed that there were 11 people following me.
I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I literally had like three things pinned on my boards AND ELEVEN PEOPLE thought I was worthy enough of following.
It’s kind of insulting.
Why, you may ask, do I find this insulting?
Because I didn’t do anything. I just saw things I liked on other people’s boards, and hit a button to pin it to mine.
Yet, here on my blog, day in and day out, I work my tail off trying to achieve a Following of Biblical Proportions. While I may have managed to eke out more than 11 followers here on WordPress, it’s certainly taken a heckuva lot more work than clicking on the mouse three times. That’s a total of 9 mouse clicks I did to gain 11 followers on Pinterest.
So, let’s see, if I remember my Algebra correctly:
9 over 11 = 6000 over x
Carry the 1 and subtract -16 and take the square root. Multiply by an imaginary number, and I should have, proportionately, like over 7300 followers by now on this blog.
But I have a plan.
I’m going right now into my Pinterest account, if I can remember what it is, and I’m going to find my blog and pin THAT to one of my boards.
Haha! Take that, you Weird People who Follow Me for Showing No Productivity, Creativity, or Even Originality in Naming My Own Virtual Bulletin Boards.
Not you, Dear Reader. Carry on.
If you missed Part 1 of this edge-of-your-seat drama, you can click here. Or, you can be satisfied with this summary: I ordered a 250 GB Xbox Kinect last November from Microsoft. They told me it was on its way, and then they told me I was never going to get it because they found out that I have a house full of Apple products. At least that is the reason that I suspect.
Resolved to get the Xbox Kinect with 250 GB of memory (because the 4 GB version just seemed too easy to acquire and it not worth buying if it’s not a pain in the rear to find), no matter what, I resorted to eBay. Normally, I love eBay. But I had avoided it at first b/c I think ordering expensive electronics that way is full of potential pitfalls. Also, it was about $150.00 more.
After much research, I found someone with 99.2134567% customer satisfaction who had been a seller since I was a baby, and hadn’t had any complaints in the last 6 hours at least.
I won’t tell you how much I paid.
Back on track again, I sighed, and stretched back in my office chair as all of the other poor late-shopping fools raced around looking for the perfect Christmas gift.
A couple of days later, I got my e-mail that the Xbox Kinect 250 GB game was on its way from my super reliable eBay seller.
The next day, I got an e-mail from Microsoft that my Xbox Kinect 250 GB game that I had ordered from them (the one they had said was CANCELLED and would never be sent to me even if I paid them a million bucks and danced naked in Times Square) was on its way.
Let’s summarize – 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, then 0 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, 1 Xbox Kinect from eBay, AND 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft.
For those of you without my mathematical genius, that would be 2 Xbox Kinects. 500 GB of memory. And a credit card bill for $100,000 give or take.
In the meantime, I had been worried the whole time that Cap’n Firepants might have ordered one to surprise the family – making a total of 3 Xbox Kinect games – one for each person in our household. This would kind of defeat my whole purpose of bringing the family together to play.
In full panic mode, exacerbated by the fact that I could not mention the reason for my increasing anxiety to Cap’n Firepants, I wielded my wonderful assertiveness on the phone to Microsoft, with the goal of getting a free Xbox Kinect.
I managed to get two free Kinect games to play on our potential 3 boxes.
Both Kinect systems arrived within a day of each other. I wrapped the one from eBay and put it under the Christmas tree. I glared at the other one, and finally stuck it in my perpetually full dry-cleaning basket with the intention of one day finding it a home at an exorbitant price through Craig’s List.
Christmas Day arrived, and the Cap’n and Dimples were suitably impressed by the gift. In fact, Dimples said, “This is so cool! I’ve never seen anything like this before,” once it was set up.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “You and Dad saw it on a commercial, and said how great it was. You both couldn’t stop talking about it!”
“We did?” they said in unison.
It turns out that I had wasted my time for two months. I should have been looking for a family with more memory instead of a game system with more memory.
Today will be a relatively short post due to major goings on in the Firepants household. Dimples has a Synchronized Swimming water show today, and it’s an all-day affair. My Dorfenbergerthalamus is being stretched to its limits between getting to rehearsals, knoxing/makeup applications, and performances on time. Here’s a glimpse into the frustration of being the Mother of Dimples, a fourth-grader (note the current grade level, as it will help you to appreciate this conversation):
“Mom, when we go shopping tomorrow, can you get me some long-sleeved shirts?”
“Well, maybe one or two. I don’t want to spend a lot because you never want to wear them.”
“Are you kidding me? Every time it gets cold and I try to get you to wear warm clothes, you act like I’m abusing you. You insist on wearing a short sleeved shirt and a sweater. It can be a thirty degree day, and when I pick you up from school your sweater is stuffed in your backpack and your jeans are rolled up to your knees.”
“I don’t think so.”
“I remember there was a time in second grade I wore one.”