I used to have a world-class memory. I could remember dates and events and facts and stories. Now I can’t even remember to write a post in response to my own One-Word Challenge, which for yesterday was the word “memory.”
Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. I did remember, but between watching that fiasco in Helsinki yesterday morning and then spending the day and evening giving the grand tour to out out-of-town guests, I just didn’t get around to it…until now.
But I have noticed that my memory lately ain’t what it once was. With our visitors this week, my wife has been relating stories about trips she and I have taken and things we’ve done together as a couple or as a family in the past and it’s almost as if I’m hearing about them for the very first time. I’m just smiling and nodding as she’s telling these stories, but I seem to have no personal recollections of those “fun” times.
And it not just not being unable to recall things from the distant past. My wife asked me the name of that restaurant we went to for dinner on the Saturday night before last. I was unable to remember our even going out to dinner together, much less the name of the restaurant. And that was less than two weeks ago.
Or my wife and I will be watching TV and my wife will ask me to get her a glass of water. So I’ll get up, head to the kitchen, the cat will follow me there, I’ll put some fresh food in his bowl, and head back to the living room and sit my ass back down on the couch. “Where’s my water?” my wife will ask.
This is freaking me out a little. More than a little, actually. I’ve read and heard a lot about early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, and one of the early signs is a memory problem, particularly when it comes to remembering more recent events.
I don’t think I’m there yet, and it could be much worse. As former Vice President Dan Quayle once said in a speech in 1989 before the United Negro College Fund, “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.”
(For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Dan Quayle’s comment was a mangling of the Fund’s slogan “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It was Quayle’s “covfefe” moment.)
I’m still playing your guide, so I may be a little scarce again today.