once again, remember the premise, i'm old. but am i senile?
some say that if you ask that very question, it's proof you're not. kind of like madness. if you ask, am i crazy?, the answer is: no, if you were, you wouldn't think to ask, you'd just be.
but i'm not sure about the senile question, because it happens in degrees. you don't sleep in the buff for 60 years and then wake up one morning and say what happened to my pajamas? or suddenly walk into a starbuck's and think do i take sugar or splenda in my grande venti half-caf, decaf, chocolate mocha espresso machiato? no, i'm thinking it begins with little things. and i think we write it off as getting older, becoming forgetful, senior moment, that sort of thing, and that may be correct, but how do you know when you've crossed that invisible line?
we've all done certain funny things. what did i come in here for? that's a pretty common one. where did i put my keys? regular forgetfulness. that nice republican gun-toting actor, the one that played moses in the ten commandments, what was his name? marginal. is that nice george w bush still president? ok, we've crossed the line. so i think you see where i'm going with this. how do we know when we're not just aging, but losing it?
example: i come home, the milk is on the counter. hmmmm..
me: husband, did you use the milk?
him: yes. i had some with lunch.
me: are you finished using it?
him: yes, why?
me: just curious.
but of course i'm more than curious. he put everything away and left the milk out. (ok, i know what you're thinking. big deal. it happens. and you're right. it does.)
i've been out shopping, at the grocery, and i come home, open the garage door, pull in, pick up my phone off the car seat, disconnect my itouch from the sound system in the car, take the keys, get out of the car, and walk into the house. i put the keys away where they belong, and my toys down, and take a drink of water, walk into my office to check my email, and suddenly i remember, there are groceries in the trunk, including ice cream, i've completely forgotten. (it happens? senior moment? could be.)
here's a good one. ever done this?
you're in the mall. you come out of macy's, bloomie's, saks, kmart, walmart, (whatever your particular financial and shopping level is, no snobbery intended), and you're carrying packages and suddenly you stop. where did i park? ok, that's the first panic. then you suddenly realize, you're not even sure you came out the same door through which you entered the mall. from the parking lot, macy's has 4 doors. now that sinking feeling in your stomach. you pause, think really hard, and usually it comes to you, and you head toward your vehicle, a little frazzled. (ever see that commercial for that item you talk into, and it will record up to 30 seconds? i'm starting to think about getting one. i'd speak into it and say something like this: schmuck. when you come out of the store all glassy-eyed from retail overkill, you're parked in blue parrot zone. i think that would help. you know, i'd be one of those people that puts a tennis ball on the top of his antenna to find the car, (you've all seen that in florida), but the 2009 honda accord builds the antenna into the windshield, so there's no rod. i could glue a tennis ball to my back windshield, but it's not the same. can't see it from a distance. i might wander for hours in the hot florida sun looking for a gummy tennis ball with glue running down my window. bad plan.
the older i get, the more i think about this stuff, and notice things.
once there was a time, and it was for a very long time, when everything that i ever knew was lurking right in the front of my brain, (frontal lobe, i think it's called. you know, the one they poke in a lobotomy when you actually do lose your mind and become violent), but there, just waiting to spill out onto the tip of my tongue when called upon, like the a.d.h.d. kid that i always was. now, the distance from that front brain area to the tip of my tongue is somehow much further. sometimes the thoughts just don't make it anymore. long distance calling.....too far. too much effort.
then, there are the times when jeopardy will come on the tv.
there's no way any of you could know this, (except of course for the few of you who really do), but that nice young mormon man, who was on jeopardy for about a year and won over a million dollars, because nobody could beat him, whatshisname, (just kidding on this one, it's ken jennings), had nothing on me. i could kick some serious jeapardy ass, like you read about. it's a gift. comes from being full of shit. i know shit. i know a lot of shit. i know all kinds of shit. can't explain the sponge in my head that has recalled all the trivia, minutiae, useless facts and figures and other assorted crapola that i absorbed throughout my entire life. scary. very scary. my loved ones will testify. for years i was the unequaled champeen. people would say to me all the time, you should go on that show. probably should have. could have made some serious money, and used it on elder care for myself, right about now. oh well.........probably would blown it anyway.....
these days, when jeopardy plays, i'm still good, but clearly the brain cells have slowed down considerably. makes me crazy, because i know the answers but i can't bring it out of the brain to the tongue like i used to. old man? losing it? maybe. or maybe i should just take up a different game. tic-tac-toe is nice. it's a thought. (write that down before i forget it). i've actually taken up sudoku puzzles these days. very logical exercises that work the brain. i'm trying to keep the juices in the synapses flowing so that my neurotransmitters will occasionally fire, enabling me to shriek who is willa cather?, when the answer on jeopardy is she wrote oh, pioneers? i always get that right. or in a moment of jubilation, cry out, what is a dodecahedron? when the answer is a solid figure having twelve plane faces. (see, some of it still works, that's the scary part. all that shit is still in there, i just can't reach it consistently anymore.)
i guess i'll just tool along, hoping that when i walk from the kitchen to the garage, i'll remember what i went out there for, and hopefully, i'll get to the ice cream before the trunk stinks like sour milk. but husband and i made a pact. and i'll hold him to this.
when the day comes, that i get up out of bed, and put on my striped blue shorts, with my yellow checkered shirt and argyle socks, and the orange cardigan, (because i'm cold, wherever i go, even in the summer in florida), and check myself out in the mirror and think, hmm, this looks pretty good, he is instructed to put me down. even if i'm not actually senile, and it's just a senior moment, or an isolated incident, i'd rather die than have anyone see me dressed like that.
so the next time you say to yourself, what did i come in here for?, think about this blog and ask yourself, is it time for the tennis ball on the antenna?