Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I have always been really really good at remembering schedule-related things. I never forget anyone’s birthday. I can tell you the date and time of a doctor’s appointment I have two months from now. I can recite my social appointments for the next month and not miss anything. I’ve never used a “Day Planner” or a “Week-At-A-Glance” or even a pocket calendar. Everything is just right there in my brain where I need it. Every morning, I mentally plan my day. I map out the things I’m going to do and in roughly what order. It’s usually just the normal mundane things of life. Am I going to exercise today? If so, when? Any errands that need to be handled? Bills to pay? Am I almost out of underwear? Do I need to bug DC about anything? This daily planning is flexible, and really just a rough outline for the day, a sort of scaffolding if you will. Things do come up, friends call, invitations for impromptu dining come in, but there is always a default framework for the day.

DC has come to rely on my scheduling skills. He seldom makes any plans without consulting the calendar, i.e. me. Here’s how it usually works:

He puts his hand over the talking end of the phone, and asks me “Hey, do we have any plans Friday?”

“Nope, we’re totally open.”

Then he makes a schedule update, “OK then, we’re going out to Stan and Sylvia’s place for a cookout Friday night. 7 o’clock. It’s Sylvia’s birthday.”

“OK, sounds good. I’ll pick up a card.”

Voila. The official schedule in my brain has been updated, and he doesn’t have to think about it again until I remind him about the event on Thursday.

There have never been any problems with this system. I’ve always been as consistent as the rising and setting of the sun, just like Old Faithful but without spewing hot water everywhere. Until recently. It started with just little things here and there. I’d let us run completely out of milk, or I’d forget to pick up that pile of clothes I dropped off at the cleaners last week. Then things got a little more serious. I came within a day or two of completely forgetting my mother’s birthday, instead of adding it to my official “to do” list two weeks early and having everything ready to send in advance, as is my habit.

Then last Saturday we had a near calamity. I totally forgot about a going-away soiree we were supposed to attend for some friends who are moving to California. I didn’t remember until 7:15pm and it started at 8! We made it and all was well, but JUST WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? I don’t forget birthdays and social events. I do not. I am Jill, the human Palm Pilot, sans the pointy stick.

And other weird things are happening more frequently now too. Sometimes I can’t find the word I want. Or I’ll spontaneously forget the name of someone I know well. I’ll go upstairs or open my purse and forget why. Yesterday evening I searched the entire house for the pair of shoes that I had kicked off next to the coffee table. The same coffee table that I was sitting in front of when I decided I needed to find those shoes. Last week I spaced out driving home and forgot that I wanted to stop Walgreens on the way. I totally drove right past it without thinking! And I do not do such things! I am always alert and aware of my surroundings at all times.

This is freaking me out. Have I finally used up my brain? Maybe there is a finite number of neural connections that a human brain can make in a lifetime. Maybe my number is unusually low, or maybe I wasted my connections on remembering dentist appointments and baby showers instead of writing them down like a normal person.

Am I going to have to start leaving little yellow sticky notes everywhere so I’ll remember to do essential things, like brushing my teeth and going to work? Gaagh, at this rate, in a couple of years DC is going to be tying my shoes and feeding me applesauce from one of those plastic-covered baby spoons. I may as well kill myself now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I read a few entries in your blog and decided that I had to read the whole thing. Hence the months late comment, I didn't know you existed until 24 hours ago (via Slag's blog via a friend in Norway, convoluted I know...) Anyway, to get to the point (because there is a point, really there is) Welcome to your 40s!

11:51 AM  

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