Memory, All Alone in the Moonlight
Apologies for the CATS lyric, but I’ve started to lose my memory. Not in a drastic, “Where do I live again?” type of way. I still know my address. I still wear my bra on the inside of my shirt. The Austin police hasn’t had to set up a Silver Alert for me yet. There’s no “BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A CONFUSED AND SURLY BLOND OLDIE IN A BLUE VOLVO, PROBABLY LISTENING TO MANILOW’S GREATEST HITS AND EATING WHATABURGER FRIES” sign flashing on the highway. But ever since I turned 45 or so, my memory isn’t as sharp as it once was. I now experience a few memory … lapses? Is that the word? Lapses? Or is it prolapses? Hold on while I Google.
It’s not just me dealing with this loss, either. No recap or story my middle-aged friends and I tell is completed without a few stops along the way. Not detours or pauses, but full-on stops to recall a date, a name, a movie. I’ve started to consider these interruptions to be unwanted commercial breaks so I can relax and make the best of them instead of feeling stressed out. Oh, Stacy’s trying to think of the year she went to Germany with her sister? Good time to check messages on my phone! Anne’s repeatedly saying, “God, what color was it?” about her boyfriend’s first car? Guess I’ll refresh my drink! One night it took me so long to remember the year I saw Kenny G and Michael Bolton in concert in LA that my friends had time to go into the kitchen and make guacamole. “It was 1995!” I yelled while they mashed the avocados. “Two women fainted! I wasn’t one of them, though! At least I don’t think so.”
I remind myself that this memory loss is a normal part of getting older, of course. Perimenopause and menopause may cause what’s known as “brain fog” due to dropping hormone levels. Doctors say that once the eggs are all gone and the uterus is clear, the memory tends to come back. Sounds like a super strange farmer’s market transaction, if you ask me.
This year I decided to really focus on what I want to remember. I thought that would be a good way to will important things into my brain where they will stick forever. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s working that well because I recently bought a novel at the used book store, read half of it, then found one of my receipts for Chubby Hubby ice cream in the pages. Not only had I read that book before, but I’d donated it to the used book store and unwittingly bought it again. To be fair, it wasn’t that memorable a book. The ice cream was good, though.
At least that’s how I think I remember it.
Happy New Year! As 2022 begins, please don’t say “it can’t get any worse” because we know that’s not true. Please mask up and vax up! I mean, within reason. Don’t be like the woman behind us at Costco who was telling everyone she’s had six Covid shots because she “likes to play the field.” Baby’s body is teeming with that 5G network now.
Besides cross-stiching and feeling existential dread, I’m busy working on my book “I’m Wearing Tunics Now” that will be hitting bookstores at some point, and I also have a really fun middle-grade novel coming out this June! Watch for more news about “Ginger Mancino, Kid Comedian” soon.
Hope everyone is doing well, and best wishes for the new year. Oh, and speaking of cross-stitch, do you like my new one? It’s a trick question. (But I really do care.)