I used to be smart. No, really. I have received gold stars on book reports. I know a lot of things — nothing terribly useful, but I can generally hold my own when playing Trivial Pursuit. Sure, I was never a genius when it came to algebra or calculus but it hasn’t hurt me much. At least, not that I have noticed. Maybe other people do and are too polite to tell me?
The perfect purse
Nevertheless, I feel I am pretty savvy and have my wits about me. That all ended when I tried to buy a purse. Not just any purse, mind you. I wanted the perfect purse — a thick leather, crossbody purse because I like my hands free to clutch my coffee and pet all the animals that cross my path ever.
It had to be one open space because life is too short to dig through seven different zippered compartments to locate a lip balm or stick of gum. I prefer a small purse to carry necessities, nothing so large as to double as a carry-on bag.
I was on a mission to find this purse. I could vividly picture just what I needed. I could almost feel it. Yet, I could not find it. I scoured online sites and reviews and signed up for discount codes. I perused thrift shops because vintage leather is often the best leather. I came up empty-handed every time. I bought at least three substandard purses.
Then, I opened a trunk at home and found that one perfect purse — thick leather, long crossbody straps with one roomy section. Still a small size. Yes, that’s right. I truly did spend a considerable amount of time attempting to find the best deal to purchase my dream purse that I already own. I think I bought it and put it away “for safekeeping.” Then I kept it so safe that I saved it from myself. I’m not proud of it.
This should not come as a shock. The other day I was filling out a form and momentarily forgot my address. Forgot. My. Own. Address. We have lived here 26 years. Technically, I knew it. It just didn’t look quite right on the page. On the other hand, I can still remember my childhood address and telephone number. If anyone needs to know where I lived in 1987, I can spout that off real quick.
I don’t think I’m losing my mind so much as it is just filling up. At some point all the available space is full of information I am holding for myself, my spouse or our children, such as the lyrics to Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl from 1984 — that sort of thing.
I also blame the pandemic for making time warp in weird ways. I work and do things, but on the other hand, it feels like the world is at a standstill. Some days it feels like an endless question. Is it morning? Night? July? Is my state open or closed? Who am I if I can’t hug everyone? Yes, the truth is out. I’m a hugger.
I still remember most names and faces and when it’s time to pay my bills, and I never “forget to eat.” I always think you have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat. Still, I forget the laundry in the dryer sometimes. OK, most times. I put items in my online carts and then forget to complete the order. That’s fun when I wonder days later why the shipping is taking so long. I find that my kids say things like “hey mom remember when …” and sometimes I say “nope.” I’ve mostly forgotten less than stellar things, so I have that going for me.
Is this middle age? If I’m so lucky, this is my middle age — assuming I hit 100. I just know that what I once thought of as my steel-trap mind is now more of an aluminum foil sieve. I don’t know how much time I have left; I just hope it’s a lot of years left to forget my purse.
I definitely tend to forget that I cannot stay out after 9:30 p.m. I absolutely love to make late-night plans. I just don’t love keeping them. I’m at the place in my life where grabbing lunch while running errands counts as “going out.”
I need to remember I like an early bedtime primarily because I so often wake up around 3 a.m. more often than I ever used to. There was a time when I was only awake in the wee hours if I was giving birth to someone or had not gone to bed yet. Now, I wake up in the middle of the night regularly and lie there wondering if I’m forgetting something? The short answer: probably.
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