Jewish World Review
April 29, 2011
/ 25 Nissan, 5771
Think tank running on empty
My memory is shot. The only thing I can retain is water.
I don't know when it happened or how it happened, but it happened.
Last week I was trying to think of the name of the beautiful towering trees that make Oregon gorgeous and pristine. I know this — I know I know this. Pine? No, they weren't pine. Scotch? No, they weren't drinking trees.
We lived in Oregon for nearly nine years. Forgetting the name of those trees is like forgetting my own phone number.
They are well-dressed trees. I'm getting warm now. Fur, that's it, fir. But what kind of fir? It is a two-part name. I can see the trees swaying in the wind, dripping sap on the car. Suddenly, all I can think of was the small Nebraska town where my mother lived as a little girl. What was the name of that town? Douglas. That's it. Douglas fir trees.
It's like playing seven degrees of separation with my brain. Or is it six degrees of separation?
Names are the worst.
It's not that I can't remember them, I can — but often not until hours later.
I loathe Kohl's. Every time I walk though their doors I see someone I know. Not someone I can name necessarily, but someone I know.
"Hi there! How are you?" I know you. I know I know you, I just can't remember how I know you.
I run through the possibilities: Kid connection? You're somebody's mother, right? Did our boys play soccer together? Are you one of my former college students? You don't look angry, so I don't think so. Do I know you from church? If I could just see the back of your head. I think we sit behind you.
The neighborhood? Are you that friend of a friend I met at a fundraiser last week?
The last time that happened, I could remember the woman's first name, but not her last name. But I knew it had something to do with windows. Sash, sill, double hung, single hung, horizontal sliding. Window pane. Payne? No, that wasn't it.
I shot straight up in bed at 2 a.m. and yelled, "ANDERSEN! Her last name is Andersen."
As a friend says about herself, "I have a mind like a sieve."
Being a compulsive list-maker helps, providing I can remember where I put the list. No doubt it is with my car keys and my cell phone.
Because my reading glasses sprout legs and like to play hide and seek, I keep a pair upstairs and a pair downstairs. When I can't find either of those, I put on the glasses that I allow myself to remove from my purse only if the downstairs pair has gone into hiding.
Wearing my purse glasses, I told the husband that I could not find my downstairs glasses.
"They're on the top of your head," he said. I thought my head felt a little crowded, and it sure wasn't from memory cells.
When I started this column I had an ending in mind. Now that I'm here, I've forgotten it. Check back next week. Surely I will have remembered it by then.
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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
© 2009, Lori Borgman