What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the tag “forgetting”

Lost but not found

This aging thing is becoming a matter of losing…permanently. No, I’m not talking about mishandled luggage or the missing half of my collection of single gloves. Nor am I referring to the loss of dear friends and family. This is a lighthearted list of what’s disappeared without a trace:

  • My lip line. Where is the border of my upper and lower lips? Even if I follow the advice of experts and line my lips with a pencil (thereby faking that youthful lip line), it just seems fuzzy. I fill in with a moisturizing lipstick and hope for the best.
  • My waistline. Well, it’s there somewhere…somewhere under that roll of fat that’s accumulated lately.
  • My eyebrows. I’m having to fill in with a brow product more and more. I remember when I used to have to tweeze often, even in between my brows.
  • My eyelashes. Thank goodness for an eyelash curler and mascara. And speaking of mascara…
  • My firm upper lids. Mascara gets smudged because there’s more flesh drooping and getting in the way while I’m applying it.
  • My balance. A few weeks ago, I stubbed my toe badly while rushing to the toilet. And speaking of the toilet…
  • My bladder capacity. I should probably buy stock in the company that makes Charmin. I go through a triple roll pretty quickly.
  • My words. What’s that thing that lets you drain spaghetti called?
  • My long-remembered stories. I can be in the middle of telling someone about a significant event in my past, and I’m suddenly not sure of the details–details I could remember and recite without hesitation for decades. Now they’re fuzzy, and I sometimes combine stories and get dates and eras wrong. (It gets embarrassing when I ask my husband, “Remember when we…?” and I quickly realize I’m thinking of the wrong husband. I’ve had two.)
  • The ability to remember to whom I’ve told what. I find myself asking, “Have I told you about…?” This happens the day after, or even the same day, I’ve told the news. (Maybe I just talk to too many people.)

I could go on, but I’d rather not mourn the loss of those things when I can be grateful for other losses triggered by aging, such as the requirement to serve on jury duty at any facility assigned, even if it’s the scary courtroom in a sketchy neighborhood where murder trials take place. Once you’re 70 and you’re summoned, you can choose another venue or say no thanks. I did that last year because I’d served five (or was it six) times over the years, and I’m done.  

Then there are the losses of caring (too much) about what other people think and a lot of anxiety of earlier years. Or you could call these maturity, not losses. However you want to characterize them, I’m grateful for the ability to experience all of them, thin lips and eyebrows included.



Forget about it

I am forgetful. Or, I feel better stating it this way: So many people tell me so many different things, I can’t keep them straight. Sounds much better and not so old, doesn’t it?

I also can’t remember to whom I’ve told what, so I tell people that if I repeat my stories to please understand. Same goes for forgetting to tell someone close to me something because I thought I already did. (And if you can follow that, you’ve passed the lucidity test and are not at all old.)

It’s even worse when I’m trying to figure out who told me what. I start out a conversation with, “Cheryl told me that her mother is having hip surgery next month. No, wait. It wasn’t Cheryl, it was Linda who told me. I think. Or maybe Gloria.” (All names have been changed to protect the innocently misnamed.)

In recent years, I’ve even forgotten about appointments and lunch engagements. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often enough for me to worry about it. I do have a date book. An actual paper-based calendar book that has little squares for each day on which you write (cryptically, since you can’t fit much in each) the who, where, and what time of all appointments. I’m not a luddite. I embrace technology and even have a smart phone, which, in my opinion, is not as smart as it wants you to think it is. But I find it easier to carry the little black book and a pen around with me and use it to record dates of note. Besides, I get it free from my hair salon, Bliss, every year.

So with my trusty date book a constant companion, it still surprises me that I got a disturbing call one Monday. It was lunchtime, and I was being lazy and still in my pajamas. As soon as I read the caller ID and saw that it was one of my good friends, I remembered. Lunch! I was supposed to have met her 20 minutes ago at an area restaurant. She was not pleased, and I was embarrassed and so apologetic. I begged for her forgiveness every time I saw her for weeks after that. She’s really good natured and had forgiven me long before, but I still felt bad. I made a vow that I would enter engagements and appointments in my iPad calendar and set it to remind me two days and again one day before the event. Since I am playing Boggle or Solitaire or reading emails or Facebook most of my at-home waking hours, I knew this would help. And it has helped—but only if I remembered to enter them.

I’ve had some close calls. Often on a Sunday my husband will ask me if I have any appointments or plans for Monday, my day off. I usually say “no” but thankfully check my book right before bedtime, just to be sure. There in that little Monday square is a cryptic note telling me that I have a lunch date with friends from high school. “Gee, was that this Monday?” I think. So even my plan B doesn’t always work.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all appointments and plans could issue a reminder call like my hair salon does the day before? I think I have enough brain cells left to keep that appointment in my mind for 24 hours, so that would be ideal.

But it wouldn’t help me remember what I told to whom, who told me what, and what I failed to tell to whomever.




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