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Quinlivan/My Turn: Memory lapse

I realize that this space is usually filled with opinions on Al Norman, global warming or where to put the latest bench on Main Street, but there are other important concerns in my world. And, I’m hoping some readers will be able to relate to my quandary.

I’ve found that now that I’m considered “elderly” by those under 50, my life has brought me one step closer to becoming my mother, something I swore would never happen. First I started seeing her in my mirror and now I’m taking more pills than she did. I spend my days relentlessly searching for everything. I search for my keys, I search for my glasses, which by the way, allow me to see what I’m searching for, so my search is usually a lost cause and I’m developing permanent “squint” lines. It’s a wonder I don’t have a concussion from slapping the top of my head to see if my glasses are perched up there.

I search for my cell phone, but fortunately I still have the wherewithal to call myself to locate the phone. I search for my keys and am constantly late for appointments because someone must have moved the damn keys because I always remember to leave them in the same place. And, I leave important papers on the table so I won’t forget to take them with me and walk out without them or, if I actually remember to take them, that same someone apparently moved them also.

I go to the store to shop for specific items and leave with bags of stuff, just not what I went for and when I get outside I can’t remember where I parked the car. So I frantically push the car remote hoping to hear the alarm only when I do, I get so flustered that I can’t remember which button to push to stop it.

I meet old acquaintances on the street and can’t remember their names although they remember mine. So then I try to bluff my way through an uncomfortable conversation by pretending to know who I’m talking to. What makes it even worse is when I’m with friends and want to introduce them to this no-name stranger. So I turn to the stranger and offer the names of my friends in the hopes that no-name will at least offer his/her first name. Usually it never happens and I desperately resort to phrases like “How’s the family?” “My goodness, it’s been ages since we last met.” “Are you still living or working in the same place?” and the best of all, “My God, you look great, what have you done to yourself?”

If none of these help, then I look at my watch, smilingly say I have an appointment and leave as fast as I can.

I know I’m not alone in my quest to remember but what I’d really like to know is this: If they can fix Bob’s erectile dysfunction and Mary’s overactive bladder then why can’t they fix my memory?

Sheila Quinlivan lives in Winchester, N.H.

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