Okay, I have selective memory. I remember every person who ever borrowed a book, a sweater, a pen, a plastic leftover dish, or money and has not returned it. I remember my grandmother’s phone number from 1960, the naughty words to “Louie Louie,” the Gettysburg Address, and the identities of the entire cast of the Mouseketeers.
I cannot put the right name to my grandkids the first time around. I stare at them and stumble through the names of the first two and end with, “You know who you are. Take your plate to the kitchen.”
When I was growing up, I had the mind of a computer. I could tell you the exact day and hour my sister got her first watch and when she was allowed to stay out until midnight. Later in my life I forgot little things—-like where I left the kids and when to pay our insurance premiums so they wouldn’t lapse—-but that is because I was on overload.
It was when the kids left home that I began to notice my inability to recall people’s names and places. It drove me nuts. I couldn’t remember the names of all the dwarfs in “Snow White” or identify all of the Kennedys. (I always left out Eunice.)
You don’t have to knock me over with a two-by-four to convince me that the secret of youth is never getting bored. According to an article I read, watching “The Price is Right” or sports does not stimulate the brain. Neither does running. However, crossword puzzles and walking will keep your brain young and alive. Go figure.
The statistic that grabbed me was that the mind is not the first thing to go. Come to think of it, I have noticed a slow, but gradual breakdown. In my thirties, I got glasses. As I settled into my forties, my knees and feet began sending messages. My tennis serve slowed down to a pace where if I jumped the net, I could have returned it to myself. I noticed that when I entered a social event, the first thing I looked for was a chair.
The back and kidneys started in my fifties. Every one of my contemporaries had the same problem. The women talked openly of their nocturnal path to the bathroom, and as with everything else that was falling, blamed it on childbirth.
My mind went sometime in my early sixties. I couldn’t find my car in the mall, couldn’t recall if I added salt to the potatoes, and not only couldn’t remember the punch line to a joke, I couldn’t remember the joke. Sex is up there in the first five things to quit on you. Where it is on the list depends on how serious the other four are.
The article made me think that I should make some changes in my life. I resolved to start working crossword puzzles at least once a week, walk every other day, and get me a toy — possibly George Strait.
Cindy Baker Burnett is a resident of Bonham. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.