Archive for Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Losing my mind and other stuff

March 6, 2002

I used to be able to remember things. You would never be able to tell it now.

I don't dare try to go to the grocery store without a list. Even if it's only for one item. I came to that conclusion after deciding that it wasn't an efficient use of my time to wander up and down every aisle trying to jog my memory.

I think that my memory might have started to fail when we had four kids in fewer than six years. Before kids, I didn't have to write down every single thing that I needed to remember. Now I have to write down what I want before I walk into another room so I'll remember what I was looking for when I get there.

The reason I suspect I blame the kids is because my wife's memory suffers in some of the same ways.

My failing memory also causes me to lose things. It's bad to lay something down and then not be able to remember where I put it.

I recently had a terrifying experience where I lost my checkbook. It all started innocently enough at the end of a routine week which had a Scout meeting, Scout banquet, school meeting, basketball practice, two basketball games, a guitar lesson and a free-throw contest. If you remember what I proposed as my primary cause of my memory loss, you can see that the groundwork has been laid for me to outdo myself and I did.

At the end of this harrowing week, I had to stop by the grocery store to pick up three items. I found my list (I told you that I have to have one), found my items, and paid for them by check. So far, so good.

Things took a downhill turn when I got home.

I went to put the checkbook back in my wife's purse but the checkbook wasn't in my pocket. There are some things that are really bad to lose and a checkbook is one of them. I don't need any help in spending the $12 in the account from an opportunistic and unethical checkbook-finder.

I patted all my pockets and shoved my hands into each pocket several times. Does anybody know why we continue to look in the same place over and over after we've established with 100 percent certainty that it's not there? It's like we think that by looking again and again our lost item will magically appear.

I checked the grocery bags and looked in my pickup but to no avail. I was starting to enter the early stages of panic.

I double-checked the grocery bags and pickup using the "I hope it magically appears" principle but they did not. Full-blown panic was getting very near.

Trying to reassure myself, I thought that I probably laid down my checkbook at the grocery store and that a very honest person had left it at the service desk. I gave the grocery store a call. The person at the grocery store was very nice but they didn't have any checkbooks with my name on them but said they would look around and give me a call if they found them.

By now the PANIC has reached about 8.0 on a Richter scale as I now have to face my wife and confess that I just lost our checkbook. My wife is very understanding but I still didn't want have to tell her that she is married to a loser (in the literal sense).

I stuck my hands in all my pockets one more time. You never know when that checkbook just might magically appear. Still no checkbook.

Figuring that I might as well get it over with, I walked up to my wife to tell her the bad news. Just as I opened my mouth to begin my confession, it hit me. My wife had given me a single check from the checkbook before leaving and I had never had the checkbook at all. There was some consolation in not really losing the checkbook but there is not much consolation in losing my mind.

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