I Remember It Well by
200
(244 Stories)

Prompted By Senior Moments

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We met at nine
We met at eight
I was on time
No, you were late
Ah yes, I remember it well.

I find myself walking into a room and saying "What did I come in here for?" This happens more often than I care to admit.

We dined with friends
We dined alone.
A tenor sang
A baritone.
Ah yes, I remember it well.

This song from Gigi captures very cleverly the tricks that memory can play. The two characters are elderly**, and it is intended to make fun of the forgetfulness of the old, but really, I have had conversations like this with people at every age. Someone will say remember when we went to X with Y? No, you’re actually thinking about the time we went somewhere else with someone else. Everyone remembers things differently, and how do we even know that in the song, Hermione’s version (italicised) is right, rather than Maurice’s?

So many people our age have trouble remembering names, but I am still pretty good at it. Trying to think of instances where someone’s name has escaped me, the only one I can think of is Benedict Cumberbatch. No matter how often we talk about him (and it is surprising how often he comes up in conversation), I can never remember his name. Is that my age, or is it just that he has such a weird name?

Another type of senior moment seems to be misplacing things. My husband, who is exactly one month older than I am, loses his phone at least once a day. Fortunately, he has the “find my phone” app, and I frequently hear its unmistakeable pinging. Since my hearing is better than his, I can more easily follow the sound, so I find it for him. He also loses his wallet, his keys, and even his glasses, and doesn’t have apps for finding those. It generally doesn’t take long to find them, but still, it’s annoying for him. However, so far, at least, I haven’t been plagued with this problem, I always seem to know where to find whatever I need. (I’m probably tempting fate by saying that, see my story on the Superstition prompt.)

However, while I still can remember names, and faces, and generally don’t lose things, I increasingly find myself walking into a room and saying “What did I come in here for?” This happens more often than I care to admit.

I also often have the feeling that there is something I am supposed to be doing that I have forgotten. Generally it turns out not to be the case, or at least if it is, I never discover what it was that I forgot to do. Still, it’s unnerving.

I write everything down on my desk calendar (yes, a paper calendar), and consult it frequently, so I don’t forget. It seems to be working so far.

But my birthday is in nine days, and I will be turning sev–  no, I can’t even say the word. I fear that it is all downhill from here.


** I was appalled to discover that at the time Gigi was filmed, Maurice Chevalier was 70, and Hermione Gingold was 61. How could that be? Were they made up to look older, or did people just age faster in those days?

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Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written

Comments

  1. Khati Hendry says:

    As for your last question. and as a member of the “no, can’t even say it” club, I definitely believe people got older faster back then. Or maybe we just didn’t grow up. But if that’s all there is, let’s keep dancing.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    As soon as I saw your title, I thought, “Perfect”! I love that movie (one that I re-watch from time to time) and the song is a wonderful example for this prompt, Suzy. But I never thought to question Hermione’s version of the truth. I always assumed she remembered it properly. You made me think.

    You’ll see some similar situations in my story. I think we are all having those moments and are frustrated by them. My husband tends not to lose things because a) he tries to put things in the same place, and b) he counts on me to keep track of things for him.

    I, too, still keep a paper calendar (something else we have in common; none of this calendaring on iPhone for me…I still love my Filofax) and write everything down in great detail. And happy birthday in nine days – I’m sure I’ll be in touch!

  3. John Shutkin says:

    Great story, Suzy — starting with that song, which I actually remembered (at least generally; not word-for-word).

    And I find your analysis quite accurate. There are definitely different kinds of memories, and losses thereof. I am assuming there are studies on this stuff, but I think reading them would be more depressing than enlightening. So I will take a pass.

    As to your upcoming milestone, try not to be too depressed or in denial about it. Welcome (soon) to the club!

    • Suzy says:

      I agree with you about not reading the studies, although I’m told they say not to worry about things like forgetting a name or why you walked into a room. Still, I don’t feel any need to read about it.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Suzy, I loved that scene and song from Gigi. Of course, when I saw it, I thought they were ancient — 70 and 61, amazing. I’m just enough older than you to have a few more senior moments, especially around names. My husband, who has a great memory for most things, can’t seem to remember that we have already seen the episode of whatever we are bingeing. At least I’m still pretty good and accurate about that and impatiently wait the five minutes it takes for him to concede that I am right!

  5. Marian says:

    That is shocking, Suzy, about the ages of Hermione and Maurice! I can relate to your husband’s losing everything because Dick often does. However, he did as a younger person as well (absent-minded professor type). As you point out, calendars and lists are very helpful. I have my Outlook calendar, a weekly to-do list on paper, and if something is more complicated, such as the lunch we are doing for nine people tomorrow, a separate list for that. Really helpful.

  6. Suzy, as I mentioned in my comment to Mare, I think unusual names are harder to remember…my favorite name to forget is Sterling Holloway (Winnie the Pooh). I also tend to transpose those kinds of names…believe it or not, I have to think “Hmm, is it Channing Tatum or Tatum Channing?”

    And yes, I hate to be the one to tell you, but it IS all downhill from here. Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the ride though…whee!!

  7. Suzy, do I detect a universality in most of our stories this week!

    And chin up, 70-something is the new 50-something!

  8. It’s not all downhill from here. The worst milestone we have to cross is 25 — I’m a quarter-century old???? And maybe that mission you forgot (or not) as you stand puzzled at the entrance to another room is really just your metabolism adjusting to the loss of one more superfluous chore. I’d offer the same observation of supposed to be doing… something? How nice to do something else instead. You don’t even have to go all mystical over the losses either. You can just chalk it up to a senior moment and take the day off.

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