When Danny Glover, in the first "Lethal Weapon" movie, met his new partner, he said "I'm too old for this sh*t." He was on the floor when he uttered those words, Mel Gibson's boot on his chest, after Glover tried to disarm him in the mistaken belief he was a gun-toting miscreant in the squad room.
I don't know how many times I've said this myself. I stepped up the mantra when I turned 60 last April, and since the year rolled over, I have been saying it like an endless recitation of Hail Marys, without the rosary beads. We all thought 2021 couldn't be much worse than 2020. We were wrong. But that's not just because of rioting ruffians at the U.S. Capitol. It's also because the older I get, the harder it is to remember everything I need to do. Like Neville Longbottom of "Harry Potter" fame when he received a Remembrall from his gran, it doesn't do much good to have a talisman reminding you that you've forgotten something, if you can't remember what you've forgotten.
My husband, in a moment of either generosity or sympathy, said the problem isn't that I'm becoming forgetful; it's that I have too much on my plate. He may be right, since as far as work is concerned, I have more on my plate than ever, but what would he know? He's been forgetful ever since I met him in 1981. The difference between the two of us is that when he's misplaced something, he always insists "someone else" must have moved the object in question.
Since I'm the only human in the house, he obviously is referring to me, because the whitecat - long of tooth, like his people - doesn't have the opposable thumbs required to pick up things and move them. The cat has been known to send a pointed message by moving his water bowl into the line of traffic when it's nearly empty, or to carry things like dying mice in his mouth, but I've never seen him move a set of keys or a pair of sunglasses using either method.
Lately, Chris has picked up the peculiar habit of saying I must have "hidden it" from him by "covering it up" to where he can't see it, much like the aforementioned whitecat covers up his business in the litterbox. This could suggest the onset of senility for my husband; I keep meaning to suggest that, but I always forget to do so when the allegations begin.
There came a point about five years ago when every day, on his way to work in Tulsa, Chris forgot something he couldn't do without, and usually didn't realize it until he was halfway there. So I tacked a note on the inside of the door: "Have you forgotten your...?" and then had bullet points: "wallet, watch, belt, sunglasses, eyeglasses, cell phone, coffee." I didn't bother with keys, because I didn't think he'd just sit outside in the car, puzzling over what he was missing. Eventually, I stopped bothering because he forgot to read the note.
When we go somewhere, either alone or together, it's almost a sure bet one of us will have to return to the house after the doors have been locked, the alarm set and the engine running. On one occasion, he had to go back three times, and on the third pass, I went with him. I left the door to the truck open, and he groused about it. I pointed out that in the brief moment we were gone, it's unlikely someone would happen along and rip off the empty water bottles, food wrappers and neck pillow, but he insisted a raccoon might get inside. I retorted that it would have to take a running jump, because I almost need a ladder myself to get in, and there's nothing in there a 'coon might want.
It's gotten worse, and I've about given up on notes, since - as I said earlier, I think - you have to remember to look at them before they do any good. So I've taken to mumbling to myself. On days I plan to swim at NSU, considerably more mumbling is required. I wear my suit under my clothes so I won't forget that, the most important component. Driving the distance back home to retrieve an item cuts my swim time by 45 minutes, thus making it not worth the effort.
"Swim cap? My hair's too long to swim without it. Water bottle? I don't want to pay for water at The Fit, which is expensive, and if all they have is flavored, I'll gross out. Bra and panties? I don't want to go to work commando, although since I'm usually the only one in the newsroom these days, it isn't so much a problem if I have on a floppy shirt and pants, but if I'm wearing a short dress or flimsy blouse, um, no way. Shampoo and soap? Not as bad, but I'll smell like chlorine all day. Towel? That's going to cost NSU a lot of paper."
More mumbling: "Purse? Best not go a mile over the limit, and hope I haven't forgotten a bill is due today. Coffee? I'll have to pay for caffeine, and Chris will get mad because he took the trouble to make it. Glasses? I can't see to edit copy. Did I turn off the bedroom alarm? If not, it will beep all day and freak out the cat. Did I turn on the burglar alarm? If not, someone might break in and take some of our worthless junk, and be so mad at the poor haul they'll burn down the house. Speaking of which, I didn't leave the oven on last night, did I? Will the Christmas tree lights cause a fire?"
There has been some improvement. I used to lock myself out of my vehicle occasionally at The Fit, and someone from work would have to pick me up. If I pulled that stunt now, I'd have to walk to the office, because everyone who might help me out is working from home. And now I have to remember to bring a mask.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm too old to be old, but not quite old enough to be too old, or worse yet, moving on to another dimension. If that makes any sense. Wait, what was I talking about? Never mind...