Thursday, March 29, 2007

Excuse me while I have a quiet senior moment...

“Having a senior moment” is a description that appeals to me – it glosses over one's increasing age and decreasing memory and - did I mention it glosses over one's age? Instead, it makes it sound like you have chosen to take a moment off whatever you’re doing, in order to practise for your real old age (when you wont have a choice in the matter of what you forget and what you remember).

Whatever, that's how I like to describe it - "I'm not losing my memory, I'm only having a senior moment." Like when I stop in the middle of a supermarket aisle wondering what I am supposed to get. The one thing for which I drove all the way to the supermarket is the one thing that I wont remember through an entire hour of wandering up and down ALL the aisles, popping things at random into my trolley (in the hope that one of them would be The Item, or at least jog my memory). Nope. I have to pay a small fortune for my shopping and go all the way back home... which is of course when memory kicks in. Hey stupid, you forgot the milk! Isnt that what you went there for?

I take comfort from the fact that I dont forget totally. I DO remember things, eventually. So what if it's not when they're most required? At least I REMEMBER things, dont I?

Make lists before you go shopping, I've been told. And I do. I methodically check each shelf in the kitchen and the store room to ensure that my list is comprehensive. My lists are works of art. They adorn my kitchen counter in all their organised glory... while I zoom off to the shops enveloped in that haze of satisfaction that only comes from - yep, a senior moment. I tell you, it takes forever to remember things but only a moment to forget. (Perhaps I should be contributing to greeting card philosophy?)

I'm glad I'm not alone, though. The other day, I asked Pete to stop by the clinic so that I could pick up a prescription for him. We were in the company van which could not be turned around easily in the clinic's small parking area, so Pete said he would do a U-turn in the cul de sac and come back. Off I went inside, collected the prescription and walked back to the entrance - just in time to see Pete driving serenely past, with not even a glance in my direction. He went all the way to the next junction before it struck him (not a glancing blow, just a gentle tap, methinks) that perhaps he was meant to have somebody in the passenger seat... And when I reached him, the sheepish look on his face said it all.

He had forgotten all about me.

I knew that, of course... but I still HAD to ask him what on earth he thought he was doing, whizzing off like that and leaving me behind.

"I was having a senior moment," he said apologetically.


How could I deny him that?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Random memories from my past

- I think I remember there was a big jackfruit tree in the enclosed courtyard in the back of the house that we lived in when my dad was in Jamshedpur. I could be wrong, though I don’t think so. What I DO remember is wearing a pair of shorts with my top tucked in the waistband, and tearing up and down the house from the front to the back, leaping over the small gutters, yelling “I’m a boy, I’m a boy”. (I’m guessing I wanted very much to be a boy.) The exuberance, of course, inevitably cut short when I tripped or slipped over a gutter and went flying. No memory of anything thereafter, but I must have bawled. I think I was 5 or 6 years old then but I’m famous in my family for being the world’s worst cry-baby. [Possibly only surpassed by my sister (heehee)].

- I remember telling my mother (when my sister was a baby, I think): “She cries too much. Let’s throw her away.” A caring, sharing first child, me.

- This must have been during school holidays. I remember invariably asking my dad every morning, very fearfully, while he was shaving, if I had to go to school that day. The indescribable relief when he said “no, not today” is something that’s very clear in my mind. Not a school-loving child, me, right from the start.

- While on the subject of school, I remember my grandmother (who took me to school – DBMS Primary School in Jamshedpur. I was in LKG then) promising to wait outside on the steps for me all day, because I wouldn’t go inside the school at all otherwise. I don’t know if she really did sit there all morning, but I DO know that she was always there when school let out.

- I remember playing on the see-saw (or teeter-totter as they’re also known) in school all by myself and growling – literally - at other kids who wanted to get on. (There were other see-saws there. Really.)

- Before my first trip on a plane (we were moving to Tanzania) I remember being petrified by the noise and dazzled by the headlights of the massive aircraft that we were going to board – and which I did not want to board because everything was so scary. My mother must have had a tough time with me. And yes, I was bawling. (Why everything comes down to that, I really don’t know!)

Freddy Krueger wears Rolex

Or so I'm informed by the junk mail that appeared in my inbox at work this morning. Hee hee! What a thumping good reference for the super expensive, super exclusive brand of watches! I hope all nightmare serial killers are taking notice.

(Sorry, it just tickled my funny bone for some reason.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

I have a dream... or three.

Tagged by Shruthi, one of my most favourite bloggers (not the least because I learnt a new word when I first came across her blog - nychthemeron). :)

So, these are the three dreams that I dream most often:

1. I’m in a runaway car whose doors and windows are locked. People see me but don’t notice anything wrong, and although I’m calling out, nobody can hear me. I’ve had this dream off and on over the years. (I also dont remember ever dreaming of how I finally stopped the car and got out... hmmm...). The classic explanation for this dream is lack of control over one's real life reflected in the dream, but I dont remember having consciously been stressed about the way my life was going. Actually the last time I had this dream was when I was learning to drive - no difficulty in explaining it in THAT context! :)

2. I trip over something and wake up with a jerk just as I'm falling. Nothing as dramatic as falling off a cliff for me, my subconscious works more on the mundane level! I do really dislike heights, though, and given that fear, it's sorta strange that I've never had any nightmares about falling from great heights. On the reality plane, I'm ok if there's a railing or something as a barrier between me and an abyss, but if there isnt, it gives me vertigo which manifests itself as a horrible prickly feeling in the soles of my feet and an urge to lean further and further out to see if I can see the bottom, till I reach the point of no return. I havent reached that point yet. Obviously. Heh.

Just to let y'all know that I'm not a total wimp when it comes to heights, I've been up in a hot air balloon... prickly feet and all!

3. This used to happen a lot in school, and fairly often when I was by myself (like when I was waiting for a bus). It's not so frequent nowadays. I'd be deep in thought about some person or event, holding an imaginary conversation in my daydream. The hum of ceiling fans and the background of classmates chattering in the bright, hot classroom would become a distant buzz. Suddenly I'd be brought back to reality by the sound of my own voice - usually saying "illai?" (no?/isnt that so?) as an interrogatory finish to my imaginary conversation. I think I've puzzled a few of my classmates this way.

Just to make this post a little bit more interesting, here are a couple of things about dreams that you might not have known. What I’D like to know is how these “facts” were substantiated. Anyways...

- If you are snoring then you cannot be dreaming.

- Toddlers do not dream about themselves. They don’t appear in their own dreams until the age of three or four. (Really? And how did the researchers discover that fact about toddlers, exactly? They're hardly likely to be able to explain their dreams.)

If you're one of those people who has an "internal alarm clock", here's some news that can be somewhat disgruntling or disappointing. (The news is in the next paragraph, actually, but dont skip this one!) I'm one of those people who can wake up without an alarm clock at exactly the same time every workday (and every weekend as well and when I’m on holiday too, but that’s not relevant because I just go right back to sleep). I DO set the alarm anyway, just in case, but I usually wake up a few seconds before it starts. Again, that’s irrelevant. Yes, I delight in stating the irrelevant and belabouring the obvious (thereby making this statement irrelevant, obvious AND redundant)! Never say I dont have any talents.

The point (got there finally) is, I was kinda proud of this “ability” (the waking-up thing, not the irrelevant thing) - until I discovered that the reason I can do it is a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. (I bet that word would be a dyslexic’s nightmare!). Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up. Bah. That's coming off my resume, then. "Can wake up at will" very nearly is something to show off about, but "Can wake up stressed at will" doesn’t quite cut it, nor is it likely to impress potential employers...

I'm not going to tag anybody, but if any of you want to take this dream tag on, please do. And dont forget to let me know!