Lapses of Memory

It’s a  bit unfair.   Just when  memory needs to be at its sharpest, nature conspires to dull its edge. Come dotage , unless you are of an extraordinarily healthy constitution, there is usually a long catalogue of pills, potions, puffs,  drops and lotions to be taken in a particular sequence throughout the day every day. 

Unfortunately, this is also the age when one’s  memory starts playing tricks and one either misses a dose or takes a double dose or mistimes another.

If you are  lucky, a concerned  but stern helpmeet supervises the imbibing of the various medicines in the correct specified manner .  Otherwise you have to revert to the age-old strategy of  reading a checklist pasted on the door of your clothes cupboard.
But, even for that to be effective, you have to remember to check the checklist at the appropriate time. 

And,  if you have to take recourse to  reading glasses to discern the checklist , you will have to remember where you kept the darned spectacles in the first place. And , if you are like me, that usually results in a desperate hunt on the drawing room sofa, near the telephone, next to the easy chair, in the kitchen and wherever else I tend to place the glasses and forget about them.

As I said, it’s when you need a good memory the most is when you find it fading.  
Take birth dates, for example.  When you are young, your sharp memory has to deal with remembering  just the birthdays of the parents, the missus and the kids.

But, come post-retirement, your fading memory has to deal with timely greetings covering a much larger brood comprising, in addition to your near ones,   your progeny’s  spouses,  their parents, your grandkids and so on. It’s a losing match and every year your  ears get singed with accusations of “How COULD you forget ?”

Birthdays, at least, are annual occurrences and there are tactics to deal with them , such as marking the calendar. However, what do you do with the quotidian lapses of memory which keep you and your spouse on an eternal war footing? Like when I am jolted from the crossword puzzle I have been attempting  for the past fifteen minutes with an anguished and angry  cry from the kitchen , “The daal is burnt. Before going for my bath I had  told you  to turn off the stove after five minutes. Can you not remember a simple thing like that?”

As I said, old age is when you need the sharpest memory.

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