February 4, 2010

Forgetful Jones

If you're my age, give or take 10 years, you might remember a character on Sesame Street called Forgetful Jones.  He was a cowboy Muppet with a girlfriend named Clementine. 

That was one of my nicknames in grade school, and for good reason.  My Grammie used to call it being "out of it" - but whatever name you call it, that's me in a fairly large way (it surely didn't hurt that my maiden name is Jones).

Take, for instance, this morning.  As I found my way into the kitchen, ready to pour the coffee, something didn't seem right.  I then noticed that there wasn't any coffee in the carafe.  Why?  Well, the night before, as I was getting the coffee ready, I did everything except put water in the coffee maker.  The grounds were there, the filter was in place, it was even set for Auto On.  But water would've been helpful in the process.

Oh, I wish that were the only time I've done that.  Sometimes it's forgetting the coffee but turning on the machine.  Or everything's in place but I forget to turn on the machine.  Think of something to forget and I've done it.

Growing up, I was always losing or forgetting umbrelllas and mittens and the all-important permission slip.  In second grade, my forgetfulness was so bad that my teacher Mrs. Husak put me behind a screen for nearly the entire year so that I would concentrate better (it didn't help, and let's not even delve into how irresponsible this was of her!).  But it wasn't just in the past, obviously - my co-workers at The Reporter will all vouch for the fact that I've left my travel mug on top of the time clock countless times.  My poor sister and friends have carted me all over town helping me look for my wallet, which I've left in untold bars, restaurants and clubs (If you ever doubt the kindness of strangers, I'm here to say that every time I've had my wallet returned to me, everything has been intact).  If my photo were next to the word "forgetful" in the dictionary, I wouldn't be surprised.

On the flip side, I am able to tell you what day February 7, 1984 fell on (it was a Tuesday, I believe), because I was a sophomore in high school and I came home really sick that day.  Oh, and it was the 20th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America.  I remember that July 8, 1995 was over 100 degrees, and it was a Thursday.   I can also tell you what I was wearing on certain days, even 30 years ago.  I can tell you who sang what song and what month and year it came out (without the aid of the Internet).  I was also (and am, still) the birthday and anniversary keeper for my ex- and current husband's family. 

I wish I could tell you why I have no short-term memory.  The weird thing is that five years from now, I'll be able to tell you that I forgot to put water in the coffee pot on February 4, 2010.

Well, I'm off to the grocery store with my list in hand, of course.  Now, if only I could remember where I put my keys.


  1. The great mysteries of the brain! A friend of mine whose very good at remembering names of people she's met and so forth, once remarked on my inability to remember people she had introduced me to several years before: "You remember what's important to you." I'm not sure what that means when I CAN remember obscure British actors :D

  2. Hey Mel! I'm certain there are MANY people reading this who can totally relate - myself included! Why some things are so impressed in our brains and why others get lost in a black hole somewhere may never be known.

  3. Well ladies, I'm glad to know that I'm in good company! :D It's one of the tougher things about getting older - remember when we had spongy brains that would retain everything? I miss that. Although I have a feeling that 'forgetful' is going to be my epitaph. :D