I’ve started to think of my brain as a somewhat leaky bucket. In the old days, my memories came with an iron-clad guarantee. If something happened, I remembered. If I remembered something, it happened.
Now? I have no idea what’s happening.
Today I was riding in the car with my husband. He has a new obsession with podcasts since I showed him how easy it is to subscribe to them with an iPhone. Now whenever we go anywhere, a podcast plays. Fine.
Out of nowhere, I said to him, “Hey, have you ever thought about doing your own podcast?” and he said, “Yes, and I already told you that. In fact, I told you I asked ____________ if he would do one with me. I tell you things and you say ‘uh-huh’ but you aren’t really paying attention.” And so on.
Now, here’s the thing. Back in the day, I would have argued that point. I would have insisted that he said no such thing. I would certainly have remembered that, right?
Now, doubt sloshes around in my leaky bucket. Is he forgetful or am I? Did he only think he told me something or did I just pretend to listen and fail to hear it? Did I forget? Did he forget?
My hunch–completely undependable like a ladder missing rungs–is that he thinks he tells me things but doesn’t actually tell me. This is my working theory, my blame-shifting explanation. He is, after all, four years older than me. He talks to a lot more people than I do. I think he tells other people things that he thinks he told me. Most days I literally don’t talk to anyone other than my kids and him. (Sad but true.) Wouldn’t I remember even the idle chit-chat between us?
Then again, maybe it’s me. Maybe I am losing my mind, one sharp corner at a time. Maybe I am just not paying attention. Maybe I am sleepwalking through conversations and when I wake, the information vanishes like a crazy dream.
I don’t know.
I prefer to think that he’s wrong and that I am right. However, at this point, your guess is as good as mine.
(Just don’t tell me that I really am losing my mind. I’d rather not know.)
(But ask me what my childhood telephone number was and to sing the Brady Bunch theme and I’m your girl.)