Has your boomer brain let you down on occasion?
You’re walking down 30th Avenue and you recognize the person walking toward you. Your brain says ‘I know this person’. Then you (and your brain) go into panic mode because you cannot remember their name, nor the place you know them from.
OMG (you think privately to yourself – I’m losing it)……….but regardless as you get closer, you exclaim “Hi – How are you?” It soon becomes obvious that they cannot remember your name either. So you both stand there sharing pleasantries with one another. All the while sort-of-but-not-really-knowing-who-you-are-speaking-with, while hoping they will make reference to something that will give you a hint. They don’t. Sigh.
Three blocks later you remember. “Eureka! My brain still works”. The other person is likely doing the exact same thing at almost the same moment.
We meet people out of context and our brain goes blank.
When we get to a certain age, we’ve used up all our memory units. We have so many experiences stuffed into our head that we begin to forget some things that are not really that important. Like the names of actors. Have you ever had a conversation like this with a friend?
“I saw a good movie last week”.
“Oh? What was the name of it?”
“Ummmm…hang on…the word railway was in the title”.
“Oh – was it The Railway Man?” “Yes!!! It was sooooooooo good. That actor that I love was in it”.
“Who is that”?
“You know – that English guy – well, he’s tall, nice looking – and oh – he was in that other movie where he portrayed a King with a stammer”.
“Oh what IS his name?” mmmm……………….think it starts with a “C”……….Oh, I know, Colin Firth!!!”
“Oh yes of course……..gosh he’s a good actor isn’t it?”
“What was the name of that film he played the king………oh gawd……….this is bad isn’t it? I can’t remember anything anymore”.
“Wait – I can look it up on my portable brain…………my smart phone…………that is if I can figure it out”! ROFLOL.
Then, it can get worse. You have an entire conversation using “thingy”, “what’s it” and other general descriptors and the worrisome thing is you are understood.
Putting together anything can be challenging.
“Where’s the thingy?”
“Huh? What’s a thingy”?
“Gosh, I don’t know – but it is red and screws into the bar end of this ‘what’s-it”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“Why are there five of these little black round what-cha-ma-call-its left over?”
“We need that twisty thing it came with it in the box to twist these into the holes”.
“Oh – just pass that other thingy”.
“WHAT is a thingy?” “That tool that pinches things together”
“Ohhhhhhhhh…..you mean the pliers?”
“Well, why didn’t you say so?”
And then there’s always……….
“Have you seen ‘what’s-her-face’ recently?
“You know, ‘what’s-her face’. You worked with her 15 years ago when we lived in Alberta”.
“Well, I worked with a lot of people in Alberta”.
“You know who I mean……….she phones from time to time and she’s married to that guy I’m not crazy about”.
“Well, why would I know her and not him?”
“Oh, you know both of them”
“A hint would be helpful”
“She has green hair on one side and purple on the other”
“Oh, why didn’t you say so at the beginning……….what ARE you talking about?!! I don’t know anyone who has green and purple hair!”
“Well, she didn’t then – that is, when you knew her.”
“Well, dare I ask why she has crazy coloured hair now? I mean, wouldn’t she be in her late 50’s now?”
“Uh-huh – she volunteers at her granddaughters Kindergarten class and being a retired teacher they sure do love her.”
“She was a teacher?”
“Yes, she was a Principal”.
“Ohhhhh………now I know who you are speaking about. Oddly enough there’s a message on voice mail for you from her, if I didn’t accidentally erase it”.
“Can you remember her name?”
“You’re kidding – right? Just phone her and say “Hi – it’s me – how are you? It’ll come to you as you speak.”
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.