The Thing I forgot

On her way out the door, my wife stops and waits in the entryway until I look up from doing what I am doing.

Confident she has my full attention, she warns, “Don’t forget!”

Too late.

I already have.

I knew there was something I was supposed to remember but I couldn’t recall what. At least I remembered I was supposed to remember something – which for me is about as good as it gets.

Could it be the trash?

No, I forgot about that yesterday.

I only remembered that yesterday was trash day when I encountered our trash hauler, Otis, on the road a couple of miles from home. He is good about those things though. Even if you forget to haul the cart out to the road, Otis will get out of his truck and walk up the driveway to fetch it.

You just have to remember to fill the cart.

Which I rarely do.

How about calling the vetenarian to get Twiggy fixed?

She is the calico cat who wandered into our yard last winter. She was pregnant at the time and has dropped two litters of kittens since. I keep forgetting to get her fixed and she keeps remembering her old boyfriends.

Her third litter is on the way, so it is too late to remember to do anything about it.

Is it a birthday?

A holiday?

An anniversary?

I don’t usually worry about these things because my wife keeps tabs on special occasions. She is the family social director and never misses a celebration. All I am responsible for is remembering her birthday and our anniversary. The calendar on my smart phone helps me with that.

Maybe that’s a clue.

I check my smart phone to see if there is an entry for today. There isn’t, though I might have forgotten to enter one.

Why am I always forgetting things?

I blame it on retirement. Having no place to go and nothing pressing to do means having little to remember. Memory is something you either use or lose and you must continually hone it against the rock of everyday struggles to stay sharp.

This comes naturally while you are working but once you are retired, the rock of daily struggles becomes soft as soapstone and you forget things – especially things you don’t want to remember.

That also might be a clue.

Was it something I wanted to forget? I doubt it. If it was, I would remember that. Besides my wife would never allow me to forget the things I want to forget.

But what was she trying to remind me of earlier?

I asked her when she got home.

“Oh no!” she exclaimed, “You were supposed to remind me to pay the credit card bill. Now we will get clipped with a late-fee.”

Now I remember.