The Thing I forgot

On her way out the door, my wife stopped in the entryway and waited until I looked up from doing what I was doing.

Confident she had my full attention, she warned, “Don’t forget!”

Too late.

I already had.

I knew there was something I was supposed to remember, but I couldn’t recall what it was. At least I had remembered I was supposed to remember something – which for me was 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 Otis, our trash hauler, on the road a couple of miles from home. He is good about those things though; even if you forget to haul the cart to the road, Otis will get out of his truck and walk up the driveway to fetch it.

All you have to do is to remember to fill the cart.

Which I rarely do.

Was I supposed to call the veterinarian to get Twiggy fixed?

Twiggy 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.

Was it a birthday?

A holiday?

An anniversary?

I don’t usually worry about those things because my wife keeps tabs on special occasions. She is the family social director and never misses a celebration. All I have to remember is her birthday and our anniversary. I get help with that from the calendar on my smart phone.

Maybe that’s a clue.

I checked my smart phone to see if there was an entry for today. There wasn’t, though I might have forgotten to enter one.

Why am I 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 it must be constantly honed 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 as 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 something I wanted 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 are going to get clipped with a late-fee.”

Now I remember.

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