Forgetting common place among us all


HERE AND THERE - Evelyn Richardon



What makes you mad at yourself? My own list is pretty long, and most maddening is that I never seem to learn my lesson; I keep on doing the things that are on the list over and over again.

It is a dangerous practice to move an item from the place where it has been kept for maybe decades, although the new location is much more logical. I’m looking for something right now that may be forever hidden. In my mind I keep seeing it at the old spot but with no recollection of where I put it—for “ease of finding.”

I stop at the grocery store for three items. No need to write them down; surely I can remember three things. Picking up two and holding them in my hands, I stand in the aisle and strain to bring to mind the third one. I pretend to be pondering a selection on the shelf in front of me to disguise the truth from other shoppers. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don’t and do without until the next trip.

More problems with shopping: I buy a jumbo bottle of ketchup because the one in the refrigerator is nearly empty and when I put it in the pantry, there sits an unopened bottle that I forgot I had already bought. Should have checked. I buy a rather pricey hand lotion and inevitably a $2 discount coupon appears in a publication the very next day. Should have waited.

Getting caught up with the laundry is most satisfying. Hanging the last pieces from the dryer on the rack, I turn with a sense of accomplishment to enjoy a brief period of freedom from washing—until I pass through a bedroom and there lies a medium-size pile that was meant to have been included in the wash. My good feeling disappears into the dirty clothes basket with the pile. And although I have been managing laundry long enough to follow simple rules automatically, I still miss a tissue in a pocket of dark pants every now and then. That can ruin the good part of a day.

I get on myself hard when I mess up food—let the beans boil dry or salt the soup twice.

Carelessness leads to self-injury. I open upper cabinet doors and leave them open long enough to forget and raise up, knocking a gash in my head. I leave off gloves and do a chore that tears a fingernail to the quick, noting that the result of a similar incident on the other hand hasn’t yet completely healed.

Knowing that I need to make a note to myself in order to remember something, I put pencil to paper, but my abbreviations and poor handwriting prevent me from figuring out what I wrote.

I could live with myself better if only I had taken a moment to date and identify those photographs on the back. But on it goes.

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HERE AND THERE

Evelyn Richardon

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