The trouble with memory is that memory is the trouble. Do you find yourself forgetting things?
The trouble with memory is that I don’t have any.
Of course this is stretching the truth most times, but some days I think my memory has gone by way of the spam filter on my e-mail. Think of this way, somewhere along the line of aging, I find myself reaching an empty black vault for something I need to retrieve for that second – someone’s name, a password, or an item on a mental to-do list.
Most of my memory problems are short-term; that is what someone has told me a minute ago goes out the chute to the garbage bin as soon as I hear the words. Okay, so some of it is considered selective hearing; you know the kind, Mom what’s for supper: Hon, did you see my hat; or can I borrow twenty bucks….
Some things I want to forget – on purpose – like who I voted for and didn’t win, a life’s most embarrassing moment, or a stupid thing I said accidentally on purpose.
The trouble with memory is that I need it at very important times; for instance, remembering the boss’s name when I’m first introduced, my husband’s birth date, paying an important bill, or my pin number. The trouble is I cannot live without memory. Even my computer needs memory to survive.
There are many reasons for memory loss or memory manipulation. Women conveniently forget their ages at certain stages in their lives; men may exaggerate the size of the fish they caught last weekend, kids may act dumb when you ask them if they forgot to clean their bedrooms. “What bedroom! I have a bedroom!”
Despite the fun things I can do with memory, I need it for a lot more than remembering the last play in a card game. Memory is important to daily living - now where did I put those reading glasses; I’m sure I saw a twenty dollar bill somewhere in my purse, or I know I left my car keys in my old pair of pants – without memory we’d lose living the game of life.
As I get old I can make use of bad memory by forgetting things I hate to think about or as Friedrich Nietzche put it, “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” That’s me folks.
You know, even politicians enjoy bad memories: one, when they’ve forgotten to keep a promise; two, when they hope against all hope voters will glance over past mistakes in a new election. If the politicians can endorse lousy memory, so can I.
The trouble with memory is that I don’t have any. Oops, I think I said this already.
By Suzanne Berton ©