Elders and Seniors
An Old Woman's Daydream

Real or Memorex – Part Deux

category_bug_journal2.gif Thank you all for your information and reassurances about my memory lapses and dementia concerns in the first "Memorex" post last Monday. Those media types who have dismissed elderblogs as cute little hobbies should stop by here and read the conversations. Together we are creating a repository of knowledge and ideas based on, collectively, thousands of years of living. It is valuable stuff – we could call it elder knowledge - that is important to pass on.

For dramatic effect, I may have overstated my level of worry, in that Memorex post, about potential dementia, but it was hardly a fib. My father was discovered to have brain cancer, of which he died, shortly after an incident in his car at a traffic light: he no longer knew if red means stop or go and it was not a momentary lapse. The memory was gone, which undoubtedly explains my outsized apprehension at the yes/no, left/right, up/down errors.

But I don't want to be so ponderous today.

To trish of Worlds Touch, I think I once knew about the 8:20 test, but had forgotten it (tee hee).

Comments you left of your own memory lapses on that Memorex post, made me laugh out loud. Some of the mistakes we make are, indeed, funny:

Amba of Ambivablog: "I put a gallon of milk down at my feet while waiting for the bus and, when the bus came, ran away to catch the bus and left the milk standing there."

Nancy: "I started putting my bra on inside out. Sometimes I wouldn't notice it until I tried to take it off - much harder to do."

Maya’s Granny: "Just last Tuesday I went to tie my shoes and discovered I was still barefoot."

A favorite of my own was once finding misplaced keys in the refrigerator.

So let’s give ourselves some laughs with these incidents today. What is the funniest elder lapse, senior moment, brain fart that you’ve experienced whether you think it’s age-related or not?


I deeply identify with your concern about memory loss and whether or not it's a precursor of something more sinister; my mother had Alzheimer's for the last 15 years of her life and it was hard to watch the vibrant, creative woman she had been disappear into herself to become, finally, a shell that housed only her confusion and anger.

Be that as it may, however, I still find myself wondering who was more surprised the day I tossed the cat down the laundry chute and my laundry out the back door!

This one is not exactly a brain fart but it is one of my funniest.

Some years back my husband and I were listening to President Ronald Reagan give a speech on economic matters. As we all know he was a pleasant guy but not too erudite.

Picture the scene...I was stretched out on the den sofa with my springer spaniel dog Mollie at my feet. Hubby is in his favorite chair.

My mind drifted off from RR's speech. I suddenly sat up and said "I've got it"

Hubby listened intently thinking I had understood the economic plan that RR was discussing.

I said " You take a mayonnaise jar in one hand filled with soapy water. You have another jar filled with clear warm water.

"You put one ear in the soapy jar and rinse in the other jar."

Clear as mud right??

My mind had drifted off to the problem of keeping my springer spaniel dog's long ears clean in a simple way.

Makes about as much sense as RR's econ policy..

I "lost" a bag of frozen sausages that I was sure I put back in the freezer.

I found them a week later at the bottom of my pantry.

Last week I put the ice cream in the fridge and the fruit in the freezer.

Glad to read the level of worry was a bit overstated. Now must get on to other things, if I can just remember what it was I was going to do!

Nothing anyone can say is going to rival throwing the cat down the laundry chute and the laundry out the back door! I am holding my sides.

Maya's Granny

I agree!! The cat story wins the prize.

As someone who is going through the same thing, I appreciate the laughs I got from reading this post and comments. As someone who is taking care of someone with dementia, believe me, we're all a long way from that place. If we can laugh at ourselves, we're all right.

I have many brain farts everyday, but at the moment, I can't remember them. Must be another senior or...er..uh..elder moment.

At the ripe old age of nearly 56, I am working the night shift (I'm an RN), much to my dismay. This has disrupted my circadian rhythm to the point where if I'm not deliberate about my activities of daily living, I will misplace my keys and take hours to locate the darn things cause there's no telling where they will end up. This is in a 1000 square foot condo. I have to put the lunch bag in the car before I dump the garbage, or I will dump the lunch and take the garbage to work. Organized grocery shopping is out of the question. Without a list, I will go in, get everything that I don't need and forget what I need. Adventures in elder land. Fortunately, day shift is on the horizon.

Some ten years ago, as I was going to work, I took a bag full of trash down with me and carried it all the way to the classroom where I taught! You can imagine how embarrassed I was. My students had a good laugh.
Another time, I found myself out on the pavement in my slippers. I was not even OLD then, I must have been in my thirties!

My favourite, till now is Maya's Granny ;)

If you think it’s hard for a guy to ask directions, how about having to ask for help finding his car. I lost mine in the San Diego “Street Lamp” parking garage. After 30 minutes of wondering around, I finally had to ask for help from one of the lot attendants. Suffered the humiliating experience of searching with him on a golf cart, only to find it around the corner and 100’ away.

Twenty two years ago my husband died of multiple malignant brain tumors and one of the first symptoms of his cancer was forgetting simple words. Naturally I became acutely aware of forgetting a word when it happened to me. A few years later my son told me a couple of funny memory jokes and I was at a party sitting next to a very distinguished gentleman and the subject came up of memory loss. I said,"That reminds me -- I have a couple of good memory jokes I just heard". And when I started to tell them I realized, to my horror, that I couldn't remember either one.

Frankly, this babyboomer (60) has always been absent-minded - even going back to my teens. Daydreaming, depression and simple boredom can contribute mightily to 'forgetfulness'.

There is conflicting evidence that constantly learning new things and having hobbies and interests that force one to focus may help prevent Alzheimers. But researchers are not sure if doing these things are causes or effects of a healthy brain.

One thing is clear however - regular exercise, especially aerobic, is good for the brain (and heart).

Anyway, my hobbies/interests are chess, Bridge, blogging, jogging, tennis & weight training.

I am trying to cover all bases!

Ken makes a good point. When I was younger I hardly noticed little memory slip-ups, put it down to 'busy' or 'stress' or simply absent-mindedness.

Today, of course, I see something more sinister in stopping at a green traffic light, or driving on past my home street. The wrong or additional words I see on my screen, I put down to 'this keyboard must be sticking!'

But something that happened last week has made me think. I work 3 days a week, on different days each week, and I work in a hot-desk situation, where the people working around me can change on a daily basis.

On Thursday I was talking to the young man working beside me, and he mentioned something that had happened the previous day, and I asked him, 'Did you work yesterday? I didn't see you here, where were you sitting?'

I wondered why he gave me a very strange look, until he answered, 'umm, right here, beside you...'

Thanks for the topic Ronni, once again it's good to find I am not alone - and for the bLaugh link.

After my recent cataract surgery which dictated my wearing dark glassws in bright light, I walked in the office one morning & said "Damn it, I forgot my dark glasses today! I guess I'll just muddle through. The 40-something business manager started laughing uproariously so, of course, I asked, "What's so funny?" When she stopped laughing she said, "They're right there on top of your head." Talk about feeling like an idiot. I'd put them there so I wouldn't forget them! DUH????
Glad to hear others commit similar faux pas. Bette Davis was right when she said, "Getting old ain't for sissies!"

I just turned 50 this year. Let's see... I through away my keys into a trashbag while moving. That was interesting trying to track those down. I have worn my dress inside out to school. I have introduced my mother as my daughter (go figure that one out).
I am so glad I have found this blog!!!!

When leaving for vacation I decided that I would not take my set of keys. I was sure I had left them on the kitchen table, but upon our return a week later they were no where to be seen. I scoured the house;I even accused the cat of knocking them off (she loved to watch items commit suicide from elevated places). I simple could not find my keys. Then one day I happened to look into one of the cubbie holes here on the computer desk. They were safely nestled inside that compartment.

Going to primary school with my frilly bottomed summer pajama pants on. They were a bit like underpants except for the frilly bits at the back.

Ronni, believe it or not, I once put the keys in the fridge, too. (And I could hardly have been more than 50 at the time.)

A friend of ours who was probably no more than 40 at the time once forgot to put on his bathing suit in the men's room at the health spa before coming out to the co-ed pool stark naked. Daydreaming and absent-mindedness are the great equalizers of the ages.

Oh, dear. I think the cat/laundry are the best so far, but oh dear. :)

My keys have a special spot on a little shelf right on the way out. Because if they are not there, heaven help me, it could be hours before I find them (and once was: that time they were in my purse - which is not their 'usual' spot because I don't always take it when going for a walk).

More than once, I and/or my husband have heated food in the microwave...and just left it there. (Fortunately, our current microwave will beep periodically for several minutes after the food finishes cooking; we're more likely to hear it and be reminded if that happens.)

And although it's not particularly funny, just life, I do sometimes (especially when tired) pause mid-sentence and flail around for the word I wanted. If it was an obscure word, I'd be a little more okay with this, but no, usually it's something like "parking lot" or "fork".

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