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I locked my Keys in the car (again)

Yesterday when I was out doing errands with my older daughter I locked my keys in the car. But, ha, I was prepared. I had set up a safety procedure for those times when I am forgetful.  I have a spare key in my purse.

I know one day I will probably leave my keys in the van and lock the door. I locked my keys in the van  last year. Once when I was in a hurry to get home to drive my oldest daughter to work. I had ten minutes to spare so I ran into a big box store. I had just picked up my car from the repair shop and had not reattached the key to the lanyard. I jumped out of the van remembering the lanyard, but not the key. She had to call a friend to bring her to work.  I called triple A and waited.

Yesterday at my daughter’s swim lesson a woman sat beside me on the bench with her son. They were waiting for his lesson to begin. She looked at me like she knew me.  She asked, “Have we met before? You look familiar. . ” I stared at her. I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t remember her, and she looked like she recognized me.  Then she said,”Oh yes, you were at the homeschool meeting last month. Do you remember?”

“Oh yes” , I smile and nod.  I remember going to the meeting.  I  vaguely remember her face.  Was she so unremarkable, or was I staring at my cell phone too much and not paying attention to the people I met that night. Did she get new glasses? A new hair cut? Was it because she sat on the side of me and not in front of me, so I only saw her arm?

I have stopped saying when I meet someone, “Oh, nice to meet you, as they may say, “Oh, we have met before.” So I try to be vague but pleasant, like ” Oh how nice to see you”; or” What nice teeth you have.”

I looked on-line for suggestions on how to improve my memory and came across an article in Forbes.  Majid Fotuhi, M.D., chairman of the Neurology Institute for Brain Health and Fitness and an assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University,  says that the reason people may be forgetful as they age is,”Because there is typically a 0.5% per year shrinkage of the  brain’s hippocampus as you age.”

I feel so much better now. My hippocampus is shrinking. I will listen to   Dr Fotuhi’ suggestions and reduce stress, exercise my brain, and eat better.  However, the next time I meet someone who remembers me, and I haven’t a clue who they are. I will smile and say, ” My hippocampus is getting smaller. What is your name again please.”

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • The response at the end is great!

  • lee

    “What nice teeth you have.”
    “My hippocampus is getting smaller.”

    I love these! I am always running into people who’s name I have forgotten.

    “I’m sorry, my hippocampus is shrinking, so I have forgotten your name.”
    “Me, too! I thought I was he only one. By the way, there’s something about your teeth….”

  • I think the important thing to know about a shrinking hippowhatsit is that we can become smart enough to deal with the loss of memory that comes with it. For instance, extra keys in our purses, smiles and the simple statement that we are getting forgetful and my current favorite, a smart phone. I think my aging mother wishes she could use her phone the way I use mine!

    • Oh, please tell me how you use your phone to help you remember. I have a “spot” for my keys and phone right by the front door. That has helped me. Now I am trained like a mouse to hang them up the minute I get home. Now I just need a piece of corn every time I do it and all will be well.

  • Robin Patrick

    I was afraid that was the answer. Well, at least I was afraid it was something I couldn’t do much about. But, on the other hand, for me it’s nice to know that something is shrinking.

    • Oh Robin, I pray that your smile and your sense of humor never shrinks.

  • Hmm, I don’t know if it is a shrinking or expanding waistline. I love the idea of starting a new fad. If I could just remember the fad.

  • Amy

    Somehow, I can totally see you saying that and getting away with it looking trendy and stylish….maybe you will start a new fad.
    Oh, and by the way…I read an article today from Duke Univ. that talked about the fact that people who are “reborn” having more shrinkage to their hippocampus. So, wear it proudly as I do!!!!!! 🙂
    Or do you think this is God’s sense of humor tweeking all of us so preoccupied with the concept of a shrinking waistline?

  • I am going to say it causually like this is an explanation everyone knows and accepts graciously.

  • I’m trying to remember where I put the questions for my Battle of the Books club. It’s good to know there’s a scientific explanation.

    • The article in Forbes had good suggestions on how to remember names, faces and where you put your keys. I think I need to read the article.

  • I love your final response! I am getting terrible at remembering things. I will have to try that explanation; it is much better than “I am getting old.”