There are almost 60 birthday cards taped to my kitchen wall, thanks to my sister who is helping me celebrate my 60th birthday this week. The cards have been coming for almost two months, a few each day.
Many of them have tongue-in-cheek condolences, and witty barbs about aging.
So starting this week. I’ll be doubling up on the crossword puzzles and reading up on some of those memory prompting tricks.
I heard about two couples who were out for an evening stroll. The men were walking side by side, several paces behind their wives. Pete was telling Joe about a memory seminar he and his wife had just attended. “You use word association, to bring things back to your memory.”
“That’s great!” Joe enthused. “What’s the name of the seminar?”
Pete stared at him blankly. “Oh gosh, let me think…” he scratched his head. “Help me remember…” He looked at his friend, “What’s the name of that really popular flower…?”
“A daisy?” Joe offered.
“No, that’s not it.”
“That’s it! Rose!” Pete cupped his hands around his mouth and called up to his wife, “Hey Rose, what was the name of that seminar we went to last week?”
Okay, that’s a joke. But word association really is a good idea. Unless it backfires as it did with me a few months ago.
I used to see this older gentleman and his dog every day when I was out walking. We usually just smiled and said hello, but one day we stopped to chat. I introduced myself, and he told me his name was Tom and his little dog was Maggie.
Tom and Maggie. As we went our separate ways I decided to use word association so I’d remember his name. Tom and Maggie are the main characters in Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.
Since I love books, I was sure I’d remember Tom and Maggie if I hooked them to a good book.
The next time I saw Tom, he was alone. I walked over to chat with him, feeling pretty smug for remembering his name. “Hello Tom,” I greeted him, “Where’s Daisy today?”
He gave me a strange look. “You mean Maggie?”
Ooops – wrong book! Tom and Daisy, from The Great Gatsby, had jumped straight into my head, while the other Tom, and his sister Maggie, sat there in their Mill, giving me no help at all.