Friday, January 18, 2013


There's no denying middle age.

There it is, showing up more prominently year after year. The only way to take it is with a large serving of humor.

My sister found my first gray hair. 

I think that should be illegal. I think you should be allowed to find your own first gray hair and mourn in solitude. She, a professional hairstylist, was giving me a haircut in my home, with her boyfriend present when she made the fateful discovery. For a moment, we debated. She said it was gray, I informed her that my hair was multi-toned, with threads of white-blond in it. It was a blondie, I assured. She mercilessly plucked the offending thread from my scalp and presented it -rather ceremoniously- to me.  She was standing behind me so I couldn't see her, but I could feel the heat of her bright smile, radiating through the back of my skull.  My sister was eighteen months older, and was wearing no gray hair at all.

She was also single and had no children. Well into motherhood and marriage, I was bound to be some physical repercussions for my choices. I just hadn't expected them so soon.
A senior friend later gave me some sage advice when it came to the gray hair.

"Keep it covered," she said, in hushed tones. Apparently if people knew you had them, they'd view you as deficient, knowing of the myriad intricate technicalities that were sure to follow.

I'll admit, additional odd developments have actually occurred over the years that followed.

I seem to have a very selective memory. 
I can remember the name of an acquaintance's mother's cat, something I'll never use unless I meet up with that friend's mother, in which case I would wow her with my power of recollection. I can remember the recipe for Thelma's Christmas Casserole, the heart attack in a dish that my family loves. That's easy, and imperative to survival around here. I can remember that when I was in high school, I owned a green car that I called 'Sprout'. Barring the casserole, none of these things serve a purpose, you see. Whereas I used to have a very good recall-er, I now have to live on snippets of past knowledge.

The security questions for online accounts taunt me.

What was the name of my first grade teacher?
(Ogsbury, Brown, or Bartlett. Maybe.)

What is the name of the hospital you were born in?

What is your favorite tv show?
(Now, this one is probably not my fault. Years ago, Husband Two decided we were going to 'unplug' our home, so we haven't had tv for a while. This is an honest-to-goodness 'I can't remember.')

Why can't my brain remember the vital names, numbers and such?

I have a theory on that.
My theory is that our wonderful, useful minds have a crap allowance, and I've gone way, way over. I've sat through three hour meetings on what we should have for church luncheons, grown up with a lecturing parent who liked to hear himself talk, listened to brides-to-be swooning over every little detail of the decor for their receptions for an interminable amount of time, and witnessed long-winded blow-hards giving the most boring speeches ever given by mankind. I've sat, trapped, at social dinners where egotists talked all about themselves without a clue of when to cut off. I've fidgeted in my chair through seminars full of unoriginal thought. All the while, my mind was absorbing it like a sponge. When it got full, it started to delete items. Little did I know, I wouldn't get the luxury of choosing which ones. These days, the more I put in, the more falls back out.

I feel I would've done a much better job of deciding what stayed and what went. I would've liked to have deleted the first and last five years of my prior marriage, the bad grade I once got in Algebra, the memory of a barbaric dentist extracting my wisdom teeth with a wrench, the unkind poem a couple of the mean neighbor kids chanted at me once, and a few off-colored jokes that I wish I'd never heard, and the names, faces, and understanding of how I am related to certain family members.  Alas, those remain firmly intact while the important things like assignments, times to pick up my daughter, imperative instructions, directions, directives and the dates of good friends' birthdays...poof...all gone.

My friend's mother's cat's name is Sandy.

*At this point, I can still remember my Twitter account. It's @Amy_Larson if you want to follow my random micro-blogging there. :) or like it up on Facebook.

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