Thursday, 11 July 2013

Do you remember what's-her-name?

I am sure that most women of a certain age will have given a nod of recognition at the title of this post. As we get older, and our short-term memory deteriorates, we do start forgetting names and losing things for the simple reason that we can't remember where we put them. In our house we have a small bowl on the table near the front door, which is where we always deposit our keys when we come in - apart from 50% of the time when we forget to do so.

Walking home today after meeting a few friends for coffee, we bumped into a friend of a friend and had a brief chat with him. As we continued on our way home, I asked my husband John what the man's name was.

"I was going to ask you the same thing!" was his helpful reply.

We carried on walking, with me trying hard to think who it was, when I suddenly remembered that his first name was the same name as a local musician - if only I could remember what he was called! Then the name popped into my head and I proudly announced "Andrés!"

As we were getting close to home I had a bright idea for the subject of today's post . The only problem was that by the time I got home and sat down at the computer the bright idea had gone. Hopefully I will have remembered it in time for tomorrow's post.

Although he is over three years older than me, my husband is generally far more aware of what's going on than I am. He will spot one of our neighbours when we're out shopping, for example, when I've just walked straight past her. I'm not sure whether this is really an age thing, as I have always been a bit scatter-brained and at times I have been totally unaware of my surroundings. I put this down to my creativity: my head is constantly full of ideas for writing articles or blog posts, as well as scenes for a crime novel that I am planning to write one day. I do warn friends that if I walk straight past them without saying anything, it's not that I'm deliberately ignoring them, it's just that my mind's on other things.

I remember when I was a child being told to tie a knot in a handkerchief as a reminder of anything important, but I don't think it would work quite as well with the paper tissues that most people seem to carry nowadays. For many of us, we already know that we've forgotten something, so a knotted hankie wouldn't help to solve the problem of what it is that we can't remember.

Being forgetful isn't restricted to over 60s though. A friend of ours who is just over 40 had a "senior" moment a few days ago and we had to remind her what was happening this week. I would go into the incident in a lot more detail if only I was able to remember the actual details.

Having got this far with my post, I suddenly remembered that I had written something on a similar subject last year. Oh dear! Have I repeated myself? I've had a quick look and it's not exactly the same, so hopefully regular readers won't mind:

How's your memory? Have you got any tricks to make up for your bad memory? If so, can you remember what they are?


  1. I have a terrible memory. i remember strange and incredible details from ages 3-6 and on - but NOW...not so much. And I'm only 37. Eek. My husband often gets annoyed - because I tell him everything twice or three times. My mom used to do this after chemo. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? It means you and I are normal - what's with all these swift "remember-ers" anyway. :)

  2. What memory? Seriously, I'm "of that certain age" too and I so identify! I've thought dr appointments were on a day when they weren't, and that was after writing it down. We even traveled to a local festival once and found it was going to be the following weekend. I think menopause also has something to do with the memory problems in women. Maybe that's why your husband is 3 years older and seems to have a better memory. You did say that in your post, didn't you?

  3. Yes, femme of a certain age, that's me!Why does this happen? I have always been challenged with remembering things and it is getting worse. Best thing to do, I hear, is move your body! It helps! I remember the tie a knot in the hanky "thing". And, why do husbands remember more? I am way past menopause, so don't know what causes this. Just losing the little grey cells?

  4. I don't have a good memory, and I compulsively write lists for EVERYTHING and that seems to help a little. I think in this day and age that we've got the deck stacked against us in the memory department, because the amount of information that we have available to us every day (and with a click of the button) is IMMENSE. No wonder we can't remember where the stupid keys are!

  5. Yes, me too Sue! Some of it is purely not paying attention though. For example I will park my car, go into the grocery store and come back out wondering "where did I park"? The thing is that when I went in I was planning my route around the store so I could get in and back out as quickly and efficiently as possibly. I haven't been even noticing which part of the parking lot I parked in. I spend too much time in my head and not enough in the "real world".

  6. I absolutely LOVE all your comments! Maybe we should start a facebook group called "Where are my keys?" or something like that? Except none of us will remember the name of our special facebook group so there won't be anyone posting there.

    IF I remember, I may do another post on this topic, as there are a few memory tricks that can help.

    Amy, I have spotted my husband writing lists in the morning, and he then crosses things off over the course of the day. When I worked in an office, my desk was covered with yellow Post-Its to help me remember things.

    I'm SO glad to know that we're all normal!

  7. A friend of mine in her seventies says her memory has started to improve in recent years so maybe there is hope for us all. I use the voice recorder on my mobile phone when I am out and about, so that if I have a great thought, a flash of inspiration or a plot line for my book I have a way to make sure I don't forget by the time I get home.