Trying to remember not to forget.
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My aunt recently told me there’s a word for my latest affliction. It’s anomia. It means word forgetfulness.
I’ve been having a lot of anomia lately.
I’d think I was losing my marbles, if I gave it much thought. But then I never was much good at marbles. I could never remember the rules.
And I can’t remember a lot of things, such as what I came into the room for, or that I just made a cup of tea.
These are what are often innocuously called “senior moments,” but I think I probably had “junior moments” too (I can’t recall).
My mother is 91 and seems to still have most, or at least a lot, of her marbles. My aunt who told me the word anomia is 84 and still working as a psychologist. I’d sign up as a client, only I’m too scared to have my head examined.
Still, I’m rooting for these oldsters who remain in the workforce, with good mental faculties. I try to reassure myself by knowing things like who the oldest first-time Oscar winner was. It was James Ivory for his adapted screenplay of Call Me By Your Name at the age of 89. (Actually I had to look it up.)
I treasure the fact that Sir Paul McCartney is in great shape and still touring at 80. Sir Mick Jagger (79) is still the same wily leprechaun he’s always been, prancing across the stage and singing how time is on his side (“Yes it is.”).
Sir Tom Stoppard (85) is still writing Broadway plays, and Sir David Attenborough (96) is still on television telling us how we’re all destroying the planet.
A lot of the old sirs seem to be doing pretty well, as are some of the old ma’ams.
Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno, and Lily Tomlin (combined age: 335) just made a film called 80 for Brady.
I’m almost old enough to want to see it.
President Biden has been a godsend to stand-up comedians everywhere, providing them with countless jokes about how old he is, just as President Reagan once did (I’m old enough to remember).
Reagan worried everyone about his age, and there were signs he was already beginning to lose it by the time he left the White House. That was at the age of 77, which Biden was when he got his first Corvette. (There’s another Biden age joke for you.)
Still, I think I’m too young to join this oldster crowd and show these signs of brainfeeze.
They say doing puzzles is good for the brain, so I try to remember to do Wordle every day (I often forget). I never was any good at crosswords. My father died 20 years ago, but even at the end, he could finish more of the New York Times crossword on a bad day than I can on a good one.
I realize I’m trying to make him sound like a semi-genius, but just making myself come out like a dolt.
Dolts of the world, come out!
Wordle seems about my level. (Is that the game for dolts?)
The online puzzle reminds you how often you’ve been playing, with a scoreboard that shows the length of your current winning streak. This has become my remembering-to-play-Wordle streak.
Also good for warding off dementia is walking and, uh… eating well?
Actually, there’s not a whole lot you can do. There aren’t any pills you can take or injections to suffer. It’s scary.
But it could be I just have this anomia thing. I just worry I’ve used up all my memory (512 GB?) on remembering arcane facts, like who directed What Price, Hollywood? (It was George Cukor.) In what year? (1932). Who starred in it? (Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman).
I’ve always been a good speller, and I usually know where I’ve parked my car.
I know most of the names and dates of the kings and queens of England, from Henry VIII right up to the old geezer who’s getting crowned next month.
Yes, useless things like that.
In any case, I’ll try to keep pumping out articles like this. I think it’s good for me, and keeps the old noggin working. Let me know if I get anything wrong.
They say that to err is human, to forget, divine.
At least I think they say that. Anyway, they say something like that.
I’ll look it up.
As far as he can remember, J.B. Miller is an American writer living in England, and to the best of his recollection is the author of My Life in Action Painting and The Satanic Nurses and Other Literary Parodies.