That’s what my mother used to call me growing up. The Absentminded Professor. My father, on the other hand, would simply tell me: “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t screwed on.” And, in all fairness, it was hard to argue. I’ve been a habitual forgetter for as long as I can remember.
Names, faces, birthdays – I’m not so good with. On the other, neither am I good with every day words that slip my mind, so there will be instances when I’ll refer to “the thing” or “the whatsis” to which Akemi will invariably reply: “The what?”. Just the other day, I mistakenly referred to broccoli as cauliflower. “It’s not cauliflower,”Akemi corrected me. And then “What is it?” “Broccoli,”I replied – and then realized she was testing me.
Which led me to test myself late last night after spending sometime online researching memory decline and ominous brain-related ailments. Was I feeling depressed lately? No. Was there a history of cognitive impairment or neurodegenerative diseases in my family? No. Is your memory getting worse? No. I don’t think so. Maybe? I can’t remember.
I didn’t flag any early warning signs (I’ve never left the stove on or gotten lost coming home) but, just in case, I decided to take this convenient 25 minute test brain health assessment: https://www.cogniciti.com I paired symbols (very well), put names to faces (fairly well), and identified patterns (well enough). My results placed me in the 85th percentile. Not bad. But much better this morning when I made Akemi take the same test and she managed only 80%. She claims the language tripped her up, but that didn’t stop me from imagining her, an addled octogenarian, eventually having to rely on 100 year old me to remember the dog’s meds, turn off the stove, and point out that the broccoli she picked up at Safeway is, in fact, cauliflower.
Fact is, I’ve always had a bad memory. As old whatsisname once said: “The true art of memory is something something.”