Tuesday, June 15, 2010


So lately I've developed this new personality quirk.  It's not something I'm proud of...like my fascination with reality shows about the morbidly obese, or my lack of self-control when inside a Bath and Body Works store.


Seriously.  Total.  Scatterbrain.

It's gotten so bad I am starting to think that maybe I have a problem.  A condition, like asthma or hemorrhoids, and without proper attention and treatment, my condition is only going to get worse, until eventually I'll be forgetting to put in my contacts or put on my pants in the morning.  Soon people in my subdivision will be wondering why a squinty-eyed, half-naked woman is in the driveway, screaming at the neighbor's cat to get back in the house and clean up his Matchbox cars Right Now.

It hasn't gotten to that point yet.  Right now my Scatterbrain Syndrome has manifested itself in smaller, more innocuous ways.  For example, the other day I drove my children to the grocery store, did some food-shopping, made it out with the dog food and coffee creamer I was supposed to buy (and the forty-bajillion things I wasn't), and even the kids made it through the excursion with minimal protest (probably because their mouths were stuffed full of Free Cookie, Free Slice Of Deli Cheese, Old Goldfish From The Crumpled Package In The Diaper Bag, Really Old Goldfish From The Bottom Of Said Diaper Bag, and finally New Goldfish From Off The Store Shelf).

When I returned to my car and circled around back to open the tailgate, I saw my iPhone sitting on my bumper.

What the.... At first I thought maybe I'd dropped it in the parking lot and some kind, sympathetic stranger saw me do this and returned my phone to my car because he couldn't catch up to me inside the store (since I'm such a speedy, efficient shopper....Wow....I can't even type that with a straight face).

But I knew this wasn't the case.  I knew that the last time I'd seen this phone was in fact at my house, in my garage, as I prepared the kids for our excursion to our local Publix supermarket.  But even this realization didn't bring the memory of me misplacing my phone back in some epic flood of recollection.  I vaguely remembered holding my phone as I tried to corral the kids inside so we could hurry up and go to the store.  I remembered Rollie squealing as he zipped past on his tricycle, yelling for me to watch his new trick (pedaling his now too-small tricycle with one leg like some injured circus clown).  I remembered Elsa making a beeline for our flower bed so she could pick our newly planted annuals and bring one to me, proud as a cat delivering a freshly mutilated field mouse.  And I remembered threatening both of them with the refusal to allow them their Free Publix Cookie if they didn't get into the car immediately.

But I what I don't remember is placing my phone on my bumper as I directed Rollie and Elsa into the car, removed Elsa's shoes so she wouldn't bite them on the drive, handed them both an assortment of books and toys to keep them occupied for our three-minute journey, buckled them in place and shut their respective doors.  As I slid into the driver's seat, I had the sense that I was forgetting something, a nebulous-yet-ever-present feeling that has been following me like an annoying shadow ever since I had kids.  But instead of getting back out of the car and doing the nine-point inspection to make sure I had all important and necessary items, I shrugged it all off, started the car and left.

Thank God I drive like a total grandma.  I don't speed.  I don't stop short.  I don't take corners, lay wheels, grind gears, perform California Stops or anything that could be considered Hot Rod-ing.  I've never even been pulled over (knock on corian).  This is probably why my iPhone made it down the street, through three right turns and a left, past a stop light and an immaculate parking job without becoming so much plastic road debris.

Still....the sight of my precious iPhone sitting on my bumper was sort of a wake-up text.  WTF U IDIOT!

Why why why am I turning into such a scatterbrain??  If it's not my phone I can't find, it's my keys, my wallet, my sunglasses, the glass of water I just poured myself...good thing my kids are so vocal--surely I would lose them too if they weren't so freaking loud and whiny.  I just don't get it.  I set something down, and when I go to look for it five seconds later, it has vanished, teleported to another part of the house, buried itself in an unused pocket of my purse, or come to rest on the dusty bumper of my car.  Maddening, I tell you.

Jeff, ever the pragmatist, keeps instructing me to put things in the same spot every day.  That way I'll always have a place to put them when I'm done, and I'll always be able to find them again.  This approach certainly makes sense.  Put your keys in your purse when you're finished using them, so the next time you need them, you'll know where they are.  Sure.  Great.  Whenever I pull into my garage I should just drop my keys into my purse, diaper bag, beach bag, or whatever other bag happens to be riding shotgun at the time.  Problem solved.

The thing is, whenever I'm pulling into the garage, my kids are either in the middle of a screaming contest, or they're both asleep and I'm mentally strategizing how to transport them inside, along with the ten million other things that also need to be brought into the house.  Usually I don't have the presence of mind to focus on what I'm doing with my hands.  Somehow my car engine is turned off and my keys are removed, but I never remember doing those things.  My keys are shoved wherever is most convenient at the time--my pocket, my purse, Elsa's grabby little fingers--so I can free up my hands and brain cells for some more pressing task, like delivering forty pounds of groceries inside the house before everything thaws, the dog squeezes out of the garage door and runs away, or Rollie wets himself because despite his insistence to the contrary before we left the store, he really has to go pee-pee.

So yes, I am blaming my eternal distractions on my scatterbrained-ness.  It's not that I forget where I put things, it's that I don't even really pay attention in the first place.  My darling children have officially taken up residence in what little of my brian cells aren't already occupied by all sorts of useful information I've hoarded over the years.  Yes, this means that I still know all the words to the songs from my sixth grade musical (Freedom Bound).  And I still know the clarinet fingerings to much of March Slav.  And I still know the phone number for my middle school crush.

I would test the number right now, but I can't seem to find my iPhone anywhere....

1 comment:

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