I Forgot Everything.

I had all kinds of intentions on my day off Friday. I was going to cook my dinners for the week, clean, do laundry, pay some bills, do a little shopping with a gift card I’d had since God knows when, and apply for a new passport, now that I’ve apparently lost my existing passport just in time for me to travel. (The form requires you to tell the State Department when you lost your passport. Like, it wants a specific date. If I knew that, I could probably find it, but whatever. It also asks what efforts you’ve made to retrieve your passport. Seriously. And it’s a *required field. I actually wrote “searched home, vehicle and all belongings.” I felt like I was being chastised by my mother. I looked for it really hard!   -Did you search your car?  -Yes! Twice!  -Did you look through all your purses?   -Twice!   -Did you look in your work bag?  -A zillion times! Mom, I really tried!) 

Anyway, I had started to fill out the form online, but I had forgotten that you can’t apply for a passport online if you have one that’s currently valid, but lost/stolen. So I had to go to the post office.

I got in the car and headed off. And then I realized I’d forgotten my birth certificate.

Turned around. Went home. Retreived birth certificate. Went to post office. Was told that that particular post office was “booked” until August (I don’t know what this means) and that I would have to find another post office that could process my passport request.

Well, I was heading up to where I used to live to do some shopping anyway, so I’d just stop in at that post office (which is better than my current post office, in that it moves more quickly than an old man in a Buick on Sunday and provides more services than stamps and package delivery).

Alright! Off to do some shopping! It’s hot outside (it’s hot inside, come to that), and I need some barely-there-but-still-flattering comfy summer clothing. I have a gift card! Woot! Out of the post office parking lot, I headed to the expressway.


I forgot the damned gift card.


Turned around. Went home. Got the gift card.

While I’m there, might as well call the post office I’m heading to and just see if there’s something I need to do before I get there.

Yes. Schedule an appointment. You can’t just go into a post office all willy-nilly and ask for a passport. There’s a procedure. I’d forgotten this.

Scheduled appointment; noted appointment in alarm-ringing calendar section of phone, so I’d remember to go. Headed out the door to go shopping. Was locking the door when I remembered I’d put the gift card on the table when I called the post office. Unlocked the door, went in, got the stupid freaking gift card.

Went shopping, but I had forgotten to pay the bills and find out the new bank account balance before I left. Eh. Ballpark it. After my little excursion (where I forgot to save money – the gift card was good for one item; the other four I had to cover), I returned home to do my cooking for the week.  I made…

Crap, I forget what I made.

No, seriously, I just sat here for a minute, drumming my fingers on the keyboard, trying to remember the first thing I made.

Wait! Ribs. Ribs in the Crock Pot, since I don’t/can’t have a grill.

(God. I just ate them. I just ate them, and I forgot I made them.)

 …And baked chicken marinated in a sauce one of my coworkers insisted I try. Except I had forgotten to thaw the chicken until late the day before and it needed to marinate for 24 hours, so I got a late start on it. And then I made my Accidental Marinara. It’s what happened when I one day tried to fudge an Italian stew in the Crock Pot. It was not a stew. What it was, instead, was some kick-ass marinara and stew beef.

Of course, I forgot what all I put in it. And also I forgot to defrost the meat for it. Hooray for microwaves and the memory that comes from staring at one’s spice cabinet for a couple minutes and going, “Oh, yeah! I used that!”

I washed the dishes and knife and cutting board I’d used to make the marinara. Then I realized I still needed all of it, to make the tomato salad. Pulled it all back out, made the salad, washed it all again.

Then I remembered that I had forgotten to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer before I went shopping. Switched the load and baked a cake, for a luncheon I was invited to the next day.

But I forgot to look at the clock when I put it in the oven, so I had to guess what time it would be done.

The cleaning hadn’t been done in two weeks because I’d been out of town on my days off the week before, so I started cleaning, which began a flurry of forgetting that I’d left the cleanser in the kitchen, forgetting that I’d left the paper towels in the bathroom, forgetting where the hell I left the rubber gloves (as in, I took them off, I put them down, I did a thing, 20 seconds later I needed the gloves again and hell if I could remember where I had put them), forgetting that I’d meant to vacuum before I dusted.

Then I remembered I’d forgotten to make my bed. I had started, but then I got distracted by something else -I forget what- and hadn’t finished. Finishing the bed-making meant I forgot to finish cleaning the bathroom, so that, 20 minutes later when I had to pee, I found the bowl blue from the cleanser I’d poured in and left to sit.

What was most disturbing about this was how surprised I was by it.

(This was right about when I realized that it is not a distant future in which I find myself wandering around barefoot in the street, clad in a nightgown, completely unaware of my own name, but vaguely aware that it’s not my nightgown.)

Scrubbed the toilet, while noting that the tile floor desperately needed to be swept. Oh, wait! Cake’s done!

…I guess…?

Washed my hands and fetched the cake from the oven. It needed to cool in the Bundt pan for 20 minutes before I turned it out, so I set it on a cooling rack on the table.

Oops…. I had forgotten to water the plants outside (the ones I’m hell-bent on killing, apparently). I’d better do that now or I’ll forget again and they’ll be a lost cause. Out to the balcony, and a short conversation with a neighbor, out with her dog on the sidewalk below. Nipping the dead flower buds made me forget to go turn the cake out of the pan at the proper time. Fortunately, I remembered when I walked back in and saw it there. It came out perfectly, and I made the glaze for it and poured it on.

An hour later, I remembered I had meant to sweep the floor in the bathroom.

Finally, having done everything I set out to do, I could relax for a while until Jack arrived, after he was finished work. This was a celebration night of sorts; it was his last day at one of his two full-time jobs. He was feeling good. We toasted with drinks, talked a lot, watched some TV, and essentially forgot to go to bed. We were up til the sky began to lighten.

Two and a half hours after I finally went to sleep, my body forgot it was supposed to remain in that restful condition for a while. So I was awake, and so was the cat, who started howling at me about her breakfast literally as soon as she saw my eyes open. Instead of ignoring her as I usually do, I got up so she wouldn’t wake Jack with her caterwauling and I could go back to bed.

When Jack left and I started to prepare for my workday, I turned to find the cake sitting covered on the table.

I had totally forgotten about the luncheon. Missed it completely.


I’d better schedule this entry to post tomorrow morning instead of relying on myself to remember what a laptop is for.


16 thoughts on “I Forgot Everything.

  1. I was going to post that very same comment but forgot what I wanted to say. Thanks for reminding me. I get so irritated with myself….especially the having to constantly search for things I just had in my hand.

    • I do that ALL the time. Constantly. And somehow, on a regular basis, whatever it was that I just had in my hand has completely disappeared. Sometimes I never find it. This is especially true with pens.

      • I had a concussion a couple of years ago and that REALLY exacerbated the forgetfulness for a while. It would have been funny if it weren’t so danged aggravating. Your day sounds like a typical one of mine.

      • Well then you have a good excuse. I have no such explanation. I used to think my mom was scatterbrained even at my age because she had three kids six and under at the time. (She was four years younger than me when she panicked, looking for my two-year-old sister, demanding to know whether I could see her, and it took a while to get her to let me interrupt her so I could tell her she was holding the child in question.) But I don’t have kids… so now I’m worried.

  2. Well, I think what frustrates me in addition is that my husband has an extremely magnificent memory. He never forgets to do things, appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, vacations we took years ago. He can spout off dates and details that just make me want to throttle him sometimes. On the other hand, it is handy to have his memory around when mine is faltering. We are the same age, so of course I can’t blame age alone on the phenomena.

  3. I’m actually more impressed with how much you attempted to get done in one day… I was lucky today to get to the gym and walk the dog. I also managed to get coffee! And write a blog entry!

    Your commitment to checking things off the… what was it called?… the to-do list? Very impressive!!!

    • Oh, bless you. That’s so kind. I think writing it at length just made it look like a lot. I’m pretty sure the to-do list was really just
      Make cake

      And to be honest, the Passport? thing is just a side effect of having a PO Box and therefore having to go to the post office to get my mail… which I often forget to do for two weeks at a time.

  4. I so love this post – I so love these comments – I so love not being the only one.

    I am also particularly bad about setting things down and not noticing. This used to happen at work all the time. It’s just that you’re usually doing 5 things at once. Whatever is in your hand is translated by your mind into an extension of the hand. You don’t realize there’s anything there, then you set it down to use the hand without realizing you’ve done that. It doesn’t register in your mind as a separate object until you need that object again. By then it’s way too late.

    It got so bad with me that I had to make a special point to say to myself (and whoever was with me), “there is something in my hand that I don’t want to set down and lose.” You do that enough times, however ridiculous it feels and sounds, and eventually you (nearly) kick yourself of the habit. After a while you start paying attention to the fact that you just set something down and you will need to retrieve that item later.

    • Oh, you’re definitely not the only one. I understand the psychological explanation for why I put things down and 20 seconds later can’t remember where I put them (this is how the remote winds up in the bathroom and the keys wind up in the refrigerator), but I don’t understand how some things just disappear entirely, never to be found again. For this, I often blame the ghost of my grandmother.

  5. I feel stressed now. I need to slow down, take a deep breath and just think for a moment.
    I’m just thinking about you post.
    I’m almost calm and ready to comment……………..
    Ok, wow! Your thoughts poured out into that post. I am just like you – I have a terrible memory for things in the short term. It’s awful. I can pick something up, put it down and forget all about it. I am ALWAYS losing things at school. My teaching assistants are used to me now. They have to be.
    I loved your comment about getting something for the summer. Loving your description of the clothing.
    Oh, and by the way – just ‘what’ other services do the Post Office perfom or provide? They sound very special indeed.
    …….Now what was I meant to be doing before I replied to your post?

  6. Oddly enough, I had to check to see if I had already commented or not. I couldn’t remember. Read your post earlier and got disrupted.
    I think Observationalist had a good point. You are one busy person. With all that, I guess things might get slipped by. I am finding that I love the apps on my Iphone that let me set reminders. Probably not helping strengthen my memory but things are getting done.

    • I do use the excuse that I have too many things on my mind, but I tend to think that’s a cop-out. I mean my life is really pretty unexciting right now; I feel like it’s a false bill of goods to say I have too much on my mind. I try to remedy some of this by focusing on only doing one thing at a time, but somehow that doesn’t work. I can’t only do laundry and just sit there, staring at the washer and dryer, until it’s done. Who does that?

      PS I had to check to see if I had replied to you or not.

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