I was taking a shower recently when a question struck me. It was the question that every man approaching his mid-thirties eventually asks himself, and it is an indication of his maturation, experiences, mortality, and where he is in his life:
“Um, did I already wash my hair?”
Yes. I was actually standing in my shower, water splashing on me, while I wracked my brain for several seconds trying to remember whether I had already shampooed. This is very frustrating, since I have to imagine that most people would recall something that happened only a few seconds prior. Apparently, I do not have this “gift”, so I had to play the part of Shower Detective, testing the crime scene and looking for clues:
First Test, Running My Fingers Through My Hair: Um, it felt like wet hair. Inconclusive.
Second Test, Looking on the Shower Floor for Drips of Spilt Shampoo: I found two pounds of body hair, three ancient shards of Dial, a mildew colony so developed it has its own navy, about a half pound of wet dog fur, but no shampoo. Inconclusive.
Third Test, Inspecting the Shampoo Bottle Cap: This tells me nothing. I knew it wouldn’t tell me anything. I have no idea what I was expecting to find there. Maybe a little sign that said, “Yes, you’ve already shampooed you moron”. Inconclusive.
So, I was forced to do what I pretty much knew I would have to do all along: shampoo my hair, perhaps again. I had no idea whether it was the first or second time. But at least it was going to be clean.
So what the heck is going on with my memory? Does this have to do with me reaching the age of 35? I had always thought memory loss was something that happened when you got old. (And I when I say “old”, I mean “way older than I am right now, even though I am not as young as some of you loyal readers, but I really don’t want to hear about that right now, so why don’t you just shut up?”) My memory should not be wreaking havoc with my life the way it has. I mean, here is another recent shining example of how it has affected my morning routine:
Day One Shower: I notice that I am almost out of “body wash” (whatever it is called—the liquid stuff that replaced soap), so I make a mental note to make sure to stop at the grocery store that night and pick some up.
Day Two Shower: I curse myself as I realize that I had forgotten to buy body wash the night before. I squeeze as much as possible out of the old bottle and tell myself to definitely stop that night to pick some up, because there is nothing left in this bottle.
Day Three Shower: I berate myself as I realize that my idiot brain had forgotten again to pick up body wash. I squeeze and squeeze the old bottle, mostly just making fart noises. I end up somehow showering with about two molecules of the liquid soap. I make a mental note to absolutely, positively, definitely go to the store tonight to pick some up. No one can forget something three days in a row.
Day Four Shower: Shower with Hartz flea and tick shampoo.
Even after my shower, my memory affects my routine. For example, sometimes I’ll be staring at myself in the mirror* after my shower when I will suddenly think to myself, “have I brushed my teeth already?” And I will have NO IDEA what the answer to that question is. This means I have to go through yet another search for clues (“Is the toothpaste out? Is my toothbrush wet? Does my mouth taste like a goat’s ass?”) before I can leave the house for work.
So, is there a solution to this problem? And, is it really a problem, or just a product of nature? Is this something I can deal with? And furthermore, what was I talking about again?
Oh yeah, my memory. I had another point to make here, but I forgot what it was.
*Never for more than 15 minutes. I’m not a complete narcissist. Okay, maybe 30 minutes. Alright, an hour tops!