I was listening to Definitely Not the Opera on the radio on my way home from beautiful downtown Lindsay today, and their topic was the phenomenon of a word being on the tip of the tongue. This happens to me more frequently than to most people, I think. Something in my brain just doesn’t connect. I think sometimes I have knob and tube up there.
Once we were going out to a family dinner, and my sister-in-law called and asked me if I would bring my folding chairs. Happy to oblige, I sent Thing One down to the basement to get them. That is, I tried to send him down, but I couldn’t remember the word for those four-legged things we sit on. The word “chair”, for some reason, just wasn’t in my head any more.
Now, I can understand not remembering words like “dirigible” or “contemptuous”, but CHAIR? Pretty basic. It’s a handy, everyday word. Even the Amish make chairs. They’re kind of a staple.
Names are even worse, especially actors. Faces, I can recognize. Names, not at all.
All of this disappearing information invariably comes to me at one of two times. In the middle of the night, I might scream “Russell Johnson played the Professor on Gilligan’s Island!”. That’s probably why I sleep alone most of the time…
Or on the can. Often the only thing that will release those tricky tip o’ the tongues is a seat on the throne.
And it’s only getting worse with age. I worry that one day I will develop dementia of some kind, and forget even the people I know and love, and that faces, as well as names, will start to disappear from memory. I hope those people will remind me, in a way that restores that connection. Even so, we don’t know people when we’re first born, and we are loved just the same, so hopefully that will continue up until death.