If some of you, at least, are like me, you suffer from what some call “C.R. S. Syndrome.” C. R. S. stands for “Can’t Remember…Stuff), and I have it bad. I think I always had. I remember several teachers in elementary school that I would make a fine absent-minded professor but for the fact I was in fourth grade. I just couldn’t help it.
As I think about my life, I realize that much of what I do during a typical day is devoted to helping me make sure I remember what I need to remember. In pressure situations I have checklists and lists of checklists… which I then lose. I put things that have to go someplace by the front door. Sometimes I put them in the car so I’ll know they will go where I am going, and maybe end up at their destination. Sometimes I put them on the car roof and, forgetting they’re there, drive off with papers or sticks of wood or a plastic pitcher flying away. I console myself with the thought that I never (as did one absent-minded parent) put a baby in a safety seat on the roof of a car and drove off. People driving along beside him tried in every way they think of to tell him that he had a baby in a carrier on his car roof and did not succeed for several miles. Luckily, the baby was not harmed.
Like many people, I misplace certain important household objects, like the TV/ VCR (anyone still have one of those like me?)/DVD/cable box remote. If you’re like me, you’ll spend more time looking for the remote than walking over and turning the whatever on manually. Then there are misplaced eyeglasses and thereby hangs a tale. I misplace mine with alarming frequency (sometimes on top of my head) but am not too hard on myself: they are clear and made of glass (duh) and hard to see.
I know some people who buy 6 or 8 pairs of drug store reading glasses and leave pair in each room. Nice idea, but if I tried it, they’d all end up in the same room.
Recently I misplaced my year-old bifocals. And I mean misplaced them. I looked everywhere I could think of for two weeks and no bifocals. It was as if they had disappeared off the face of the earth. I distinctly remembered having them on while I talked on the phone but past that, no clue. Now, my vision insurance covers (partially) lenses every year and frames every two years. I don’t know why there is a difference; I just know that I sit on my glasses and bend the frames ( all too frequently) far more often than I break the lenses (never).
So, I decided it was time to replace my lost glasses and took myself to Prince William Eye Associates, a great practice right there on Centreville Road not far from my house. The nice people there measured me for new frames and new lenses based on my prescription on file. I put the order in, paid (they gave me discounts equivalent to my vision insurance), got in my car and pulled out on Centreville Road on my way to Bloom. As sometimes happens around here, someone decided to pull out in front of me leaving so little space I had to cram on the brakes of the big Impala with all the strength I had. As the car rapidly decelerated, something the size of pair of eyeglasses slid out from under the driver’s seat. It was my missing glasses. That was where they had been all that time. I was happy to see them (and to see through them) and didn’t cancel the order for the new specs since they had progressive lenses which are useful for computer work.
So, I unconsciously put my glasses somewhere and just as unconsciously found them. That has a symmetry that I like. And I didn’t make a spectacle out of myself doing it.
Some more additions to the Honor Roll of teachers:
The late Margaret Hunt, piano teacher and natural force for music in this area. I described her memorial service in the August 15th blog, “A Series of Fortunate Events.”
The music teachers at the Manassas Baptist Church School of Music do a wonderful job of teaching people of all ages instruments ranging from French horn to guitar.
And there’s Sheila Lamb, teacher, librarian, former park ranger, and writer who just published her first book, Once a Goddess, now available in a Kindle edition on Amazon.com but soon to be published in a traditional format.