Getting Older… Or Younger

…it’s hard to tell. I remember doing absent-minded things as a school boy.

  • Forgetting to bring my trombone on band days.
  • Somehow winding up with the wrong pair of boots to walk home.
  • Walking 3/4 mile to the Radio Shack at Har Mar Mall, then not remembering why I went there in the first place.

Off and on, these sort of absent-minded things happen throughout one’s normal life, or so I presume. I’m not the only one I know with such anecdotes which seem only slightly more frequent in early or late life.

Clearly, though, I’m late in life; so let’s talk about that.

Every weekday morning, after I get dressed, I grab my money clip, phone, RFID key-card for work, sometimes my watch… and finish my final assembly before heading upstairs to gather whatever might be my breakfast and/or lunch to put in my work bag. Invariably, I’ve forgotten to bring my work bag in from the car the afternoon prior, so it’s part of my routine to curse @ myself and grumble as I go out to the garage to get it.

KeyCardRetractorStringThingy.jpgBut the RFID key-card; I always clip the retractor-string-thingy onto a right-hand belt-loop… the between my zipper and my right front pocket. String always plays out to the right. Always.

This morning, I distinctly remember putting it on and feeling something was weird about it. Like it was pointed left instead of right, and suddenly I couldn’t remember if it was the usual thing or not (partly because I wasn’t giving the thought much energy in the first place). Briefly perplexed – not even for a half second – and then off I went to the next thing.

I grab breakfast, grumble my way to the garage and back to retrieve my forgotten work bag, dump my crap in the bag and head to the car. Where are my keys? Go back inside. No keys there. Go back to car. Keys were in my work bag in the back seat, having dumped everything from my hands into the bag. Derp!

By the time I get to the turn for my office 32 miles later, I’ve decided I don’t want to eat what I’ve got in my bag for breakfast – go an extra quarter-mile instead to McD’s. Then back at the office, with McD’s bag in my teeth, coffee in one hand, work bag in the other, I’m fumbling for the RFID key-card on my right hip. Can’t find it.

Back to the car, set coffee on roof, work bag in back seat, shove McD’s bag in work bag, start looking for key-card, and this is when I remember I’m certain that I put it on this morning. I must have, because I remember having had that weird hesitation about it being on pointed the wrong way. I check my hip again, wondering if I only missed it by an inch when I felt for it in the dark. Nope, it’s nowhere on my right belt-loop.

Oh no, I’d put it on backwards (i.e. pointed left instead of pointed right), and now that means that some combination of moves with jacket, seat-belt, getting in, out, in the car, it’s popped off somewhere. Going to have to get it replaced; it’s probably a $50 charge or something. Dang it!

Oh well, at least there are three co-workers already at the office, surely one of them is online on Skype by now, and I can ask them to let me in. Pinged two of them, but eventually I got in, and reheated my now-tepid breakfast in the microwave. Finishing breakfast and preparing to login to the various tools and services to start my workday, I reach down with both hands to grasp my chair seat to lift-and-re-position, and in so doing, my hand grazes something smoother than my wool slacks. What?!

It’s my key-card!

On my left hip. Pointed left. From the left belt-loop. What th… well isn’t that just something I might do in grade-school… or the nursing home?

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