If memories last a lifetime, why can’t we find our keys?

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By JIM MULLENaaron_bio_pic
Palms West Monthly
Posted Sept. 4, 2018

Where are my keys? This is the second time in a year I’ve lost them.

The first time was at the Wasting Another Day Golf Course, where all the retired guys play. I was the designated driver that day, and the four of us ended up standing outside my car with our clubs – waiting for me to dig my keys out of my bag, open the car and turn on the air conditioning. Except my keys were no longer in my bag.

I had answered a very important phone call on the 15th hole, and must have pulled out my keys at the same time and dropped them. The 15th hole is, naturally, the farthest hole from the clubhouse. Harvey and Andy grabbed a cart and went off on a search. Twenty minutes later, they came back empty-handed.

“What was so important that you had to answer the phone?”

“It was from my doctor’s office.”

“Scheduling a brain transplant?”

“Are you kidding?” jumped in Andy. “A brain would reject him.”

“Are you two finished?”

“We’re just getting started. We’re not the ones that lost our keys.”

“That’s right, I forgot. While I was losing my keys, you guys were losing golf balls. There was that one in the marsh on four, the other one on …”

“That’s not the same thing at all.”

“… twelve, and two on 14. Funny, my memory seems perfect now.”

I called Sue to see if she’d drive out to the golf course with my extra set of keys. She was no happier than Harvey and Andy were about it.

“How is it possible to lose all your keys? Your key-ring is the size of a softball. You’d think you’d notice if something like that went missing. Why don’t you just wait there for someone to find them and turn them in?”

“I’m sure they will. Sometime next week, maybe. What are you doing that’s so important you can’t drive out here with my extra keys?”

“I was enjoying some ‘me’ time.”

“Without me? How is that possible?”

“It’s a puzzlement.”

“So when can you get here?”

“I’m thinking Thursday.” This was a Tuesday.

“I know it’s an imposition, but remember, ‘For better or worse.’”

“When does the ‘better’ part start?”

For all that, she showed up a half-hour later with the extra keys. She threw them at me through the open window of her moving car.

“At least she slowed down a little,” said Andy. “That’s always a good sign.”

And then I lost them again last week. I have no idea where my keys are. I didn’t play golf this week, so I knew where they weren’t. If I don’t find them soon, I’ll have to get them replaced, which doesn’t come cheap. The car key alone will cost $330 at the dealer’s.

When you get to be my age and you forget something, you automatically wonder if something’s wrong. A teenager who “forgets” to do his homework five times out of 10 never thinks he’s losing his memory. It’s only after you get to be a certain age that you wonder, “Is this the first step? How long before I forget where I live?”

We all forget things; it’s just that we add a layer of meaning to it with age. I could never remember poems or phone numbers when I was young, so why do I think I should be able to do it now? Besides, my cellphone does all that for me. There’s even a thing you can attach to your keys, and the cellphone will tell you where they are.

But I forgot to buy it.

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