I have a stunning confession to make. I’m one of those guys who has a hard time keeping up with things. You know… wallets, keys, and, sadly, sometimes even dates like, oh, I dunno, birthdays, anniversaries and whatnot. I come by it honestly. My parents both taught at the University of Tennessee and we all know how absentminded professors can be, no? I mean, my mom was famous for embarking upon house-wide searches for items so important that she’d…actually forget what they were before she found them.
Suffice it to say that I’ve inherited such absentmindedness. And lately the same affliction has befallen my wife. Guess what she’s blaming it on? Being married to me. She seems to think absentmindedness is contagious, like the flu or something. And she’s convinced that I’ve somehow passed it along to her.
And for now, I’m letting her believe that despite the fact that I know full well what’s really responsible for her sudden forgetfulness.
But it’s getting increasingly hard to remain silent. Because her capers are becoming more and more common. Which means I’m constantly catching heat for passing along this inconvenient condition to her.
But what she doesn’t realize is that it’s not me who’s responsible for passing it along, but rather one of my relatives. My unborn son to be exact. For the longer Caroline’s gone in her pregnancy, the worst her forgetfulness has gotten.
Now, it’s only fair to note that my wife is ordinarily an incredibly organized person. She begins packing for vacations a week in advance. She has a specific bin in which she always places her keys. Another spot for her oft-consulted calendar. She even writes down the items of her grocery list with the store layout in mind such that she’ll happen upon them in the order in which they appear on the list as she makes her way throughout the store via concentric circles, which grow ever smaller.
Yet lately, she’s begun to lose a little steam off of her organizational fastball. It started with little things. Like missed appointments. Lost documents. Then she suddenly started misplacing her keys. At first she accused me of losing them, as I had recently driven her vehicle. But when I reminded her that she was the last person who had driven, she wore a look of embarrassment. When I walked her to the garage and showed her that the keys were actually still in her ignition, the look of embarrassment morphed to one of mortification.
“It’s your fault,” she said. “I caught this from you.”
If one of us has, indeed, “caught” the other one’s habits, it’s me, my friends, who’s caught hers. Because since we’ve been married, I’ve become significantly better organized. And she’s always remained her incredibly organized self until…
this pregnancy. Which is why I know that to be the culprit and not her association with me. And as of the writing of this post, the wheels have officially fallen off. (Wheels which she likely can’t find, incidentally.) And the latest evidence is her cell phone, which she’s had a harder and harder time keeping track of. At first, the phone would be missing for minutes. Then hours.
Last time it was days. We turned the house upside down. Closets, basements, attics. No dice. Then we turned to automobiles, offices, and public haunts we frequent. Nothing. So we called relatives and friends, each of them turning their own quarters upside down in a vain attempt to track down Caroline’s missing phone. Nada.
All told, she was without it for three days. On that third day, I was surprised to receive a text from her while I was at work. I quickly dialed her number.
“Hey!” I exclaimed once she answered. “You found your phone.”
“Yep,” she said matter-of-factly.
“That’s fantastic. Where was it?”
“In one of my shoes.”
“Oh,” I replied suddenly understanding how it came to be lost. “I guess one of the triplets must have taken it unbeknownst to you and stuck it in your shoe.”
“Nope,” she said. “I did it. When I was coming home from my pedicure the other day, I had my hands full and didn’t have any pockets, so I stuck my phone in one of the shoes I was carrying. I must have forgotten all about it.”
“Oh,” I answered somewhat hesitantly, unsure of what to say next. An awkward silenced ensued.
“It’s your fault, you know,” she replied.
“Yes, honey. I know. And what’s more, I’m sorry.”
Has pregnancy made you forgetful?