Tuesday, November 6, 2007


November 5, 2007, all evening long: Cody and I have our dumbest fight to date. Here's how it happened:
Jen [enters the apartment]: Hi, I'm home. [Looks down to take off her shoes.] Hey, looks like somebody vacuumed. [Is about to express gratitude, but]
Cody [in the kitchen]: What?
Jen: You vacuumed. It looks nice [it actually doesn't, but whatever. It's clean.]
Cody: No, I didn't.
[The two quickly descend into madness.]
Jen: Yes, you did. Look at these tracks.
Cody: It looks like it always does.
[There are vacuum tracks that stop just before the pile of books Jen put against a wall on Saturday, the ironing board which she set up Sunday night, etc.]
Jen [growing incredulous]: You vacuumed!
Cody [exasperated]: Do you really think I would vacuum and not remember it?
Jen [thinking of countless events that are now long forgotten for Cody]: Yes!!! [sighs] Okay, how was your day?

This continued, off and on, for the rest of the evening. You could tell where he vacuumed in the bedroom, too, but he has no memory of it and for some reason presents this as proof that he did not vacuum the apartment. There is no reasoning with him. The man simply has no memory. When he is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (next week, maybe?), people are going to think I'm a complete idiot for not noticing. I can see the doctors now:

Doctor [condescendingly] : "Ma'am, didn't you think some of his behavior was odd? The aimless wandering? Cooking with no pants? Not remembering details or whole events of the day before? Buying one item over and over at the store because he couldn't remember he had it at home? The complete inability to remember if he'd seen a movie with you, or if it was with his twin brother?"
Me [blankly, yet with some disgust and frustration]: What is your point?

I've even thought of a list of reasons/excuses why I'll completely miss it if he ever really does have a serious problem:
  • My parents don't have the best memories, and rely on various lists and planners. My dad once wrote the wrong nickname on my birthday card. That was awkward. I was in college before I realized it was unusual to blurt out something you just remembered from a conversation two days earlier.
  • The sibling closest in age to me has ADHD. She has given me more examples of randomness, blanking out on the most common things, and a really spotty memory than I could ever really need. On a more positive note, this is usually pretty entertaining, too. She cannot remember the title and artist of any song unless you [say it with me] tell her "how it goes." As a result, I have sang or hummed literally hundreds of songs in public until she stops me with, "Oh yeah! I love/hate/remember that one." It's typically only embarrassing if we're doing this over the phone. I cannot tell you how many times she's tried to tell me a story about something that happened the day before when I stop her and say, "I know, I was there, too." and she'd reply, "That was you?" I remember the first time Cody did this. He tried to tell me a story I'd told him that morning. I thought I was going to put my head through the wall. Mercifully, our younger two siblings have eerily thorough and accurate memories.
  • In college, I inadvertently befriended only people who would not pay attention to something unless their lives depended on it. Sometimes not even then. Homework? Something shiny? I think you know how this is going to end.
  • In college, I also dated a nice guy with a memory of about 5 minutes. Of course he had ADD. He could've been the poster child for it. This was never more annoying than the time he made a mixed CD for (entitled ''Mix 1." If he had made me any others beside that one, they would've all been labeled "Mix 1." His CD case was full of burned CDs that he already owned and mixed CDS that he'd scribbled "Mix 1" on.) for me and when I asked him why he put a particular song on there, he said, "Because, when we went to the talent show, [guy we went to school with] and his band played it and you loved it." I had to remind him that when the school talent show was being held, we were not dating each other. It actually took me quite a while to remind/convince him that during this time we were broken up and he was actually seeing [stupid freshman that I hate to speak badly of now that she's dead]. Once he did remember, he looked a little sheepish, but then shrugged it off and said, "Oh well, it's a good song. You may as well enjoy it. Let's never talk about this again." To this day, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Honeybee" still makes me feel a little resentful whenever I hear it.
  • I don't pay attention to things I don't want to. This may seem like a stupid excuse, but it comes in pretty handy when you're surrounded by people who can't remember the name of your first boyfriend when you've only had two, tell you stories you've already told them, forget your birthday, forget to buy presents for a twin's birthday (true story), or why you're acting more subdued than normal. Directing your attention to something else can be a real preserver of sanity.
There you have it. These are my excuses/reasons/alibis for when it is discovered that Cody has Alzheimer's/ a brain tumor/an alien living in his body.

And one last time: He vacuumed! He really, really did.

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