I am writing this on the family p.c. Why, you ask, would I be writing on a big, clunky computer when I have a nice, new laptop I have finally grown accustomed to and even like after weeks of learning how to live without the track ball thing on my old Tribune laptop?
The answer is that for the second time in the last month, I left my brand-new power cord to my brand-new laptop in a press box, this time at U.S. Cellular Field after the White Sox game last night. Once again, I got away with it because it was found and I will get it back. But this time, God decided I wasn’t going to get away with it quite so easily and I discovered I have no battery power on my laptop.
So there was that to mope about today, along with the phone call from a woman asking if I wanted to subscribe to the Tribune with the pitch: “We’ve made some great changes to the paper recently we think you’ll like.” I guaranteed her that I didn’t like the changes and then I sulked about this continued forgetfulness that would be funny if I wasn’t reasonably sure, given my gene pool, that this portends some approaching form of dementia.
Two weeks ago, I left the same power cord in the Wrigley Field press box. And a couple months before that, I left a brand-new (it’s always brand-new) set of noise cancelling headphones in a large black case with a brand-new micro-cassette recorder also inside the case, in the press room at the United Center after a Bulls game.
I’m thinking of driving to Soldier Field tomorrow and leaving something valuable there, just to get it over with.
I didn’t get the headphones back right away. In fact, after two weeks, I was sure they were gone and I had concluded that the cleaning crew had stolen them, and that all people were inherently bad and dishonest and evil. Then a few weeks later, it popped up in the possession of Blackhawks’ personnel, who were given the headphones by the nice, responsible cleaning crew and had been kind enough to put it in their office for safekeeping until the unfortunate knucklehead who forgot them thought of contacting the other team that inhabits the United Center.
My brother Barry, he of the same gene pool, and I have a theory for all of this forgetfulness. We have decided that the more you try to remember something, the larger the chance that you will then forget it.
It works this way: If someone were to tell you that you had to bring a special package with you to work tomorrow or else you will be fired, you would tell yourself that this is VERY important. Then you would put the package by the front door. Then you would tell yourself again that you must not forget it. And then you would forget it.
Why is this? Our theory, if you’re still interested, is that it’s because you have done your job by reminding yourself and by putting it by the front door. It’s so important that you could not possibly forget it. And you have now taken yourself off the hook and ensured you will without question forget it.
After forgetting my power cord at Wrigley, NO WAY could it possibly happen again. So I was VERY careful the next few times, going through an exaggerated checklist each time I left a game: Be sure to wrap up the power cord. Check. Put it in computer bag. Check. Is it really in there? Check. Now look back at work area and make sure it’s not there as I walk out. Check.
I did this once, twice, realized I was treating myself like a deranged three-year-old and stopped. Of course, this would not happen again. So I took myself off the hook. And it happened again.
Pretty good theory, huh? Beats the alternative, too.
I can forget anything. When I was pregnant with each child and even now, I still have the nightmare that I forgot to feed my baby or put them in the car. Now that they’re 11 and 14, it’s on them to make sure I don’t forget to feed them or put them in the car. But it still haunts me.
It makes me feel slightly better that when I just asked my family for a recent example of forgetting Alec somewhere, no one could remember the particulars. So I’m reasonably sure this is one thing he won’t be able to blame on me in future therapy sessions.
But I’m also thinking now that instead of writing about my power cord, I had some other, stunningly clever blog in mind for today. If only I could remember it.