Sunday, October 18, 2009

I married a younger man—just not young enough

My husband is younger, but just by a few years. That puts him in the same decade of life as I am. And it means that when we’re watching an old movie, and I ask, “Who’s that actress again?” he usually answers, “It’s What’s-Her-Name.” And there we sit, neither one of us able to conjure up even a first initial as a guide. If we’re lucky, he or I may shout it out a half-hour or so later. But most times, the mystery ends when he looks it up on his iTouch.

Then there are the crossword puzzles. I love doing them, and I’ve even been tackling the New York Times Sunday puzzles lately. But more often than I’d like to admit, a word sits on the tip of my frontal lobes but just won’t work its way down into my hand and out the ballpoint pen I'm clutching. After several tries, I’ll admit defeat and ask my spouse for help. Nine times out of ten, he's sure he knows it but just can’t get it out of the recesses of his brain either.

So it appears that his relative youth is of no use to me in these trivial pursuits. Or is it? Would I feel better if he glibly spouted the actress’s name or leaned over and wrote the elusive puzzle word in the squares? Absolutely not. If he did that, I would probably conclude that my lapses were a sign of encroaching memory loss—the A word. Instead, we can laugh together at the toll age takes on our storehouse of memories. Then I think to myself: If someone younger than I can’t answer these questions quickly either, I must be OK. And we’re in this together.


  1. Ah, that loss-of-word syndrome. It's even more "fun" when you're a writing tutor (like I am) and you say to your student, "that isn't a . . ." and your mind goes completely blank. And the student, five weeks in this country says, "Do you mean a noun?"

    Funny stuff in this entry! Although, we know how not funny the subject can be.

  2. Thank goodness we all can relate. And it's especially gratifying when the really younger people have these lapses. (But maybe in their case it's because they're working 50 hours a week and chauffering kids around.)