Don’t Remember, Don’t Recall

Numerous benefits are associated with aging. Just trying to convince myself.

Wine, whiskey and cigars, I’m told, improve with age if stored under appropriate conditions.

Antiques appreciate in value and the older, the better. Unless, of course, eBay killed the market for them.

Aging enhances wisdom and intellect, prompts better and more interesting questions, and everyone knows sunsets are prettier than sunrises.

But one thing is for sure: aging does not improve memory.

How often have you had one of those “blank” moments? The times when you want to call up a name and . . . can’t. Until 25 minutes later, when the information has itself aged to worthlessness.

You know the name. You’ve used it a million times. Maybe you’ve given lectures or written articles where you’ve cited the name. And despite vigorous repetition over years and years, even after a long dramatic pause you just can’t call the name forward.


It’s as though the memory chip has a scratch across which the “play” needle skips. And that’s enough of mixed techno-metaphors.

(The above thought arrived unexpectedly while walking back to the office from lunch. I had to stop, find a scrap of paper and record it. So I wouldn’t forget.)

Recently, during an important treadmill discussion at the gym, my neighbor and colleague in idiotic activities referenced a restaurant but could not remember its name. Nor could I.

A very popular and upscale establishment, it’s the kind of place one goes on special occasions. “Specialness,” one might think, would help to permanently install the name in ready-access memory.


Only through a series of gymnastic jumps of illogic did the name come to me. Not directly, which would have been much too easy. And only after completing the walk-to-nowhere, showering and shaving.

So there. Another sterling victory for the defective memory chip.

The title to this week’s blog is lifted from lyrics to a popular song. A song I cannot remember the title of or the recording artist.

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