Friday, August 24, 2012

Bad Memory Can Be Compensated For With A Few Small Tricks

Dear Tazi:

I have a horrible habit of losing things. Car keys, sunglasses, my wallet – even my car at the mall! I usually manage to find whatever I am missing, and it is generally in the strangest places (sunglasses in the freezer; my wallet in the glove compartment of the car; my car keys in the linen closet).

My most recent loss is the dearest of all. I have misplaced my wedding and engagement rings, and I cannot find them anywhere! I have checked all of the usual places, but to no avail. I remember taking it off to wash the dishes, so I took apart the pipes to make certain it had not gone down the drain (it did not). I checked the dish towel on the counter, but my ring was not wrapped in that; I checked the laundry hamper but it was not there, either. My husband has asked me why I am not wearing my rings, and I told him my fingers are swollen from the humidity (I live in the Midwest and we are experiencing a brutal heat-wave). My excuse is plausible, so he has not asked any more questions, but I hate lying to my husband!

Tazi, do you have any suggestions on how to improve my memory; as well as any suggestions as to where I should look for my rings?

Snuggles to you,
Forgetful Frannie

Dear Forgetful Frannie:

Has it occurred to you that your husband may have already found your rings and is holding them, waiting for you to admit to him that you misplaced them? This could explain why your rings have seemingly disappeared into thin air. I appreciate the snuggles, so I will not chide you too harshly about lying to your spouse; no paw slaps for you, just a gentle nudge in the right direction. I suggest that you tell your husband the truth and search together for your missing rings. You may be surprised to find them in your husband’s sock drawer.

As for your problem with memory and the odd places your belongings finally show up, your problem is not an uncommon one. Some people’s brains are hard-wired differently, and to them it makes perfect sense to put the car keys in the freezer. Many of us (on more than one occasion) have accidentally thrown food in the trash can and put garbage in the refrigerator. This is an example of misfiring synapse that occurs when our brains are over-stimulated as we attempt to multi-task.

You ask for suggestions on how to improve your memory, and I unfortunately have none. Difficulties with the brain are notoriously difficult to solve. I can suggest that, when you lose something, you start your search for it by looking in all of the unusual places. Once you find your lost item, write down the location where you found it and post the note to your refrigerator door. If you lose things as often as you imply, you should have a nice sized list in no time at all and will be able to see if there is a pattern to your behavior. Do you frequently put the car keys in the freezer? If so, this should be the first place you look for them; ditto with other items that show a regular location pattern. In a short enough time you should be able to quickly find your misplaced items – with the exception of your car at the mall. I suggest you write down the section where your car is parked, and put the note where you will not lose it.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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