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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

My brain is stupid. It is much stupider than I am, because I know I am not a stupid person, it’s just that my stupid brain keeps getting in the way no matter how I try to manage it.

I don’t even know where to start.

Yesterday I was going to make rice and beans for dinner so the plan was I’d get up and put the beans on to cook in the morning and then let them sit there for the rest of the day.

Did I?

Of course not.

I completely forgot, so by 5:00 when I wanted to make dinner there was definitely no bean happening.

Fine, so I decided to make them today.

This morning I got up and put the beans on then left and went to meet my friend Jennifer in town. Two hours later Ralph texts me.

The beans are burnt.

Of course they’re burnt, they probably evaporated and sat there cooking and getting baked into the bottom of the pan until he noticed something smelled weird and went to look.

So I tried to play it off like oh, I guess I misjudged the amount of water.

He says I should have told him to check, he would have made sure they had enough water.

I know he would have. But that would have required me to remember to ask him, at which point I had to admit that I forgot to ask him so really it had nothing to do with the water and everything to do with my brain.

Jennifer says it’s menopause brain, and I’m going to believe her because it’s all I’ve got.

The thing is, it’s not like I forgot. It’s like the beans never existed in the first place. If Ralph had taken them off the stove and thrown them in the garbage without telling me, a month would have passed before I would have suddenly wondered wait a second, didn’t I cook beans?

So we ate burnt beans for dinner tonight because what was the point of trying to cook something else? I only would have forgotten that, too.

But wait, it gets better.

I put the rice on.

I bet you can see where this is going. I put the rice on and knew – KNEW – that it was going to boil over the second I turned my back. So I repeated rice rice rice rice rice about a billion times except I was so busy thinking about rice that I stopped paying attention to the rice and instead paid attention to saying it in my brain.

I put the chicken in the oven then sat on the couch.

And 60 seconds later Ralph is waving at the stove because the rice is boiling over all over the place.

So we had dry rice and burnt beans for dinner. And I’m still married.

It’s more than forgetting. It’s more than not paying attention. I try REALLY HARD to pay attention. I go over every detail in my head and check off the little boxes but somehow everything seems to implode.

I get distracted like an ADHD squirrel.

A few days ago I made myself a Ramos Gin Fizz and somehow did it without adding the actual gin.

In New Orleans, I left my curling iron plugged in while we went out, and returned to the hotel room to find it had eaten a container of moisturizer. Do you know that at home whenever I do my hair, say if we’re going out to dinner at Cork & Cow and I want to look human, I take an ACTUAL PHOTO of the curling iron after I unplug it because that’s the only way I won’t fly into a panic an hour later and wonder if I left it on? I have been doing this for years, ever since the last time I forgot to unplug it to less than stellar results. It’s become a running joke that Ralph will randomly ask me if I unplugged the curling iron. For whatever reason, my brain turned off in New Orleans and I failed to perform this simple preemptory ritual.

Yesterday, though. Yesterday was really the best.

We were going to work at the cigar shop. We worked there last week and I packed up all my stuff, got in the car, and halfway there Ralph asks me if I brought the cigars. Nope. Forgot them. Did I bring the lighter? Nope. Didn’t think of it. Do I have the key for our locker so we can get cigars out of it? Absolutely not, why would I?

So yesterday I was determined to be ORGANIZED. I made us lunch and packed it in our little cooler, got my laptop and assorted chargers, got cigars, the lighter AND the locker key. I also made a couple of cocktails in mason jars to give to one of the owners because it’s what we do. He especially likes my Vieux Carré. To date I have not left any ingredients out, but there’s still time.

Ticked off all the mental boxes.

Ralph and I walk downstairs and I realize… I left my phone on the kitchen counter. Because of course I did.

So I put my backpack in the car, and for whatever reason put the cooler not in the car. Instead, I put the cooler on the ground next to the car, shut the door and told Ralph I was running upstairs to get my phone.

I was pretty irritated with myself for forgetting it because really, how hard is it to remember the one thing that is GLUED TO MY HAND pretty much 24/7?

Run upstairs. Run downstairs. Find Ralph standing there scowling and tugging at the zipper on the cooler.

It should be noted here that whenever Ralph gets in the car and I am not in the car, because I’m upstairs getting my phone, say, he will drive up to the door and pick me up so I can scoot right into my seat.

Except this time when he tried that trick, he drove right over the cooler that I’d inexplicably left in the middle of the driveway right next to the car tire in a place he never could have seen even if he tried.

My $200 Yeti cooler.

And the mason jars full of cocktails. And lunch.

I mean, he might as well have driven right over my self esteem because I could not have felt any stupider if there was a Stupid Contest with a million dollar first prize that I was desperate to win.

I will say, it’s a testament to the quality of a Yeti cooler that while it might have been smashed and mangled, the mason jars were unscathed, and the ham sandwich was only marginally wounded.

I feel like I want a prize for coming up with their next marketing campaign.

How Yeti Withstands Stupid.

I ask you, what happened in my brain that it decided putting the cooler on the ground instead of in the car with my backpack was a good idea? It’s not like I forgot to put it in the car. It’s not even like I decided, you know, the ground is a really good place for this so I will leave it here and hope it does not get run over.

If I had thought that, at least I could have chalked it up to poor decision making.

It’s like my brain just stopped functioning. You know how sometimes your computer freezes up and even though you’re typing words nothing comes out of your keyboard for a few seconds? That’s what happens in my head at least five times a day.

I guess I should be grateful that it didn’t freeze up on “put backpack in car” because it would have been much worse had he driven over my $3,000 laptop.

It literally gives meaning to the phrase out of my mind. It’s like I leave my existence entirely and disappear into the quantum realm with all the lost socks. So far, at least, I’ve been able to find my way back but who knows if one day I won’t just be a zombie walking around randomly putting beans into a pot and taking them out again.

Photo: the aforementioned curling iron and melted moisturizer. At least I didn’t set the place on fire.