“WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?”
I was out riding with a lady friend named Amber in the middle of the afternoon on a bright, sunny day recently. Our route took us through a busy area on a very busy, divided, four lane road that had plenty of shopping plazas, stores, and restaurants crowded in side-by-side. I leaned back and asked if she was hungry and she told me she was famished so I then asked where she wanted to eat. She responded with,
“THIS IS EAT N’ PARK! THIS AIN’T WENDY’S!!”
Then I started laughing hysterically startling my friend, the waitress, and everyone else within hearing distance.
“I see a Wendy’s up ahead. I can definitely get into a baked potato smothered in sour cream and chives!”
So I pulled off the road at the red-light where the Wendy’s sign was and on into the parking lot that was shared with that and a few other establishments. I quickly whipped the scoot into a parking space and we both got off as she asked,
“So, this is where you wanna go?”
“Sure.” I answered as I bent down and stashed my goggles and gloves in my bags. “I’m so hungry that one place is as good as another to me right now.” to which she just shrugged her shoulders giving me a funny look as I led her to the door of the place.
After entering I thought to myself that this was pretty fancy for a Wendy’s. There was even a hostess who seated us and told us that our waitress would be here in a minute. ‘A waitress?’ I thought. It had been more than a few years since I had been to a Wendy’s and I didn’t know that they became so up-scale. After we were seated in a booth I told Amber that if asked I just wanted ice-water for now before we ordered, then I stood to go to use the facilities thinking about how I’d soon be pigging out on a juicy old fashioned cheeseburger and a Frosty. When I returned, I asked her if she ordered my water yet as I sat down and she replied, “Yup-er!”
I glanced through my menu thinking, ‘Man! THIS Wendy’s seems to have everything BUT burgers!’ So, with some irritation, when the waitress came I asked the woman to show me exactly where the damned BURGERS were on the large six page menu. She pointed to the correct page not understanding why I was having such a problem.
It was at this point that I almost yelled as I FINALLY saw the name of the place in small print at the top of each page,
Now, I don’t think that I’m any more senile than I was when I was in my twenties but I sure felt that way as I explained my mistake to my friend.
“You actually thought this was a Wendy’s after being inside for more than a few minutes?? Wendy’s is next door!”
“Well....other than the hostess, the waitress, and the menu, it’s not THAT much different. I mean Eat N’ Park isn’t exactly fancy. Just a bit bigger and fancier than a Wendy’s”
she replied looking at me with one raised eyebrow and a questioning glance, probably wondering if I was too old to pilot a motorcycle.
“Sorry, we’ll do Wendy’s some other time.....unless you just wanna walk over there now. We haven’t finished ordering yet.”
“No, no, this is better.”
Then she tried to lighten the mood by saying,
“Besides, if we leave here, who knows where we’ll end up? ”
Feeling like a complete idiot I just dismally mumbled to the waitress, “Just give me a bacon-cheeseburger and fries.” By this time I had lowered my head into my menu and intently studied it with sunken shoulders.
I’m sure we’ve all made simple mistakes that made us feel like absolute fools no matter what age we are. More than once during my life I’ve almost gotten into wrong cars in parking lots just because they were similar to mine. Hell, just the other day a young man almost got into MY car....and I was sitting in it! And HIS car was white while mine’s black!! But the older we get, the more we wonder if these mistakes are symptoms of aging. I mean, how do you tell the difference?
I guess the quantity and regularity of the “mistakes” might have something to do with it. Also I imagine that if you’re feeling sorta stoned all the time....that might be a sign of senility (unless you ARE stoned all the time). Yet at the same time I’m also sure that the severity of those mistakes has nothing to do with it. Any mistake by its very nature is still just a mistake. Just like an accident is an accident. I know I made many serious mistakes when I was in my twenties and thirties. They might have started out as something simple, like whether or not I should marry a particular someone (I’m joking), but then you eventually find out that kind of simple mistake isn’t so simple as you find yourself having to live in a whole world of trouble as a result.
I often hear of older people getting lost all the time. Well, that happens to me too but that has ALWAYS happened to me. I keep telling myself I should get one of those GPS thingies, or at least one of those “smart” cell phones (I still don’t even have a cell). But getting lost is only relevant to age problems if you get lost in familiar territory....like your house. Then you might have an aging problem. However most of us have entered a room and wondered why we did so, or what we were doing. I’m sure that’s just common forgetfulness because our minds were preoccupied with something else as we walked into the room. I blame a lot of stuff on preoccupation. For instance I get very preoccupied whenever I see or even just think of a pretty woman. Speaking of that......
My friend Jackie and I often listen to music and play “name that tune or band” as we do, and she’s REALLY good at it (for a relatively-young whippersnapper). Both of us frequently end up having the name of a band or a song stuck on the tip of our tongues for hours because we usually refuse to “Google” it (it’s a matter of pride). I think every time SHE gets stuck it bothers her far more than it does me because she doesn’t realize that very few people can have total, accurate, easy-access to their memories concerning most things. But she can sure stump the hell outta me about anything concerning movies, technological shit, Pink Floyd, and “The Walking Dead”. She has a degree in psychology, and on top of THAT she’s a great debater, so whenever we disagree about something (which is rare) she ALWAYS wins the argument.....and to me that is sorta like cheating (LOL)!
Anyway, I think she’s afraid that she’s losing her memory AND some of her wonderful intelligence every time she searches her mind for something and can’t find it. Well, I’ve read that Einstein often misplaced his glasses, or forgot to even get completely dressed when receiving someone or going out in public.
Of course the ability to remember stuff would aid a person in their education, or in many other endeavors, but it doesn’t necessarily make them “smart”. All you have to do to prove that to yourself is to listen in as a “Jock” (who may or may not be as dumb as a goal-post) rattles off sports statistics in a bar while watching a game on TV. I always think to myself, ‘How the hell can they remember all that stuff?’ whenever I see that. And I don’t even think the word “priorities” has anything to do with it because we all forget some things that are important to us.
So....next time you lose something, you get lost, you can’t remember something, ya make a stupid decision, or you find yourself sitting in an “Eat N’ Park” expecting an “Old Fashioned Hamburger and a Frosty”...just remember that you’re not necessarily senile. It’s all just part of this great and glorious adventure called “life” my friends. So relish the surprises and don’t worry about the dumb shit.