Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Midlife Mental Acuity

See? I had to look up the word acuity already because it began to look and sound funny, like an old acid flashback...melting, dripping, oops, sorry, I digress. Acuity means "keenness of perception" (is keeness a word??") Anyway, how's YOURS? Mine SUCKS.

The only reason The Ancient One still has all of her mental faculties is because she does our local paper's crossword puzzle every day, without fail. It's probably the mental image and memory I will have the most of her after she leaves for that blessed Bergdorf Goodman in the sky. She has old piles of puzzles under the coffee table in case she has to cheat and look up something. She tries not to cheat, but the answers to our local crosswords don't arrive until the next day's newspaper so it's not that easy. Sal and I try to help her sometimes, but she won't let us do an entire crossword puzzle ourselves because her hands get twitchy and she begins to perspire if she's not in control of it from beginning to end. AHA! THAT"S where my control issues come from!

The television show, Jeopardy, provides me with all the mental stimulus I need. It's like a final exam every Monday through Friday...with no essay questions. That clock thingy does make me a skosch nervous on the final question though. It's hard for a midlifer to have to form the answer as a question. This program forces me to stretch and I learn things at the same time, things that come in handy at cocktail parties when I'm trying to get a small group's attention. I simply walk up and say something like, "What is a marsupial?" I forget the answer, but it's fun to watch the group have to stop the conversation they were immersed in when I walked up, then see their reactions as at least one of them gets that confused thinking look. Try this at the next party where the people are snootier than they really should be. It's fun. Oh, but walk away before they catch on to the game...or start to say ugly things about you while you're still standing there.

My mental acuity tends to suffer a bit after only two martinis. Thinking becomes a dangerous luxury. Speaking out of turn and too loudly seems more appropriate at the time and the contest to see which fool can laugh more obnoxiously will always haunt me. I think my archived posting (September) on "Self Defense" will explain a lot where the devil whiskey is concerned.

So, keep me away from crosswords, cocktail parties, martinis and pepper spray and I'll be fine. I'll be boring, but I'll be fine.



'Keeness of perception', huh. I think I perceive things correctly but the question is how long can I remember what I just perceived. Is there a word for unkeeness of short term memory? I think it would be 'sixtiesshroomacuity'.

I forget simple, everyday words sometimes ever since I entered post menopause. It's very disconcerting because I have a high IQ. The other day I forgot the word, 'bathroom' in the middle of a sentence. I was yelling at KK down the hall, 'KK, can you get my book out of ...the room where the toilet is?' Does that ever happen to you? It's weird. It happens about every 8 months. KK yelled back, 'Which one?' and I replied, 'The Requisite Physics for the Mapping of the Genomes'! It's a conundrum. The real question is why was that book in the bathroom in the first place and the reason is because I had my cell phone plugged in next to the sink to charge the battery and when it rang I was reading my book and took it in there to answer the phone. Upon finishing the conversation I came into our magic room and promptly forgot it was in there.

To keep my left brain sparking I like to play Jewel Quest and Spider Solitaire on the puter. To keep my mental acuity sharp in my right brain I like to visualize my dream house, imagine traveling to Hawaii and put scotch tape on the bottoms of Buddy's paws.


1 comment:

brneyedgal967 said...

I just discovered y'all from Mental P's site and just wanted to let you know how much you crack me up. Just watched all your You Tube videos that had me laughing out loud.

Your honesty and humor is refreshing and your blog will definitely be a daily MUST VISIT for me!