I've enjoyed reading Nora Ephron's book I Remember Nothing. Many of these essays were printed in other magazines, but some are new. They are funny because they invariably strike a nerve. She may be a decade older than I, but her thoughts and opinions ring true.
Take her stance on going to the movies, which I recently lamented when I wrote about True Grit: Nora - Instead of how romantic theaters used to be, we now go to horrible unadorned gray rectangles where the sound bleeds in from the gray rectangle right next door. It's sad. How true. She goes on to mention how most projectionists today are just teens and don't seem to know their stuff, as evidenced by the movies that end up out of focus and out of sync to the sound -- until finally somebody in the audience has to go out and track down an employee who looks at you blankly and you end up missing a chunk of the film regardless of whether or not it gets fixed.
Or this: things you once had that you are finally old enough to appreciate, you no longer have anymore - usually a casualty of a move or divorce -- when you leave behind all sorts of things you don't have the sense to know you'll someday wonder about or wish you had, (my biggest was an expensive office chair), or, worst of all, feel nostalgic for (a gorgeous watercolor I had before marriage). And Waterford.
And especially, this is my life: Running into someone who seems to know me -- maybe I don't catch the name because the party or whatever is loud. I decide to assume we have met before and not say 'Nice to meet you,' because invariably the person will say we've met in an aggrieved tone. So I say, 'Nice to see you,' with a big smile and hope against hope they'll throw out their name, which, of course, they never do. About that time Excy will wander up and I won't be able to introduce him and I give him my panicked secret look for help, which, of course, he never recognizes, and when he doesn't pick up on my secret plea for introduce yourself so this person will tell us their name (despite the fact he was coached in the car on the way to the function to be on the alert for such pitfalls), I'm stuck there like the boob I am. When the person finally realizes the mind-fart and archly gives their name -- glancing at me sideways as they do to register my discomfort -- I realize 10 minutes later I've forgotten it already.
Finally, she identifies a few symptoms of 'OLD AGE' all of which I realize -- aside from the physical -- even though 52 doesn't seem quite like old age to me...I guess I am on the slippery slope.
1) repeating a story (though I usually catch myself I can see the writing on the wall for this one). BORING.
2) walking into a room and suddenly realizing I have NO idea why I am there. Thirty seconds of standing shock-still usually is enough to resurrect the thought...
3) not getting the joke -- though I pretend to...
4) watching a movie and realizing I've seen it before -- yet it's as if I have never seen it, for the most part. Particularly irritating is when Excy quotes some line from it -- not some memorable one, either, like 'here's looking at you, kid,' 'frankly, m'dear, I don't give a damn,' or 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore' from the popular lexicon...how does he remember??
5) when a friend (or mom) quotes me -- and I have no memory of having said it.
6) aging out of People - who are these people? And why are there so many 'b' and 'c' grade celebrities? What are they famous for?
Like Ephron, I have not yet reached the nadir of OLD AGE, which she calls 'The Land of the Anecdote,' But I'm getting there. On a bullet train.
Good lord. The problem with remembering nothing when you don't have a medical excuse is that you know you remember nothing.