By Now, I'm a Expert at Memory Loss

Written by David Leonhardt

I sat down to write my weekly humor column, but I just could not remember what I wanted to write about. This seems to be an increasingly more common affliction, ever since I turned 40. For instance, like most people over 40, I often can't remember my age.

In fact, I am quite certain I am not yet 40. How do I know? Well, I can't remember turning 40, for starters.

But memory loss is nothing new for me. It began when I was born. Try as I might, I just cannot remember being born. This strikes me as strange. Birth is arguablyrepparttar most momentous and triumphant event in a person's life. It isrepparttar 118163 reason I am alive. It is my coming out party. Birth is a tremendous opportunity for personal growth and a fairly important prerequisite for developing proper social etiquette.

People even celebraterepparttar 118164 anniversary of my birth every year by converging on my house or throwing heart-attack-inducing Surprise!! parties. But strangely, none ofrepparttar 118165 birthday celebrations have helped me remember my birth. Even stranger is that people who could have no memory of my birth, such as my wife and younger brothers, keep celebrating it.

Perhaps memory loss isrepparttar 118166 result of trauma. We block out from our memory traumatic events. Like birth, for instance. Imagine being squeezed through a steel toilet paper tube with mucus and blood and other assorted ooey gooey stuff, with something resembling an alien tentacle protruding from where your bellybutton is supposed to be.

Sure, birth was my highest moment of triumph, but I am in no hurry to repeat it. I prefer to retire while I am still atrepparttar 118167 top of your game.

Little Sister had a more traumatic birth than many, and we posted her child birth story with pictures at: . Fortunately, she did not retire atrepparttar 118168 top of her game, as she continues to improve.

I have never been able to remember names either. Perhaps that is because meeting people is also traumatic. I say that in jest, because that is what I am supposed to do in a humor column, but many people find it very traumatic to meet new people, which is one ofrepparttar 118169 reasons I recommend them to The Fine Art of Small Talk:


Written by Rev. James L. Snyder

In 1978, I was ordained torepparttar gospel ministry. To mark this special event, my parents surprised me with a new 1977 Dodge Aspen,repparttar 118162 most spectacular present I ever received. It was white, with a red interior and beautiful cloth seats.

My old car had so many glitches and problems I took it to a psychiatrist. Finally, I donated it torepparttar 118163 local junkyard and put it out of my misery.

Atrepparttar 118164 time, a woman who attended our church lived four blocks away but insisted I pick her up for church each Sunday. Being young and naive, not to mention I needed warm bodies to fillrepparttar 118165 pews, I acceded to her request.

We called her Sister Claire and why she came to our church I never knew, but she faithfully attended each Sunday.

I picked her up just beforerepparttar 118166 morning worship service and escorted her torepparttar 118167 back pew. She rarely spoke to anyone and in allrepparttar 118168 years I knew her never smiled. She was notrepparttar 118169 kind of person you could get close to and cultivate confidences.

She always brought two quarters to church. One was forrepparttar 118170 collection plate andrepparttar 118171 other she gave to me for bringing her to church.

At first, I was reluctant to take it. She appeared to be tottering onrepparttar 118172 brink of poverty and I felt guilty about taking her money. Nevertheless, she insisted.

One Sunday as I picked her up I noticed something different. I could not put my finger on it, but something was definitely different about Sister Claire.

I escorted her to her usual pew and heard a smattering of muffled snickers. One thing I cannot stand is being onrepparttar 118173 outside circle of a joke.

Just before I went torepparttar 118174 pulpit to beginrepparttar 118175 worship service my wife whispered, "Did you see Sister Claire's wig?"

I responded in typical pastoral fashion, "Huh?"

As I beganrepparttar 118176 service, I could not take my eyes off Sister Claire. I had never noticed her hair looking that bad. I beganrepparttar 118177 sermon segment ofrepparttar 118178 worship service and realized why everyone was laughing.

I started to giggle. I coughed, cleared my throat, bit my lower lip but nothing could evaporaterepparttar 118179 giggle juices flowing through my entire body. Nothing is more pathetic than a giggle-doused minister trying to be serious and pastoral.

Sister Claire had her wig on backward. All I could think of were bad wig jokes and I did not know whether she was coming or going.

In allrepparttar 118180 time I knew Sister Claire, she called me to come to her home only once. She seemed upset so I hurried over to her house. I sat down and she blurted out, ''Pastor, they won't let me inrepparttar 118181 grocery store.''

I assured her I would look intorepparttar 118182 situation. I knewrepparttar 118183 manager ofrepparttar 118184 grocery store, so I stopped in to see him and clear uprepparttar 118185 misunderstanding.

When I broachedrepparttar 118186 subject,repparttar 118187 manager stiffened and barked, "We have a court order against Claire ever coming into this store," with such conviction I realized it was something rather serious. Then he told merepparttar 118188 story.

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