I think by now we’ve established I have a poor memory. But another area in which I’m sorely lacking is my attention span. Unfortunately, I can’t blame this one on menopause, as I’ve been “skippy” since high school. This is evident by the fact that my friends chose for me a personalized license plate with that name.
So when you put those two deficiencies together, it’s not pretty. I, like many, will walk into a room and forget why I’m there. But instead of getting upset, I get distracted.
Oh, there’s that book…I wondered where it went. Did I ever read that? Let’s take a look. Next thing you know I’m sitting down reading, completely oblivious to the fact I was actually looking for my phone. Happens all the time.
My mind jumps rapidly from one thought to another. Like a game of hopscotch, it’s rarely still. That wouldn’t be so bad if, at some point, I actually remembered my original thought.
So that brings me to Friday night. I got home late and quickly fed the dogs. My cat Oliver watched me while waiting near his food dish. Oh, crap.
Oliver looked up at me with accusatory eyes. You forgot to buy cat food, didn’t you? Since I’m in the feline rescue business you’d think I’d be loaded with cat food, wouldn’t you? Sadly, you’d be wrong.
So I jump in my SUV and quickly head to the store. I’m about there when I notice a police car in the lane to my right. Just then, it dawns on me that my brake light may be out. I believe I changed that bulb months ago, but darn if I could remember that little detail now. To my credit, however, I do recall buying the bulb.
Anyway, I decide to drive slower than an elderly lady in a Cadillac (I’m sorry, but they are painfully slow) so as not to pass the policeman and be discovered for my probable indiscretion. Then I try coasting. But the bugger merged in behind me anyway. Oh, crap.
I chose a parking space farthest from the store so as to be less noticeable. Yeah, right. That brilliant idea was squelched when he pulled in diagonally behind me. Now I couldn’t make a break for it, taking him on a high-speed chase in my decrepit ’95 Cat-Mobile with 237,000 miles.
The young cop was out of his car faster than I could turn off my engine. He stood to the side and back a ways – I suppose so I couldn’t jump him if the notion hit me (it didn’t). Instead, I waited for him to mention the whole brake-light debacle. But no, my crime was much more serious, as I could tell from his furrowed brow. So he says, “Do you realize your right front tire crossed into the bike lane on the turn back there?”
I’m thinking, You have got to be kidding. But instead I ask, completely surprised, “I did?” Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not diminishing my crime. It’s just that one would need the skill of Mario Andretti not to clip that line where the road suddenly curves. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
So the officer says, “Were you distracted back there?” I’m thinking, Well, if watching you in my side-view mirror counts, then yes. But instead I fibbed, “I don’t believe so.”
As I’m saying this, I place my phone in my purse. Not the brightest move. No doubt he figured I’d been gabbing on it (which I hadn’t) but luckily he didn’t comment. Then, as I hand him my license, I notice in my cup holder the open bottle of Stewart’s Root Beer (which resembles dark ale beer).
I’m thinking, If he sees this, he’ll ask me to step out of the vehicle and walk a straight line, which I find practically impossible to pull off even when sober.
But I was spared that humiliation and he hands back my license, saying, “Just be more careful next time.” I’m thinking, I’m so glad you didn’t ticket me. Instead, I answer, “I will officer, thank you.”
So it appears I must have changed my brake light after all. Relieved, I walk into the store, still slightly flustered, and promptly forget why I was there. So I buy some bread and fruit, then head home.
The second I walk in the door, I see Oliver looking up in mouth-watering anticipation. Oh, crap.So I head back to the store. But this time I make certain not to clip one single white line along the way, even on the Mario Andretti turn. I know, pretty impressive, huh?
And what’s more, I came home with cat food.