A Presbyterian pastor visiting yesterday from New Jersey introduced himself to me in church. He seemed to think we’d met before. I shrugged and probably looked at him pretty blankly, so he started describing several occasions where we’d seen each other. He’d come to Eighth Day a number of years ago, we’d talked, I’d invited him to the house, we took a walk, etc etc. In fact, he talked for several minutes about our previous conversations and how important they’d been to him. I couldn’t remember a single bit of it. So I'm embarrassed that I don't remember a thing about this man who knows me so well; he's embarrassed to think that the conversations meant so little to me. I considered cutting through the bilateral embarrassment by mentioning the Alzheimer’s, but that would have trapped us both in one of those too-much-information moments with 15 seconds left. In this case, embarrassment seemed the best choice.
This morning I poured cold milk into a cup with the intention of putting the milk carton back into the refrigerator as soon as I put the cup into the microwave to heat. But I forgot to put the carton back and only noticed it standing there on the counter when I returned to the microwave a minute later. Before taking the cup out of the microwave, I made a definite mental note to return the carton of milk to the refrigerator as soon as I got my cup. It was only a few minutes later as I was returning with my milk to my room that I remembered the milk carton.
Twice I forgot the very same intention seconds after I’d made it, even after making a conscious mental note of the intention.
Such lapses may not seem like much but events like this happen over and over.