I once drove 50 miles to work, sat down at my desk, and opened my bag to discover my company-issued laptop was gone. The instant I saw the cavernous space in my bag, my mind unreeled its footage of my morning routine, which involved stowing essential items in places only I and Miss Havisham would deem logical: Car keys in the fridge, underwear on the TV, phone in the mailbox, and laptop on the roof of the car. Like 400 sippy cups before it, my laptop took a joyride that ended very badly. For a few moments in time on the highway, it had the out-of-hardware experience of being Angelina Jolie in, well, every movie she’s ever in, clinging to the top of a racing vehicle. Coworkers spent weeks regaling me with insults about the likelihood of leaving my children on the roof next time. I laughed along, but discreetly placed Post-Its reading “Seriously, are the kids IN the car?” on my steering wheel.
It is because of incidents like this that I have empathy for the forgetful soul. I feel for those who realize they’ve left their purse at home after unloading a grocery cart of food at checkout. I nod encouragement to the person who forgot to file taxes or put on a shirt before exiting the locker room. I salute the woman, roaming the parking lot, offering up 5 bucks to anyone with a spare Pamper. I particularly go out of my way for the clinically forgetful, the Ghost of Christmas Future for me, since I know senility is going to retire to my brain like a senior gone to Boca. I fear it has already begun wintering in my temporal lobe.
My husband is not forgetful. He remembers everything he’s told and nearly every date of importance though his gift-giving abilities might suggest otherwise. We have had countless arguments that have ended with him shaking his head in confusion while I shrug helplessly, “I forgot!” On the rare occasion he has lost track of something important, I treat him with a bounty of compassion and dignity, like renaming him Charlton Heston or offering helpful inquiries like “do you need me to write your name for you to trace?”
You can imagine my delight when I received a phone call at 5pm from a very annoyed dog groomer asking if we could ‘be troubled to come pick up the dog since the salon closed an hour ago.’ I am typically relieved of canine duties since she is his dog and interactions with her generally leave me bitten or holding pants the crotch has been ripped from. We’d had a particularly strained week since I counted her grooming appointments in the calendar only to determine she had been to the salon with far more regularity than I. I also had witnessed, two days prior, an unsavory scene in which my husband gave her a friendship bracelet that he delicately tied around her paw. A friendship bracelet. It was like watching Jessica Simpson’s father slide that promise ring on her finger, and I had to suppress a dry heave and pray he wouldn’t start discussing her feminine assets to all who would listen.
I rushed out of the house, three toddlers in tow, to pick up the neglected first wife. While paying the exorbitant bill, I whispered to an agitated Maui, “He forgot you…whatcha think about that friendship bracelet now, huh? I bet those tribal markings spell ‘Stupid White Man Buys Anything’.” She growled in response. The taunting continued throughout the car ride home as I assured her I’d never been forgotten at the salon. As I enumerated the many ways I am superior to her, among them that I almost never drag my itchy bum on the floor or eat the feces out of diapers looted from the trash, we arrived home. I expected to be met with a fever of gratitude and apologetic glances for my trouble.
“I’m so sorry, Baby! What a hassle for you! This will never happen again,” as he rushed right by me to sweep his hairy girlfriend up in his arms. “But don’t you look pretty, my beauty queen!” The Samoyed breed is thought to have a grin, but I can tell you they also have a sneer, which I witnessed at that moment. As I dejectedly plucked white hairs from my pants, G said, “How much was it?”
As I fished the receipt out of my pocket, it hit me in the gut like a greeting from an un-neutered Labradoodle: I’d forgotten my debit card on the counter of the grooming salon.
Maui sensed another defeat at her paws. As I scribbled a note to myself to return to the groomer’s tomorrow, I declared the battle of the bitches not yet lost. “You know,” I began with a forced sing-song tone, “The groomer said that friendship bracelet could become entangled on something and she could lose circulation or something. I’d hate to see her need a foot amputated.” G instantly set about untying the bracelet while I conjured my best Cruella Deville. Maui may have been the Ivana, but I’m the Melania. Just with bad hair and my little Barron clinging to the roof of the car.