Where is My Mind?


My grandmother always says if she goes senile no one will be able to tell.

My great-grandmother had Alzheimer disease for a good ten years before anyone found out. She had always been a little strange and whatever oddities cropped up at the onset of her disease just seemed to be more of the same stuff. I fear I am on the same path. I may not wrap my food in acres of waxed paper and hundreds of rubber bands while perfectly good Tupperware sits in my cabinets, or flavor everything from fruit salad to angel food cakes with anise, but I’m well on my way to senility and I’m only 29.

A couple of weeks ago I had a Tupperware party. I fixed homemade chili with sour cream, cheddar cheese and Tostitos, a veggie platter and homemade muffins. I fixed myself a bowl of soup and a plate of food and sat it on the table, and then I fixed my son a plate of food. I then proceeded to fix myself a bowl of soup and plate of food identical to one I had already fixed for myself and sat down on the other side of the table and began to eat. My friend Bobbie sat down and looked confused. “Whose food is this?” When I confessed she said “What are you going to be like in 10 years?” I’m not sure I want to know.

I once saw actress Leslie Mann on a talk show saying she felt like every time she had a baby a piece of her brain fell out. This is a phenomenon well known to my friends. We call it mommy brain. Unfortunately I cannot blame it all on childbearing. No, I’ve been this way for a long, long time. Long before Jessica Simpson I thought Buffalo wings were made of…buffalo. Now, it’s not that I thought that buffalo could fly. I thought there were parts of the buffalo that resembled chicken wings. Hence the clever name. I had never eaten a Buffalo wing, but I had eaten spaghetti with bison meat so it seemed entirely plausible.

I thought those dogs on my novelty Christmas cd were really singing Jingle Bells, much like the dog in the Little Caesar commercial who could say I Love You. I now know that Jingle Bells was produced with a keyboard and not with a machine like La Piganino, but you can’t convince me that the “I love you” dog wasn’t talking. In spite of these gaps in my brain I still managed to meet and marry a funny, intelligent man who is extremely logical. His brain always stays firmly lodged in his head no matter how many children we have and his love for me is unwavering, although after what happened this morning I wondered if he wasn't questioning his decision a bit.

I woke up exhausted. My sons had their birthday party at Pump It Up the night before and the flurry of birthday gifts, cake and 19 bouncy children had me drained. “Coffee…I need coffee…” I mumbled to my husband who was on his way downstairs. 5 minutes later there was no rich aroma greeting me as I stumbled down the stairs…no sputtering sounds. The coffeepot was empty.

Me: “Honey…I thought you were going to make coffee?”

Hugh: “I can’t find the coffee.”

Me: “It’s in the freezer.”

Hugh: “I looked in the freezer.”

Me: “It’s not in the big freezer anymore. It’s in the little freezer.”

Hugh takes out a brand new bag of whole bean coffee.

Me: “No, don’t use that bag! We have older coffee that needs to be used first. It’s here” I had him a Ziplock container full of coffee beans.

Hugh: “How do I make it?”

Me: “What are you TALKING about? You taught ME how to make coffee!”

Hugh: “I’ve never made it with whole beans before.”

Me: “Yes you have.”

Hugh: “Well, I had the instructions in front of me. How much should I make?”

Me: “Well, how much do you want?”

Hugh “I’m just going to fill up…”

Me: “NO! Don’t fill up the pot! That’s entirely too much!”

Hugh: “I was GOING TO SAY that I am just going to fill my travel mug.”

We decide on six cups. I tell him to measure out six tablespoons. He second guesses me even though I’ve been making coffee every morning since we got the new pot and he's never complained about the taste and besides, that's how HE taught ME to make it. He can’t find the tablespoons because I’ve “moved them.” I haven’t. Finally he grinds the beans and starts to make the coffee. I walk off to check on something and when I come back he’s pouring the water into the pot.

Hugh: “I have to go to the bathroom. Will you finish making the coffee? You just have to…”

I cut him off. “I know how to make COFFEE.”

I finish up and go upstairs. A few minutes later Hugh calls out.

“Kate…can you come here?” I come to the stairs. Hugh looks profoundly disturbed. “Are you…ok?”

Me: “I’m fine…I’m just tired from the party. I was being pretty mean, wasn't I?”


Me: "I know…I was mean…I’m sorry.”


Me: “Will you just say something please?”

Hugh: “Well…it just that you keep snapping at me. And I tried to tell you how to finish the coffee, and you said you knew how to make coffee. And you brewed a pot of hot water.”

I started to laugh, and I couldn’t stop. Hugh looked a little relieved that he wasn’t going to have to put me in a straight jacket. I always put the water in after I put the grounds in the filter. When I saw Hugh pouring the water I assumed that the coffee was in the pot and I just pressed brew. I apologized, told him I was a victim of the Berenstein Bears and Too Much Birthday, and remembered that assumptions make an ass out of you and umption, at least according to Nate Nelson. I then made a new pot, complete with actual coffee grounds brewed with actual water.

And after all that, Hugh left his coffee sitting on the counter.