May 22, 2001
Losing My Banana


It took me ten minutes to find my banana this morning.

Usually I head directly for the kitchen, the minute I get in to the Totem Pole Company in the mornings, and I stash my lunch in the refrigerator. (Today's thrilling luncheon menu: one can of French Vanilla Slim Fast, one apple, five strawberries, one mini-pack of baby carrots.) 

Except for my banana. I never put my banana in the fridge. 

I carry it with me -- along with my first cup of Smart & Final Restaurante Blend, and any faxes that have come in overnight -- down the hallway to my remote little office. The banana then sits on my desk, next to my computer, and eventually becomes my 10 a.m. emergency blood-sugar-stabilizer. Except that this morning, when I started feeling hungry and homicidal and I reached for my safety banana ... it wasn't there. I searched everywhere: my desk drawers, my purse, my file cabinets ... every office between my office and the refrigerator ... the entire Totem Pole kitchen area.

But no banana.

Just when I was composing that vaguely menacing all-company memo ("Attention Food Thief: there is left-over PIZZA in the refrigerator, forcryingoutloud"), I found my banana.

Right next to the fax machine, where I'd left it.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly an unusual occurrence. Lately I am finding it almost impossible to remain focused on anything for longer than .032 seconds. I dial the phone and I forget who I'm calling. I can't remember a password fourteen seconds after I've created it. I lose my train of thought in the middle of conversations. I read the same paragraph, eleven or twelve times, but I still don't retain anything. I repeat myself a lot. I can't tell the difference between black and navy blue, apparently, when I'm getting dressed in the morning. I repeat myself a lot.

It's a miracle that I even manage to arrive at work fully dressed and with all nine fingernails manicured, frankly.

So what's going on here? Is it early-onset Alzheimers? Or a critical ginko biloba deficiency?

Neither, actually.  Ironically  --  even though I give the appearance of being foggier than Forrest Gump, these days  --  my brain has never been busier. There are a bazillion voices going on inside my head, all the time, all at once ... it's a veritable Tower of Babble in there  ...  and every one of those bazillion voices is reminding me/nagging me/warning me/prodding me about someoranother wedding-related detailage.

So which dress are you going to wear -- the Grandma Dress or the Tolo Dress? How are those invitations coming along? You're going to need another suitcase, you know: maybe David's parents have an extra. Have you called to verify the honeymoon hotel reservation? Have you located a bike rental place in Honeymoon Town? Has David picked his Best Man yet? You should probably start looking at wedding rings soon: what if you have to get them resized? Have you started re-writing your vows? ("Unstrangering" is NOT a real word, btw.) Did you find somebody to notarize the marriage license application? What's the weather forecast for TicTac in July? Do you want to pass out tasteful little bottles of soap bubbles to all of your guests ... or tasteful little Frisbees?

It's no wonder I can't focus on anything: I've got Martha Stewart hot-gluing dried flower centerpieces in my head, around the clock.

It's time to start making lists.

I'm not talking about useless, ineffectual lists, scribbled haphazardly on the backs of leftover PG&E envelopes and magneted to the refrigerator, next to the dry cleaning receipt and the Subway coupons. After a while you look right at these lists without actually seeing them anymore.

And I'm not talking about fussy little Outlook *To Do* lists, either: the kind of lists that look so spiffy and organized and '21st Century' when you're looking at them on your computer monitor ... but then never ever get used, mainly because you don't have your computer handy when you're experiencing another Ronald Reagan Moment in the middle of Mervyn's. ("Why am I here again?")

I'm talking about SERIOUS LISTS.  Big, bold, bulleted lists.  Detailed, specific, all-inclusive lists of everything we need to do/need to purchase/need to foist off on somebody else ... broken down into "David's To-Do Stuff" and "Secra's To-Do Stuff" and "David/Secra's To-Do Stuff," with all of the most urgent items asterisked and highlighted and underlined like crazy.  Lists on actual PAPER, so we can make tons of copies and leave them everywhere -- in the Subaru, in my purse, at work, in the bathroom, next to the home computer, Scotch-taped to the handlebars of my little red bike -- which will make them impossible to forget about (and even more impossible to ignore).

Lists, hopefully, that will quiet the babbling voices in my head ... make me feel as though I'm doing something proactive ... and enable to get through my work day in peace and relative efficiency. Because losing my banana, once in a while, is probably no big deal.

But losing my mind between now and the wedding might be.

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