Do you know the moment in sappy movies when someone says “Penny for your thoughts” or “What are you thinking right now?” Invariably the response is some deep and romantic thought. I live in fear of these moments. At least my husband has realized my secret. At any given moment there is nothing going through my head. Absolutely nothing. It’s worse if I hear a song, then I can’t even try to think of something else. I admit there are a few times when my mind wanders into really bizarre territory, but this is not very often. I believe this is one of the reasons I’m not a very good driver, or gardener, or pick my son up from school-er.
Leaving a message on an answering machine is a particularly obvious instance of this. If you’ve ever gotten a message from me, you understand what I’m talking about. This is how it goes:
- I think of a reason to talk to someone long enough to get the phone in my hand.
- (if I can’t find the phone or I have a wrong number, I completely stop the process and probably never try again, also explaining why some people who should have gotten messages from me never did.)
- I find the number in my phone and dial, contemplating any weird spellings or funny patterned numbers. If, at this point, I don’t start chanting the reason I am calling, all is lost.
- (if, however, I text at this moment-hallelujah-I sound like an intelligent person)
- (chant reason in head, i.e. babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter, that’s a funny word, why don’t they say baby watcher, or baby holder, or...)
- The phone begins to ring, I count the rings, don’t ask me why, I don’t know, I must count. I like it when the rings are multiples of four, but it never is.
- I listen to the greeting message, I wonder if I need to leave my number, I wonder if the person knows what they sound like on the phone, I wonder a lot of things and at this point my mind is completely blank
- I am always surprised by the beep, I forgot it was coming.
- stunned silence, I can’t remember why on earth I have made this phone call.
- I stammer, I say something about calling me back and possibly needing a favor as fast as I can, I remember to say my name and I think I say my number, but at this point, it could be anyone’s number, then if I piece anything together I am cut off by the answering machine.
- Mission accomplished.
I like to think of myself as a pretty rational individual, I can usually make intelligent comments in my classes at the U--not Sunday School, however, I can never read scriptures in church because I am always on the wrong one. My attention is always captured by dust motes or a dirty mark on the back of a chair between when I hear the scripture reference and when I get around to raising my hand. When I actually focus, I manage to write coherent sentences, finish the dishes, and change the laundry before it mildews. I like to think that most days I manage a respectable amount of focus, but I know there are times when my mind just falls out, takes a personal day, leaves me like the scarecrow stuck on a pole. The worst days are those days when Spencer comes home and asks me what I did all day and it’s a blank. I try to remember, but the best I come up with is a lot of giggling and cereal stuck to my socks.