You know you're preoccupied when you forget to sleep. No, you didn't read that wrong. I actually forgot to sleep last week. Sleep in, that is.
You see, I'd had an unusually long day planned and so, had intended to go into the office a little later in the morning than usual that day.
Trouble is, I only remembered half way to work.
Yep, forgetting to sleep's a biggie. So is forgetting the day of the week ... or to put the coffee carafe back underneath the basket before hitting the machine's "on" button ... or exactly why you set the timer; which is now beeping loudly that you're late for - um, whatever reason you set the timer eight minutes ago.
People, are we all trapped in some wild episode of "The Twilight Zone" or is there another plausible explanation for all this absentmindedness?
Indeed, I found great comfort when I heard two women exiting the Eastwood Mall Target the other day.
"I'm not sure. I think it was pantyhose. Yes, yes, I'm sure - that's what I came to the store to get. It's fine; I'm good," I heard one zombie, er, lady say to her co-shopper. "Oh wait, no, weren't we supposed to get poster board for the kids' school project, too?" I heard one flounderer ask the other.
And, on my way back to my car, it hit me. I was even more lame-brained than they.
"Oh, conditioner! I forgot the conditioner!" I stammered aloud.
And just like that, a chorus of similarly stressed out women chimed in, "CONDITIONER!"
Ugh. A parking lot full of walking, talking androids.
So, I started asking my fellow overtaxed, sleep-deprived female friends if they, too, have ever forgotten a basic life function during the course of a busy day?
"Many things, but here are two," said my BFF Christine Ruggieri of Warren. "Quite embarrassing, but I've forgotten to put on deodorant. My mind is ahead of my body and it's out of the shower and into the suit and I'm out of the door before I realize - oops."
Ever the pro, she quickly threw in, "But, no sweat - I have travel size protection in my car, purse and office drawer." Ditto that, Chris. I've got a stash in the car, the office and my always-handy gym bag.
Said my pal Joanna Dascenzo, a Howland native, "It happens to me all the time, sister! There are work days when 3 p.m. rolls around and I realize I haven't even gone to the bathroom!"
True story. Been there, done that, Jo. So have my sister Gina, my sister-in-law Kim and my close pal Jamie.
Don't worry, gals. I see your potty break, and I raise you garment guffaws.
Not only did I compile a literal mountain of clothes before I remembered to take them to the dry cleaners, but I actually dropped two pants sizes before I finally remembered to retrieve them. Did I mention the girls in my office had to hang a sign on my door so I would remember to walk to the dry cleaning store (which is next door to our office, by the by) and reclaim half my wardrobe?
Just call me the Android Queen. But again, my ladies-in-waiting are plentiful. Here are some of the landmines my colleagues have stepped on from time to time.
My friend Samantha admitted that she's come into the office with only one eye adorned in make-up, while my pal Jessica 'fessed up that she's actually strolled in with a brown shoe on her left foot and a black one on her right. In her defense, they're at least the same style.
For my friend Connie, it's her earrings that duck-and-run out on her several mornings a week. I assured her that there are days when I similarly sometimes forget my left arm ... a.k.a. watch.
Then there's Michelle, who told me about something that slips her mind regularly - but I forgot what it was, so I asked her again. It was lunch, which we'd both missed by at least an hour by then.
I can't help but notice all of my fellow androids are women, yet the theory of age-related forgetfulness doesn't fly, since we span from our early 20s to late 40s and maybe a smidge past.
Listen, girls, rest assured that it's just the fullness of our plates which causes these temporary lapses in memory. It's not that we're ... um, sorry, what was I saying?
--- Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.