Sounds like … Two syllables …

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Let the games begin

As I get older I find that I am playing charades a lot more with people during my conversations.  I don’t know if my mouth is working faster than my brain and it just can’t keep up with the flow of words spewing out of my motor-mouth or if my brain has had a temporary (albeit more frequent than I would like to admit) brain cramp.  My mother-in-law, Kathleen who is 82 years old and has the same problem suspects a brain tumor – but she tends to think the worst and has passed on her hypochondria and paranoia to our son, Bob (See Bats and Zombies).  So – for now, I’m going to dismiss the brain tumor theory – and let Kathleen gloat and say “I told you so!” if she is proved right in the future.

It wasn’t that long ago that I could just talk non-stop (and there are lots of people who will testify that I am like a giant water cooler – constantly burbling) at any gathering – never stumbling over words – always having just the right phrase to pull out of my brain.   My family has often lamented that I never go hoarse and I never shut up — I always have something to say — and I’m generally right – no brag – just fact.  Plus — when you are Queen  – you are always right – especially if you expect to eat and sleep in my castle!

Anyway — back to the problem at hand — family gatherings have turned into a giant charades game with the younger members trying to fill in the blanks for the older members.   There are days when it is just my husband, myself and my mother-in-law — which is like the blind leading the blind — and my husband just starts throwing out random words to fill in the blanks which only makes things worse because your brain can’t even take a moment to THINK about what it wants to say.  My husband thinks he doesn’t have this little malady — but it should be noted that when he has it, he doesn’t even give the right clues.  For instance — one time he couldn’t remember the name of a lady he worked with — so he told his her first name started with a ‘Z’ — we threw out every name we could think of to help — Zora, Zia and even through in a pasta name — Ziti.   All of the sudden, his eyes flashed and he said — “Darlene! Her name is Darlene!”  We reminded him Z and D are two different letters and we need the right clues to play the game.  He sheepishly admitted that Z was the letter which started her last name — again — we can’t play if we don’t have the right clues!

When the entire family is involved, we could have up to 4 generations in the room – ages ranging from 82 down to 2 years old.  The younger kids aren’t much help — although they have come to believe this is the family game and that all families communicate like this.  My children think it is hilarious because they (like their father) like to throw out random thoughts out to confuse the issue.  This is especially helpful to them when I am angry at one of them and can’t find the words to express that anger — takes away from the whole mood of the moment!  However, I know that will have the last laugh on this one – since it seems to be something that comes with age – and they will get to play this game sooner than they think!

I have found it interesting that I don’t have to play charades when I’m writing – so my fingers are obviously more in sync with my brain than my mouth – or it could be that people don’t see how often I sit in silence waiting for the right word to come to me — or how many times I have to backspace over a word in order to write the correct one (in this sentence alone, I backspaced 4 times and sat in silence twice!).  Thank God for the person who invented spell check and grammar check!

So maybe the key is to start typing and texting to my children — which is what they do to each other all the time anyway!  I don’t think I can do that — much too impersonal — plus, I think my children should be exposed to the joys of growing older so they know what to expect.  And — I had to play all of those silly games with them when they were little, they owe it to me to play charades with me now!

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6 responses »

  1. I haven’t reached this stage (yet) but when I am shouting at / calling for someone, I do tend to run through the list of names -Daughter, Youngest, Middle, Eldest, Husband – oh Heidi, stop eating that sock!

  2. I do this so much more now myself. I’ll be talking or thinking (writing) and moving towards a word, then it will become a sort of vague notion when I get there and just won’t surface. I can describe it — it’s like this, and it’s like this, and it’s like this (etc.) but the word itself won’t come. I hate that so much. When I was younger I don’t remember doing that. God forbid if you throw substitute words at me and they aren’t the right ones. That seems to block the word entirely! If you give me a few minutes it will surface, but not if substitute words have been inserted into my brain. Then it takes hours! Argh.

    I’ve read that during menopause the memory gets much worse, but that after you’re done, your memory comes back. I surely hope so.

    Just for fun: even spellcheck and grammar check can’t fix this: “like to through random thoughts” (4th para.)! I do stuff like this all the time and it often takes a few days for me to make sure every new entry is perfect!

  3. Pingback: Christmas games

  4. i don’t think it has anything to do with age. i am 17 and even i can’t find the right word sometimes. i think the problem is that we have too much on our mind and we think about different things at the same time and our mind gets confused as to which word from which sentence of which thought to speak out loud.
    and as for the fact that our brains don’t seem to have that problem with our fingers is
    a) because writers have that general tendency to be fast with words when they are writing
    and
    b) because of the spell check and grammar check which constantly come to our aid 🙂

  5. Love this post! It made me chuckle quite a few times. I’m only in my mid-thirties, but my husband and I just had this experience the other night trying to remember the name of one of our favorite t.v. shows. We were both drawing a blank, and trying to give clues to each other…so funny! We were hysterical by the end of it. I am finding myself in this situation more frequently though, and now I’ll just think of it as a game of charades. Thanks!

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