Len Robbins

LEN ROBBINS

I have a recurring dream.

In it, I’m in college, walking down the street with my wife (who I didn’t meet until after college) and Danny DeVito (who I didn’t meet before or after college), feeling tall, when I suddenly remember that I signed up for a class, went once or twice, but have failed to go any more for the semester. And the final for the class is in an hour. And I can’t remember where the class is.

I can’t really recall exactly what happens after that point in the dream – I usually wake up in a hot sweat, then walk face-first into the closet door on my way to the bathroom. I consulted an online “dream analyzer” about my dream/nightmare and it came up with this reason/result: You’re nuts.

A distinct possibility.

But a more probable root is my penchant for forgetting things. It has come to the point that I forget so many things – appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, entire weeks, holiday seasons, my middle name – that I spend a lot of time worrying about what I’ve forgotten.

Every afternoon around 3 p.m., my mind wanders through the same tired cycle.

“OK, mind, I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but let’s work together for once and remember something that I’m sure we’re forgetting,” I say aloud to myself and anyone within earshot.

I then begin to think about what I possibly could be forgetting. Have I lost my keys today? No. Have I forgotten to pay a bill today? Of course. Am I wearing clothes? Yes – but what were you thinking? Was I supposed to pick up the kids from school? Uh oh. Was I? OK, let’s go down the list. Oldest child – no. She’s in college. Second child – no. He has a car. Third child – no. He has practice. Fourth child – uh, ah, oh my, that’s it. I have forgotten to pick up our fourth child from school. That poor kid, always forgotten, always getting hand-me-downs, always left out, always the last thing on my mind.

I get up and start to walk out the door to pick up our youngest, most neglected child. Then my mind finally decides to join the exercise, and I recall that we don’t have a fourth child.

So, the good news is: We don’t have four children.

But I had to forget something. Is it Monday, or maybe Thursday?

Did I forget my glasses? No, I remember losing them a week ago (they are small, round, and glassy. If you find something that meets that description – other than Liza Minnelli – please contact me on my lost cell phone).

Did I forget a meeting? Did someone tell me two weeks ago to meet them somewhere about something on some day? I bet that’s what I forgot.

Did I forget something my wife told me to do? I don’t think so – I would have received a reminder by now (she knows me). Do I have another wife that told me something to do? I doubt it. I can’t handle one wife. Even I’m not that dumb, from what I recall.

Should I be worrying about something I forgot that I can’t remember? Someone – I forgot who – once told me that worrying is a sin. You should just present your worries to God and let Him handle it. Now that I remember that, I’m worried that I’m sinning because I’m worried that I forgot something. Good, another thing to forget.

Exasperated, I put my sweaty head in my hands. I then look down and a sight jostled my old memory glands: I wrote down what I needed to remember on my hand. I’m a genius!

Unfortunately, I wrote this reminder on my hand, which was now sweaty and smeared. The only part I could make out was: “Write column about ...,” then a blur of black ink.

Hmm. Now, what was I going to write a column about?

LEN ROBBINS’ syndicated newspaper column appears in more than 20 newspapers in the South. He and his wife and three children live in Homerville, Georgia (population: 2,890), next to the Okefenokee Swamp.

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