Thursday, September 13, 2012

Raspberry Filling and the Flexible Mind

Candy. One of my favorite signs.

Cranky joints and dozing metabolisms aren’t the only changing components for women in the Raspberry Filling years. Our brains teeter on the brink of atrophy. We shift attention for a second and– WHAM! we can’t remember what we were saying, where we put our car keys, what our cat’s name is. Or whether we do, indeed, own a cat.

I like to blame this, as a mom, on the 3.5 trillion to the tenth power times I said, ‘Did you wash your hands?’, ‘Hang on a second’ and ‘Don’t damage your brother’. They are grooved into my brain.
Thousands of readings of ‘Hop on Pop’ also took their toll. Furrows of ‘Say, play, we play all day’,  “No no Pat, don’t sit on that!’ and ‘That one is my other brother’ snake through my gray matter.

Our sisters whose brains weren’t strained by motherhood suffer from frontal lobe fissures incurred in the workplace:  ‘You can stay after class’ ‘Are you done with that bedpan?’ ‘Yes, boss’ or ‘Overtime AGAIN?’

Repeat a phrase or activity often enough and it gouges into your mind. Those gouges spread, crack at a time, diminishing your ability to learn. This explains why middle aged women commit violence upon new cell phones and laptops at a rate triple that of women in their 20’s and 30’s.
My mid-life friends, we must keep our minds agile to prevent fissure-spread. We don’t want to end up pointing  a menacing finger at the poor bagger at the grocery store and shouting, ‘No, no Pat, don’t sit on that!”

Brains need exercise. But one can’t hula hoop a brain. What to do?
Learn new things.
That’s right. Don’t rest on your brain laurels. Read new books. Develop a new skill.
Learn a new language.
My new language is SIGN. (Sometimes I write that I am learning ‘sing language’. Pesky consonants. Always transposing on me.)
Anyway, I chose sign because:
-it is beautiful
-I don’t have to remember male or female forms of nouns or participial forms of verbs
-My son’s parent-in-law are deaf and I want to converse past a wave and a nod of goodwill.

 In the well-over-a-year I’ve been practicing, I’ve mastered a hundred and a half nouns, a hefty chunk of adjectives and a half dozen or so verbs. Which means, when I see my daughter-in-law’s parents at Thanksgiving I will be able to say,
“Your daughter nice, my son love, have good trip here, want more candy?”
Maybe, just in case my brain falls into a groove, I should also learn to sign ‘Say, play, we play all day?”

Toilet. One of the most vital signs.


Lori Lipsky said...

I got a chuckle from your facial expressions that went along with the words candy (so cheery) and toilet (a bit desperate). Bug, too.

It is smart to learn new things at our age. At any age. Congratulations on your advancements in sign language. I'm impressed. Keep up the good work, Prude!

Celeste said...

You crack me up! I love your sense of humor. I have to admit, I haven't checked your blog recently because I'm currently focusing on burning those annoying little phrases into my head so that they'll stick with me forever. Mine include "There are lots of things that we don't like to do, but we just have to do them," "If you're not able to speak to sister respectfully, then please stop talking," and "if you didn't poop, then NO! I will not wipe you so stop asking me!"