June 14, 2005
“That was really stupid, Su,” I tell myself when I realize I turned off the timer but let the peach cobbler burn up in the oven.I say these words out loud – I’ve taken to muttering in the streets like the people with invisible cell phones. Lucky for me it’s hard to distinguish the sheep from the nuts these days.”How stupid can you GET, Su,” I snarl when, once again, I run out of oxygen because I neglected to refill the tank.”It’s a good thing no one saw THAT,” I whisper with relief when I find the frozen food in the pantry and my wallet in the refrigerator.I bought a new phone a few weeks ago and guess what I picked? I picked a little BLACK phone with little GRAY numbers on it that I can barely discern even with my bifocals on and holding the device directly under my reading light.How dumb can you get?Having zero retention for digits, I have to look up any number I call, so I have to juggle the phone and my address book under the reading light and this is when I discover that if I try to cradle the dinky little phone between my ear and my shoulder it pops out and rolls across the floor. “Stupid, Su – you are a stupid girl!”What was I thinking? With my eyesight (if you run into me on the street, please identify yourself!) and hearing (please identify yourself loudly!), I need one of those amplified phones with numbers the size of Scrabble tiles – a white phone with big black numbers that light up in the dark, a phone with a speed-dial for five or six frequently called numbers. More than six – forget it.”What was I thinking” is purely rhetorical, since clearly I wasn’t thinking at all when I bought a phone that I couldn’t call 911 on if a bear were in the kitchen.When I get in my car I remind myself, “You’re going to the post office.” Otherwise, my car would go to The Aspen Times office, and it always goes home after work no matter what I say. Note that it’s the car’s fault.Did I take my pills today? Did I take them twice?I think I need another dachshund, a cuddly loving creature who would generously lie to me, reassuring me with wags and kisses: “You’re not stupid, you’re not getting old, you’re not going crazy – I love you just as you are.” On the other hand, I might end up with another Rufus, a dachshund who was quick to point out my shortcomings before I noticed them myself. Rufus would have been snickering and rolling his eyes if he had seen me put clothes in the dryer, stop, forget what I was doing, think “appliance” and turn on the empty dishwasher.Maybe a non-judgmental golden retriever, or, better yet, a trained assistant dog who could tell me where I left my car keys, sound an alarm when the frying pan catches fire and gently point out that my shirt is on inside out. Su Lum is a longtime local who is over the hill and hurtling down it. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.
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