I can see how it can be a bit annoying for others when someone tells you a long, drawn-out and allegedly interesting tale only to have you stare at them and ask, “Were you talking to me?”
I think I’ve developed late-onset ADD. Either that or early-onset Alzheimer’s. In any event, my memory, short-term or long-term, is not what it should be and I don’t seem to have the patience to sit still and learn new stuff.
Not that things were all that great before I started the long slow slide into senile dementia or whatever it is that is going on in my head these days.
Take learning and remembering names, for example. It is a minor miracle if I can remember the name of anyone I just met. There are people I’ve worked with for years whose names I don’t know, or rather I cannot for the life of me remember. Mnemonics don’t work for me. For one thing, I tend to forget the mnemonic.
I’ve heard people say that the human brain can only hold in so much information. It’s like a drinking glass. Once it’s full, each new drop of information added means some other bit of information dribbles out. I’m not so sure this is entirely accurate as it fails to account for those who keep forgetting things without any additional information input at all. It reminds me of my uncle who once complained that he wasn’t learning any English but was forgetting his Italian! A sad place to be, no doubt.
The loss or at least weakening of the attention span is also somewhat disturbing. Now, on the one hand, it is a blessing in disguise because, let’s face it, most people are totally uninteresting and whatever they have to say is every bit as boring as they are themselves. A diminished attention span can be a kind of self-defence mechanism for people who’ve heard the same old crap for too damn long.
Still, it does have its disadvantages like when you’re concentrating on adjusting your watch only to be reminded in rather brusque tones that you’re speeding down a 4-lane highway.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… um… hang on… my glasses were here just a minute ago…