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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

"Just Shoot Me"

Well, that's not really what my husband wanted, but that is what he said.

"I don't want to go into one of those homes."

"If my memory keeps going south, just shoot me."

Not exactly a request that any court would uphold. Sure, there are living wills (we both have one), but they cover terminal conditions. Losing one's memory is usually not terminal. It will mess up your life but not end it.

Okay, so here's what happened: Before Alan, my son, and I headed out to an early Mother's Day dinner at a local bistro, Alan did some touchup spray painting on my office desk. Nice of him to do because he'd announced first thing that morning that he hadn't bought me a gift--not even a card. I wasn't insulted. He'd given me an "out" for Father's Day.

Later, I noticed that he had some trouble reading the card my son gave me (at least, someone loves me); he actually had to remove his glasses--not a big deal.

Then off we went to the restaurant. Did I mention that my husband had borrowed my car to drive to and from the YMCA earlier in the day? I'm pretty stingy about loaning my beloved Kia Soul, but his close-to-death Subaru is in the shop. Again!

The three of us were seated at the bistro and, as we were perusing the menu, Alan is squinting, closing and opening his eyes. "I can't see. What the heck is going on?"

He rips the glasses off, looks at the label, and says, "These are not my glasses! They are Levi's. I don't wear Levi's."

Then he panics. Where the hell are his glasses? Did he leave them at the "Y" and grab a pair belonging to someone else? Hadn't that someone else noticed that he couldn't see, either?

We ate faster than we should have so that we could get Alan to the "Y" before it closed. He checked the men's locker room. No glasses. He scoured the gym. No glasses. And no phone call from another disgruntled member who couldn't see.

(Apologies for the back story here, but I think it's important. Alan first lost several thousand dollars' worth of camera equipment during our vacation in Mexico. A few weeks later, he lost his cell phone. And now the glasses. Things were going downhill fast.)

Back to the story of the glasses: Around midnight, Alan walked into our bedroom holding a pair of glasses. He sheepishly said they were his and that he'd left them on the floor of my office when he was working there earlier in the day. The pair he grabbed--the pair he wore to the "Y", out to dinner and, yes, while driving my car were mine! My computer glasses. The cheap Levi's. The ones that make everything out of focus/blurry whenever I accidentally leave them on.

"If this continues--if my memory gets as foggy as my sight--then don't put me in one of those homes. Just shoot me!"


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