Breland: Memory slips can happen to some forgetful people

Published 10:27 am Friday, November 4, 2022

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Did you ever put something away and later when seeking, have no memory of where you placed it? It happened to me.

I know I put it in a safe place, but while searching everywhere, it has not turned up. Maddening! Maddening! Maddening!

At some future time it will likely appear, but I need it now! I can’t blame anybody else. I know I did it myself. It is definitely in the house, but where?

This isn’t the first time for me. Once before I “lost” something and could not find it anywhere. I was really desperate because it involved finances and I could not do without it. So I asked the Good Lord to help me, since it was important. Right away the answer popped into my head. Prayers answered!

By some strange incident it was in the trunk of my car with some other things. I still haven’t figured how it got there, but there it was!

They call them memory slips, another term for forgetting or losing things. You lose your keys, your cell phone and the TV control. You wish they had bells on them so you can find them. I have thought about wearing my cell phone on a cord around my neck!

It can take a while to search and we are unhappy with the loss of something we can’t find, but the amount of time we waste searching is downright aggravating when we know we lost it ourselves!

If we keep searching, the awfulness of losing may change to gladness when finding. When you find it, you are hit with the thought of finally remembering where you put it! The next thought may be when you put something away, you will write it down. Fancy finding that piece of paper!

I don’t like to associate losing things with an aging mind, since this didn’t just start with me. Usually after thinking about it for a while, I will remember. Putting things away in the same place, time after time, will help us find where they are.

When I go into the house, my keys have a certain place where they are always hung. If I go from the car into another place, my keys are in my pocket or they hang inside my purse until I need them again. However, I am always searching for the TV control! It is never where I think I left it.

So this one object I cannot find, caused me to sit down and remember the time and place where I started. “I picked it up and I decided to put it…” No memory. “Why did I decide to put it away? Because it was out of place. And I put it…” Memory deserts me.

I am not too worried because thankfully it was not a precious object…just one I needed. It can be replaced, so maybe I should not worry. Sooner or later, it will turn up. Things don’t stay lost forever. Or do they? I remembered some keys we hid away when we went on vacation. Coming home, we never found them. We had to get new locks. They are likely still where we left them waiting to be found.

I really try to put things in likely places but I may get in a hurry and put something away hurriedly. That is the one I am likely to forget.

Maybe I can’t find the black pepper anywhere and I am cooking and need a little pepper. Where did I use it last? When every place has been searched and I open the refrigerator for something else — there it is and I tell no one!

It is distressing to lose things or put things away and can’t find them, but life goes on and a few days later we may forget all about it. Sure as shooting, that’s when the lost item will appear! Every time!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at