I have become increasingly concerned with what I perceive to be my diminishing intellect. If you have met me or ever read my writing, you may not realize that I have a triple-digit IQ.
I do. Really. I used to be considered smart when I was a kid.
Those days may be gone forever. With my advancing age and a world that not only encourages but practically demands multi-tasking, I have noticed my short term memory has diminished to a level that equals one of my dogs. And not the brightest one.
But the fact that I can never seem to remember where I left my cellphone, even if I just used it to tweet seconds before, is perhaps less disturbing to me than the fact that I cannot recall things that I just used to *know* off the top of my head. I used to be very good at trivia. Now I can barely recall the name of that board game, you know, the one where you answered trivia questions.
I may be to the point in my life where my brain has reached maximum file capacity, cannot de-frag itself and is thus randomly crashing, constantly in need of rebooting.
But memory aside, I also notice that I just seem to get stupider and stupider. Like I am totally oblivious to the workings of the world that the typical grade school student understands.
Prime example occurred when I decided to make my favorite pasta salad this morning.
I measured a cup of orzo pasta, two cups of chicken stock and two cups of water. No recipe needed; this is how I cook my orzo. Put it all in a stock pot on the stove, stir, set the temperature at “8″ on my electric stove. Good to go.
Then I reached into the fridge to get the roasted red pepper and the marinated buffalo mozzarella that I bought…when did I buy this? Last week? The week before? Is this pepper still good? Is there a date on the cheese? WHY can I not remember when I bought it?
Both tasted fine, so I convince myself that I can use them. I chop the pepper and the cheese while the pasta cooked. After about 10 minutes and reaching a rapid boil — I don’t recall exactly but that sounds right — I tasted the orzo and it was tender. So I got out the strainer and emptied the pot.
Within in seconds, I poured the steaming pasta on top of the cheese and peppers. Hot pasta on top of tiny bits of cold cheese. Hm, I wonder what chemical reaction that might start?
The lovely cheese curds start to melt. I stare at it thinking, that’s not what usually happens. This is not what I want. I then realize that I should have waited for the pasta to cool to mix it because I do not want the cheese to disappear. And quickly, the cheese is going bye-bye.
So, I started to stir the mixture. Because, you know, my flabby upper arms with almost zero upper body strength can move so fast that it will take pasta at the BOILING POINT to room temp in a matter of seconds due to my sheer whisking power.
Yeah, that’s not working. And the cheese is almost a memory.
This is where I can supply the definitive bit of evidence that I am losing whatever smarts I may have possessed, where if my science teachers could take back the passing grades they awarded me, they certainly would.
I go back to the fridge… and get more cheese.
I quickly chop up some bigger bits of smoked mozzarella, and toss it on top of the STILL STEAMING pasta. Because adding more of what I am losing without adjusting the catalyst for the loss? GEE-nius.
Finally, the cartoon light bulb goes “BOING” over my head — a part of my body that’s sole purpose these days is to hold my massive mop of hair — and it occurs to me, “Hey, dumb ass, maybe, just maybe, you should do something radical to COOL this dish and thus stop the meltdown.”
To my credit, the remedy I choose was not to throw ice cubes on top of my dish. I put the whole bowl in the fridge where the dispersion of chilled air successfully reduced the temperature of the pasta and stopped changing the molecular structure of the cheese.
Jeezus. H. Christ.
I have no doubt that by the time I am 50, I will drool on myself.