As we age, which is one of the things I am unable to control, I notice that I have become mindful about matters which, heretofore, were not important to me. In this I have had ample examples from the seven older siblings. There are none to follow me. When I discover that a former unimportant matter has now become important, I often consult them. More often than not I find their answers confusing, and, I must go my own way.
Take bowel movements. All of my life I have conceded the statistical analysis to my body, neither caring whether they were daily, or bi-daily, or whatever. Now, after having become concerned because on one occasion I had not voided for five days, I put a concerted effort into the production, and, bit by bit, I achieved what I had read was the norm.
I was wondering whether I should make a notation on the calendar or every event of this nature. Because we are basically a one calendar household the notation would have to compete with appointments for the doctor, vet, birthdays, and, dinner parties. The calendar is in a central location where it is accessible to whomever wishes to consult it. For certain, it would have to be encoded. BM wouldn’t do – everyone would know if I did or had forgotten to mark it in. S was not a good idea, either. It is so easily added to notations like ‘vetS’ or ‘DoctorS’. I suggested to my wife that I use ‘V’. She indicated that often a ‘V’ looks like an arrow indicating whatever was placed a week too early.
It was then that I spoke to my oldest brother about it. Oh yes, he assured me, they write it on the calendar. He puts an ‘S’ if its small and a ‘B’ if it is big. To avoid confusion with his wife’s, she puts a ‘P’ for petite and a ‘G’ for gros. they speak French, as I do. So i summed it up for him. Your calendar says ‘PS’ if you both had a small day, and so forth. If there is nothing on the date the significance was either that they hadn’t voided, or, had forgotten to write it down.
My other brother said his wife doesn’t have the problem. He has a calendar in his bathroom. And as he is finishing the production he writes a ‘ST’ or a ‘LT’. Does he forget to write it down? Only when he has misplaced the pencil.
I had never considered size in my notation. I don’t know if it is significant. I would just like to remember that I did. Most times I found the calendar too far, and, my codification too complex: F, T, B, S, s, L – I stopped there when I couldn’t remember if it stood for ‘large’ or ‘liquid’.
My wife’s memory is still very good. At the end of each day she can tell that she did. But me,