Did I or didn’t I? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“I THINK I’m growing the wrong hairs!” ILLUSTRATION BY VOS


I’ve sat at table staring at the medicine bottle in front of me, wondering if I’ve already taken my dose


Lately I find myself relying more and more on Lani’s memory than my own. Lani has been our lone kasambahay for nearly a decade now. If I depended on her before owing merely to laziness, I’m a long way from that now. It all beganquite innocently—but of course.

“Lani, when did I last dye my hair?” The answer came more quickly than it would have taken to open my chore and appointment book. Soon enough Lani, not only in her mere late 20s but quite sharp naturally, had to take care of such things, saving me the trouble of recording. I hadn’t realized the extent of my dependence on her until one recent morning.

A phone call interrupts my hair-growth ritual. After the call, which takes longer than I wanted, I sit down to a late breakfast. When time comes to leave home for lunch, Lani warns me. I’m still wearing my hair parted where I left my scalp only partly massaged. How far have I gone? I seem done with one side, she said, but was unsure which side.

“I THINK I’m growing the wrong hairs!”

Indeed, my bottle of magic lotion lies there uncapped, the applicator vial still dipped in it, waiting to be employed. Anyway, too late; I’ll just make up at bedtime, when I repeat the ritual. Still I don’t like what was happening.

I’m just as bad with my food-supplement pills, which Lani packs in a little plastic packet and tucks in my bag as I leave for lunch. Emptying my bag on my return, she holds out the packet of unpopped pills. In fact, even at home, I’ve sat at table staring at the medicine bottle in front of me, wondering if I’ve already taken my dose.

I now write things down a lot. But trust my better-than-Martha Stewart-pal, Rita, who got me into the cinnamon habit for my sugar, to come up with yet another simple remedy—for dementia, a P7 Glutaphos tablet a day!

Catching up

I lose no time spreading the news, even before I can act on it myself. It turns out our friend Lorna had known about the pill, went on it for some time, but can’t remember exactly when, or why, she stopped. But she does remember it had, indeed, improved her memory.

And now that she has been reminded, she says, she’s going back on it. Other friends also know about it and do remember it was Rita, too, who tipped them off. And being the last to know, I have a lot of catching up to do.

Not a moment to lose, Lani is back from the pharmacy with the tablets; I’m starting tonight. I’m so excited at the prospect of remembering important trivia again, objects, some of which I don’t even remember losing; newspaper clippings I kept; recipes I jotted down from beauty parlor or doctor’s office readings; receipts; old pictures; things hidden too well but surely just around somewhere waiting to be remembered and found—at last. Their discovery should give, apart from the natural relief and joy, some reassurance of control.

It’s time I depended less on Lani; it’s time, too, that I stopped our driver King developing the rather impertinent habit of issuing reminders, if gentle, from his imaginary checklist of things I may have forgotten upstairs before he drives away: “Cell phone, ma’am, wallet, sunglasses, shawl? Wala tayong nakalimutan, ma’am?”

Not one so gentle in such cases is my husband, who booms from the bedroom.

“What, do I use the other bathroom or what?”

I rush in to confront the strange question. Well, unless he could find his way through my nightgown, undies, a special towel for my colored hair and special shampoo formula, and other after-bath stuff piled or strewn about, overwhelming our three-by-five-foot bathroom, he’d really have to take his business elsewhere.

One thing about inanimate objects, they retain their innocence in any conflict; for sure some animate culprit has put them there, and it couldn’t have been Lani, unless she could now read my mind.

Well, I did mean to take a shower before my husband came home from tennis, but got waylaid, I remember now, into starting this column.

All this will change, Rita promises. “In just three days, you’ll notice the difference already.” But since my condition warrants drastic remedies, I bought a month’s supply.