I just remembered: I am slowly replacing my memory with Post-Its

image When my wife called to remind me about letting the dogs out at noon, I instinctively retrieved a Post-It from the desk drawer and scrawled “Dogs at noon,” then stuck it to the computer monitor.

This required shuffling a series of other yellow Post-Its into order of importance, with things like “Call about hair cut,” “Go to dry cleaners” and “Clean out van” written on them.

That one, of course, was moved to the very end of the line.

Sadly, they’re all things I should be able to remember on my own and usually do; like when I’m staring into the closet for a pair of pants to wear.

Later, I got into the van and was gently reminded by a shocking-yellow piece of paper to “get gas.” It was while sitting at the pump a short time later that the notion of Post-It dependency hit me. In the beginning, I was only an occasional user, jotting down out-of-the-ordinary reminders. You know, things like a doctor’s appointment, or that it was time to change the oil.

Then, “Change cat box” and “Take out trash” began appearing on the bathroom mirror, or stuck to the alarm clock — painfully obvious things that were reminders in and of themselves.

My life was becoming sort of a dot-to-dot, or in this instance pad-to-pad, existence, moving from one reminder to the next. What was next?

“Breathe?”

“Swallow?”

“Don’t drink soda with Alka-Seltzer?”

So, I decided enough was enough. It was time to end the addiction. For those of you who followed my attempt to give up coffee, you probably know where this is going.
Still, I reached into my shirt pocket, snatched my last, still-cellophaned package of pads and tossed them out the window and into the trash. This was my moment, something I would long remember without a scrap of yellow paper conveniently laced with “stick-um.”

“Excuse me, sir,” the gas attendant said, interrupting my moment of triumph. “You got another gas card? This one’s expired.”

Confused, I thumbed through my wallet as the attendant handed me a yellow slip of paper. “By the way, this fell off the back of your card.”

I took it from him and stared at my handwritten reminder:

“Call about gas card.”

After handing the attendant my cash, I reluctantly stepped from the truck and, with no small amount of humiliation, dug the Post-Its back out of the trash, opened it and made myself a note.

“Get more Post-Its.”

_______________________________________________________________

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(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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75 thoughts on “I just remembered: I am slowly replacing my memory with Post-Its

  1. I was using so many sticky notes that I bought pretty stationery instead. That way, when they are littered all over the rooms, I can call them “interior decorating” followed with, “I saw it on Pinterest.”

  2. I’ve switched from post-its to legal pads. Now I can make longer lists of reminders. They’re in technicolor, too, since I want to make sure I notice all of my reminders. Somehow certain colors have more gravitas at certain moments in time. Don’t ask me why.

  3. i totally get this. my kids used to put sticky notes on my hand to place on my computer at work reminding me to pick them up if it was my turn after school, or from events. even that didn’t always work.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this blog. It seems a bit of a departure from your usual style of humor.. and I like it. I have nothing snarky or sarcastic to say, my own departure a tribute to your own. Cheers.

  5. I now carry a small notebook to keep track of things I need to remember to do. 😦

    Actually, I think the act of writing it down helps set it in my head but having it to refer to is a lot of help. My memory started failing in 2005. My brain broke and the glue that I have used to put it back together has leakage.

  6. Outlook calendar and a sheet of paper. There are few things as satisfying as crossing something off a list. Less satisfying is transcribing everything onto a new sheet of paper because the other one is full of crossed-off items except for the ones you still haven’t done and may not ever get around to.

  7. I have no fewer than nine Post-its currently attached to my monitor and keyboard in a total of six different colors. No regrets. I’m pretty sure those neon squares of sticky miracle paper are holding together what’s left of my sanity.

  8. Post it notes are all over my house is 6 different colors and I still forget to look at them sometimes!! LOL! They are a good thing to have around. I wish you luck in your new adventure… what were we talking about again? 😉

  9. I gave up on the sticky notes because I couldn’t remember the ‘safe’ places where I put them. Now, my whole life is in my cell phone – thank goddess for smart phones!

  10. I don’t use sticky notes as the Wife uses lists. She has the memory of an elephant, even though she doesn’t resemble one in any way, and the organising skills of Obama’s secretary.

    Which brings me back to my comment of yesterday about a busy husband…

  11. This was hilarious. I am guilty of making endless lists. At the bottom of every list? The words, “See other list”. Sad when your lists are about lists.

    My husband tried to help me with my post-it note addiction by telling me “there’s an app for notes on your phone”. But then I’d miss out on the satisfaction of crumpling up those bits of paper in frustration.

    • Exactly! Using your phone as a Post-It is not the same. Plus, when our smart phones become self aware — and they will — they will use that information against us.

      But not Post-Its. They would never hurt us.

  12. I have a post it note that reads “makes sure to read your post it notes” Think of it as external memory, Ned, it’s all the rage in IT. You can take your extenal memory with the data and programs and run it on any computer. See how that works? So, say your editor trips over you while you’re having a nap on the floor at your office (you have nap-time in your contact I hope), and accidently breaks one of your ribs. You have to go to the hospital and while you’re there they accidently confuse you with another patient when you doze off (your nap having been interrupted) and remove your appendix. Now you’re stuck in the hospital for a week while you heal. So, with post its, you just call up your wife (your auxillary processor) and ask her to read all your post its and carry on with your life as if you were there. See how well that external memory works? Then of course, you could sue your editor and the hospital and retire early as an independently wealthy man. And all thanks to post its.

    • I think we’re a dwindling breed, Amy. Although I have to say I never use my devices for note taking. I’m too afraid someday they will become self aware and use it against me.

  13. I totally love and completely relate! Wish I’d invented those little buggers. One of my favorite uses is for directions in the car. I stick them right over the engine r.p.m. guage, where its easy to look when driving. This keeps me from looking way over to the passenger seat (where I usually have my paper with directions on it) and having an accident.

  14. Hey Ned! I’ve been missing from the scene a while now but I came back to this and had a laugh (as always). If you’re confused, I’m the Musings girl, my blog had a makeover ’cause I was being stalked. *not even remotely interesting!* Now I’m the CocoFloat girl! Hehe. Anywhooo….just wanted to say, “Hi!” after a long break. So, hi! 🙂

    • I can achieve the same feel by writing on my Post-its in Crayon.

      Which brings up a question that’s been on my mind: Do plastic surgeon swho specialize in breast enhacements use Post-tits?

      • Ha! i was having an access put in my arm for dialysis and was on a stretcher outside the operating room when the surgeon came along. he pulled out a black marker and the X-rays and with my confirmation of which arm, he began to draw dotted lines and arrows and solid lines on my arm. I asked if it was special medical marker and helooked at the marker and at me and said “No, just a 99 cent marker form Staples.” I’ll ask him for a few post its next time – save all the marks on my arm.

  15. Pingback: Books, Books, So Many Books | The Write Transition

  16. Like you I have become addicted to Post-It notes. As we are packing up our house to move we discovered I have accumulated 1423769519543 packages of them (slight exxageration, change the 543 at the end to 534, ha!) But seriously, I am addicted! But now I have a good excuse – I just tell people I have COPD brain! (studies have shown lack of oxygen leads to loss of memory as one of the first signs)

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