Why Am I Here?
by Pauline Hylton
Several times during any given day, I wander into a room and ask myself one of life’s greatest questions. ‘Why am I here?’ It’s not a profound question. I am literally wondering, ‘Why am I here?’
I don’t think this is an odd phenomenon. I have surveyed 100% of the women I know over the age of 50, and 100% of them ask the same exact question. In fact, several of you techno-savvy young women who actually text faster than a gun-slinger (note: those are men from westerns who, … never mind). You young whipper-snappers have the same malady; however, it is less pronounced in you. Perhaps only affecting you once a day.
Those of us standing at the top of the proverbial hill experience this approximately every fifteen minutes. One of my friends even has a system for trying to figure out why she is in a particular room for no apparent reason. It works something like the game of ‘Clue.’ Marcia’s audible self-conversation might sound like this.
“I am now in the garage (as if she didn’t know—although women over 50 should probably state their whereabouts 90% of the time). What room was I in before this?” After that, she asks herself another important question, “What was I doing in that room?”
One can just see her, pacing back and forth, bent over, pipe in one hand, English-looking hat perched on her head, as she asks herself her last vital question, “Who was I talking to?” These series of questions sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes, produce the following discovery.
“Hmmm. Judging from the kitchen towel strung over my right shoulder, I detect that I was in the kitchen. And since I have a mustard stain on the bottom of my shirt, and the ever-so-slight odor of pickles on my right index finger, obviously I was fixing a sandwich. And then, since my husband and I are the only ones home, and I don’t talk to anyone but him
and me, I surmise that I was talking to husband Bruce! Therefore, I have come to the logical conclusion that while in the kitchen, conversing with husband Bruce, I began to fix a sandwich for his lunch.” More pacing and pipe smoking. “Therefore, I’ve discovered that I came to the garage for a water bottle to place in Bruce’s lunch! It is elementary, really.”
Then we think we are brilliant since we have solved our room mystery and wish to celebrate with our assistant Watson; but by then, we have wandered into another room, and the ‘Clue’ mystery begins again.
Actually it is much better for women our age to stay in the same room for the rest of our lives.
But there is another age-old question we 50-plus-year-olds ask ourselves. Namely, ‘What did I do with it?’ The ‘it’ can be anything from our reading glasses to our firstborn child. It doesn’t matter; we can’t find it, or him. If you ask my husband Tom (he is in some other room in this house, but I’m afraid to branch out of my room for fear that I may forget why I left), he would say that it is the kiss of death when I put an object in a ‘safe place.’ Here is a recent reenactment of an actual occurrence.
“Where did you have it last, Pauline?”
“It was in the basket by my bed. I went through my basket and sorted through the books. Then I thought, ‘I should put this writing portfolio in a safe place.’”
“So, I thought I’d move it to my office where the rest of my writing is.”
“Then I remember it was too large for the bookshelf.”
“Then I have no other knowledge of the item.”
We looked everywhere. And I mean everywhere. We combed all the bookshelves, checked under all the beds. We looked behind the furniture, and even checked the inside of our hassock where I have a secret compartment for blankets, which I had forgotten were there; but now it is April in Florida, and we don’t need them. We continued our search into the garage, the laundry room, the kitchen and even the freezer. We never found my 14- by 14-inch writing portfolio.
Perhaps, one hundred years from now, there will be a time capsule with faded pictures of articles long ago that will find their way into a museum of artifacts. Or maybe, there is a Bermuda triangle in my home. Except, I think it travels, because I also had one in college.
Another problem that we women have is closely associated with losing things. That is, we aren’t sure of anything. My friend, Carolyn said that recently she was at school, where she teaches the first grade, when someone asked her if she had the key to the art cabinet. She said she didn’t, but checked every possible known place in her classroom. No one could locate the key.
The woman came back and said, “Are you 100% sure you don’t have the key?”
Carolyn was flabbergasted, as we all would be. A woman over the age of 50 is never 100% sure of anything except for the fact that she is not 100% sure.
Later, after they cancelled art for the day, they found the key somewhere else.
I say it is a victory for all women over the age of 50! We can be sure of the fact that we are not sure, but we did not have the key to the art cabinet!
Maybe that’s where my writing folder is.
Pauline Hylton is a freelance writer from Largo, FL, who specializes in humor or whatever else you’ll publish. She loves dark chocolate, her family and the Lord (but not necessarily in that order). For more of Pauline’s writings, visit www.PaulineHylton.com.