S1E24. Scary & Scarier

Sally’s question hit me like a ton of bricks:

“When did you decide not to put cinnamon in the coffee anymore?”

I was too stunned to answer her.

Just a week earlier, I had posted a blog about making coffee and had spent a lot of time thinking about my brewing routine. In all that time, not once did the idea of putting cinnamon in with the ground coffee cross my mind. Not once.

Although that had been my routine for at least a year prior to posting the blog, it had been completely beyond my capacity for recall. It was locked in a room somewhere in my brain, emerging only after Sally’s question opened the door that facilitated its escape.

This wasn’t just simple momentary forgetting that yields to a few minutes of concentrated effort (or walking away from it and having it pop into your head an hour later). This was gone. It was the first time it had ever happened to me and it was scary.

Looking back, I have an idea about when it happened. During our recent move, there was a period of about 3 weeks when the coffee maker had been packed up and moved to the new apartment but we were still living back at the old house. Since I couldn’t brew our own coffee, we went out each morning to get our daily fix. When we did finally move into the apartment and unpack, I began brewing coffee again…but without the cinnamon.

It appears that, my routine having been broken, my brain unpacked my decades-long routine of making coffee instead of the more recent cinnamon-laced version.

This past Saturday morning, I put the cinnamon out with the other coffee paraphernalia and installed the 2.0 version of my personal coffee brewing app.

As for Sally’s question, she finally got the answer when she read this draft.  

As upsetting as that experience was, it got worse, because it happened again.

I bought this MacBook Pro about a year ago and was tickled to discover that it had a fingerprint recognition security feature called ‘Touch ID.’ Instead of typing in my password, I merely press a key with my right pointer finger and voila…I’m in! A related feature allows the computer to remember my user name and password for various sites and lets me use Touch ID to automatically enter all that information. Each time I use it, I hear Louis Armstrong singing: “And I say to myself, what a wonderful world!”

Of late, though, I found myself getting irritated because I was constantly typing in my computer’s password in order to access the auto-fill feature for user names and passwords. Somewhere along the way, I had completely forgotten about the Touch ID option. Thankfully, when I updated my operating system this week, a window popped up asking me to enter my computer’s password in order to activate the fingerprint ID feature. That prompt was all I needed to get back on track.

But why did I need that reminder? Why was I unable to recall that option on my own? Unlike the coffee episode, I was never separated from my computer, so that shoots down my hiatus theory of forgetting. 

Although I am once again appreciative of the fact that I can let my fingerprint do the typing for me, I’m having a hard time putting a positive spin on this. My best guess is that it’s not part of normal aging.


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