Talkin' tofu and memory loss

Today we're going to discuss tofu and its heart-healthy benefits in a diet low in salt (taste) and sugar (fun). We'll discuss that right after we discuss the conspiracy to make me believe that my memory is failing. Which it isn't.

Today someone came up to me in public and spoke to me. Now normally I don't go out in public to talk to anyone. You're all strangers out there, and I prefer to be left alone in my own little world as I go to the bank or surreptitiously hide chocolate bars under tubs of tofu in my grocery cart. If you can't see it, then there are no calories in it, got it? Good. I don't go out to have people talk to me. I can talk to myself just fine, thank you very much. And I often do. I'm a wonderful conversationalist. Just ask me.

This person who spoke to me had the audacity to call me by name and inquire after my health. "Pam! Hi! (big smile) How are you? Are you feeling better?"

Better than what?, I nearly asked. Better than someone who pretends Tofu is real food? She had a look of concern pasted on her face and, try as I might, I had no earthly idea who she was or how she knew I'd been under the weather. My health is a closely guarded secret, accessible to only the chosen few who have passed rigorous background checks. I was unsure how she'd passed that test without my knowledge.

"Oh hi! I'm, uh, better. Yes, feeling much better. Thanks so much for asking!" I said this as I secretly nudged the chocolate bars further under the tofu in what I hoped was a sneaky maneuver. The woman said she was so glad I was feeling better and she'd see me later.

See me later where exactly?, I wanted to ask. But I refrained. It would only have led to more conversation with someone I considered a stranger, and I'm big on obeying my mother's admonitions not to speak to those kinds of people. It's never too late to obey your mother.

Lest you think this was a one-time occurrence, let me assure you that this has been going on for years. People come up to me in public places and call me by name and talk to me. So much talking! And what's worse , they fully expect me to know them and to talk back! This is the stuff of nightmares.

A few years ago I was sitting in the hospital lobby awaiting my third poke of the day. I was heavy with child, and apparently that wasn't enough suffering in and of itself. No, they needed to make sure I didn't have gestational diabetes. This required four separate blood draws. A woman walked up to me in my beached-whale state, called me by name and asked me why I didn't come to our high-school reunion party the night before. I so desperately wanted to point to the obvious growth in my abdomen region and tell her that I had a tumor of unknown origin and until they figured out what it was I was confined to the hospital. I didn't. I smiled as she went on and on about people I was supposed to know, but didn't have any recollection of, and events that I'd supposedly been to but again had no memory of. I was sure I'd never attended her high school.

I was trapped. My knowledge of encountering wild animals in the forest was useful in this situation. I sat very still, made no sudden moves and never said a word in hopes that the woman (wild beast) would soon tire of me and go off to torture some other person who didn't know her. It worked. She said she'd see me later, and I resisted the impulse to ask her where that would be exactly, so I could avoid that place like the plague. Then she left.

I still have no idea who she was, and quite frankly I don't care. This is a conspiracy to make me feel old and feeble. Well, I'm not buying into all that hype about memory loss and aging. Besides, I eat tofu. At least I think I do.

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