I was having lunch today with Bryan and Nathan, the two priests who work with me in the Middlesex Cluster ministry, and telling them a story about how Armando Gonzalez, who was the priest for the Hispanic congregation at St. John's in Waterbury, had told me how wrong the 'stereotypes' of Hispanics were. Except I couldn't remember the word "stereotype" and it drove me crazy, thinking my mind was slipping away from me....
(Gracefully, no matter how I explained it: "what people say about a racial group that is generally accepted but vague and untrue", stuff like that, neither Bryan, a few years my junior, or Nathan, a couple of decades younger, couldn't come up with 'stereotype' either. Made me feel a tad better that they didn't have the word on the tip of their tongue either.)
My father had a form of dementia in his later life and I am constantly worried about it coming to me though I am 12 years younger than when his appeared.
I constantly remind myself that not knowing where my car keys are isn't a problem (though I always know exactly where they are) it's when you don't know what a car key if 'for' that the problems begin.
Names are a nightmare for me. But, when I'm calm and collected, I realize they were a nightmare for me when I was 25!
I asked my friend, Brendan, who is my age, "do you have trouble remembering names?"
He responded, "not me, George...."
What prompted my memory at 6:30 p.m. to remember "stereotype" was while I was reading a novel on the deck, I came across the term "deja vu". How odd that would be the trigger to remember "stereotype". So, when I can't remember a word from now on, I'm going to say, in my head, over and over, "deja vu". Maybe it's magic....We'll see.
Plus, the end of the story of Armando and Hispanic stereotypes. After he'd told me a dozen stereotypes about Latinos that had no basis (and I'm convinced he was correct) I said, "what about the thing about time--like showing up at the appointed hour?"
He smiled. "Oh, that's true", he said, "but only gringos worry about that in all the world.
That too, I know, is true....
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