I can picture the scene from thirty-one years ago as if it were yesterday. I was in our kitchen when our eighteen-year-old son Seth walked in, opened the refrigerator door and declared, “I forgot what I came here for!” That memory has comforted me many times. If a teenager can forget what he came to the kitchen for, why should I worry when I can’t remember what I meant to do next?
Many of us who are over sixty-five call such lapses “senior moments”. When we do that, we reinforce what Robert Butler was the first to call "ageism". Now that more of the world’s population is over sixty-five than is under five, we can win the fight against ageism rather than contribute to it.
As Ashton Applewhite points out in her wonderful new book, This Chair Rocks, when she lost her keys in her junior year in college, nobody called it a “senior moment”.