Friday, October 16, 2015

The Organizer

For some time, my husband has been fixated on "sorting," "reorganizing," and putting things "away." For instance, he removes the contents of his wallet, showing me his gift cards and identification, shifting things around and counting the money (several times) before putting everything back. It isn't necessarily where it had been, but it's all back in the wallet. He's doing that right now, as a matter of fact, as I write this blog. Twice so far since I sat down, but the wallet is still in his hand, so anything can happen. Aha! Everything is coming out and being sorted yet again.

He also looks through the things that are in his dresser drawers, taking things from here and putting them there. No big deal, right? Except when he puts something away, I can't find it for him, because I don't know where he's moved it  And he can't find it, either, because he doesn't remember seeing it in the first place, much less moving it to wherever it is right now.

Lately, he's started reorganizing other areas of the house and other people's things (mine, for instance), and it's a bit harder to be sanguine about the whole thing.

Last week, I was looking for a particular cookbook I'd promised to lend to a friend. It was on one of the chairs in the kitchen, waiting to leave the house with me. And then it wasn't. Where could it possibly be? I checked the bookcases. Nope. I checked the living room, the dining room, the guest room, the storage room, the family room. Nothing. He was helping me look for it, but he didn't remember what it was we were looking for. He asked me again and again, and I explained it to him again and again. Was it worse to be unable to find it, or was it worse to have to explain what it was over and over? I don't know. He hadn't seen it. He hadn't moved it.

I decided not to worry about the cookbook for now, figuring I could always buy a new one for my friend, and everything would be fine. The next day, I was moving a pile of t-shirts he had placed on the hope chest that's next to the bed in our room when, lo and behold! There it was! He didn't know how the cookbook got there. He hadn't seen it. He hadn't moved it. I concluded that I must be losing my mind (you would be, too).

Just a few minutes ago, I was putting some clean clothes in his dresser. I set about straightening the contents of a drawer to make room for what I was putting away. And that's where I discovered my latest travel diary notebook (that blog is I can't imagine what it was doing in his dresser, hidden under his clothing. I suppose he was organizing things, found it where I left it (on my nightstand), and put it away.

I've heard that Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes often are accused of stealing things. I wonder if this is how it happens. You see Mrs. Smith's pink sweater on the back of a chair. You also have a pink sweater (or you had one when you were young, or whatever), so you take it and put it away where it belongs. In your closet.

So, if you see my husband with something that doesn't belong to him, he's probably "found" it and is looking for a good spot for it. And he probably doesn't realize that it isn't his. After all, it's in his hand.