I’m getting increasingly frustrated with myself these days because I’m noticing myself making a lot more errors than normal.
There’s something of a history of this in my family. My elder sister is notorious for losing her house keys. The same is also true of her mobile phone. It causes no end of grief when my sister gets back to her house after visiting my mum and dad’s house and realises she can’t get in.
Now, I’m not like that. I have never lost a key or a mobile phone. I seem to be always on the ball as far as these kind of things are concerned. This is good, because key loss for a student house results in £25 charges.
But I feel in recent years I’ve become more and more prone to making really silly mistakes. Mistakes caused by a fleeting lapse of attention-to-detail seem to be my speciality, especially when I allow a tiny distraction.
Yesterday we went for a curry takeaway. Good stuff, nice food. Only, because of my supreme idiocy, which came from absolutely nowhere, I overcharged myself by £2. This is 30% of the cost of the meal. I had studied the menu carefully. I had helped other people tot up their contribution. And then concluded without further ado that mine must have been about £8.50, so I was happy with £1.50 change.
Nope. Last night I thought carefully about it and looked at the menu. My meal cost no more than than £6.50. Idiot. But a nice cross-subsidy for my fellow housemates. I would have minded less had it gone in a tip, but no, it’s just been given directly to the person who made the payment on the night. Too late to ask for it back now.
Then yesterday I discovered that a form I’d filled in had been sent back to me. Why? Because I’d forgotten to fill in the box asking for “place of birth”. I know exactly why this happened. I left it blank to come back to it at the end (I never know whether to write the town of the hospital or just the whole city I’m from). And then I never filled it in. What’s worse is that I must have checked the form about four times to be certain I’d done everything, but when I put it in the envelope to send it off I just knew I’d made a mistake somewhere. So it didn’t surprise me at all.
A further incident yesterday was less crushing, but it still annoyed the hell out of me. I went to a friend’s yesterday to watch some football on telly, and because the game was at lunch time I brought along a packed lunch. It was like being in school again. I have the same thing for lunch every day. And yet… when I was packing the bag, I forgot to put in a bag of crisps. This despite the fact that it should have been automatic to me, not to mention me convincing myself that I’d already put the crisps in. I couldn’t believe it when I realised they weren’t there. Idiot.
On top of this are the normal collection of “don’t forget to do X!” comments I make to myself. The usual things are “don’t forget to post this letter”, “don’t forget to take a plastic shopping bag”, “don’t forget to tell Y about Z”… things that I tell myself to do endlessly, and then invariably don’t do. It’s starting to annoy the hell out of me, plus the fact that I beat myself up over it doesn’t help either.
It seems you can’t escape genetics. But who’d have thought there would be a gene for forgetfulness. My grandparents do it. My mum and dad do it. My siblings do it. I do it. My nephew does it.
Maybe I’m being ultra harsh. Maybe everyone does it!
I’m sure that’s true. But it’s no less frustrating.
Evolution still has a long way to go.