Light Notes

In marriage, 2 half-wits = 1 healthy brain

Are two heads better than one?

A study published in the British Medical Journal this summer links marriage with lower cognitive decline.

However, my extensive research — which stems from observing two half-wits in our household — has me wondering.

Brain No. 1: “Where’s my coffee? I was drinking it just a minute ago, and now it’s disappeared!”

Silence while other intellect engages.

Brain No. 2: “Well, where did you set it?”

A heavy sigh fills the air hoping to bring to mind the idea that the other brain isn’t much help.

Brain No. 1 then walks backward in her mind, only to find no one is home. The missing cup has shown up in a totally unexpected place — the microwave oven.

It is this kind of glitch in our hardwire that has us — or at least me — worried. The amount of absentmindedness sandwiched between our two brains is mind-boggling — not just lately, but for years.

Summer hats, reading glasses and keys disappear into a black hole like missing socks in the laundry. But occasionally they come to light.

Once while flying down a two-lane road at 60 mph, a car began to follow us closely. We sped up. It accelerated, too. Then, in a burst of speed the car raced to overtake us.

We glared at their vehicle. Had they lost their mind?

No. It was us.

The car-chasing couple, wearing a knowing smile, held up a scribbled makeshift sign: “YOUR KEYS!!”

Brain No. 2 looked at the ignition, his keys were securely in place.

“Where are your keys?” he asked as Brain No. 1 — a bit scattered, searched frantically. Upon further thought, and with the wind whipping through her hair, she spotted them — DANGLING IN THE PASSENGER DOOR!

But it’s not just me.

Once when I was gone for a few days, my husband noticed a framed photo collage of his hiking experience with daughter Tiffany. Moved with emotion, he called her only to learn that she’d given it to him years earlier.

To aid our aging brainpower we’ve tried crossword puzzles, dance lessons and the Web site MentalFloss.com. All we’ve gotten for our effort is low self-esteem.

But maybe, as the study indicates, the way to beat the odds of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s is staying married through midlife and beyond.

That’s fine with me. I sort of like old “what’s his name.”

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