I love our new gym. It’s full of old guys and soccer moms. Last week, one of the old guys walked up to me while I was about an hour into my ride on the elliptical. He stopped next to the machine with a big smile and said “I see you here a lot. I come here a lot too, so I like to meet the people I see every day. My name is Jack.” I introduced myself but he was a little hard of hearing and kept repeating my name back to me as different words like gent, jan and gin. I finally spelled it for him J-E-N to which he replied “oh, short for Janet!” When I told him it was short for Jennifer he looked at me like I was nuts. I just smiled and kept jogging.

Before walking away he said “Oh, and I have dementia, so we will probably meet over and over again since I might not remember this conversation.” I told him I looked forward to it with a smile. You have to love a guy who has a sense of humor about his condition. It reminded me of something my Dad would say.

After a week of being away, I visited the gym yesterday and who did I run into – my best bud Jack. I was thinking about what new characters I could introduce myself as when he walked up and said “let me see if I can remember…. Jan, right?” I replied “Close, Jen” using my best midwest flat E. He leaned in a little closer and said “Jan, that’s what I said!” I guess I should have expected it after it being the name that appeared on my Starbucks cups all week on vacation. Maybe it’s time to head to Staples for some name tags. That or the Secretary of State to fill out the paperwork to change my name to Janet.

*I wrote this piece while listening to my daughter watch TV after being away from YouTube for a whole week!