Is my focus in the dishwasher, too?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2000

Featured Columnist

Nov. 2, 2000 10 PM

Remember that commercial for L’Oreal Haircolor where Heather Locklear cautions us: "Now here comes the scientific part – focus." She wasn’t just talking to blondes that day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

She was talking to America where children are taking medications at school to enable them to get through their schoolwork, adults are popping herb after herb to avoid that stressed-out feeling and homes everywhere are burning mood candles to fight calamity in the home with serenity in the den.

How did we get so stressed out on a day-to-day basis? And when did we lose our ability to focus even when stressed out?

Just a few years ago I could write three news stories a day while worrying about weekend assignments, make a grocery list and keep it in my head until 6 p.m., help Jaine find her negatives, and answer the telephone, all the while knowing that company was coming for dinner and my roots were showing.

But now. Nooooo. Multi-tasking seems to be a thing of the past. As soon as I begin concentrating on something, the other thing I was supposed to be thinking about disappears.

It’s annoying to say the least.

I was putting groceries away this morning when the phone rang. While the refrigerator door was still open, I put a package of weenies in the dishwasher, told AT&T to take a hike and tripped over the shoes I forgot to remove from the kitchen yesterday when I was supposed to be peeling potatoes.

This mysterious malady of multitasking deficit disorder came over me about the same time I noticed gravity was ruling my body instead of just keeping trees from flying into space. It must be age.

The geriatrics doctor my neighbor goes to says that too much is blamed on age. After listening to her complaints about constipation, not being able to sleep at night (except in front of the TV), pains that come and go, and an inability to understand what is being said through the speakers at the fast food lane, her doctor said, "you can’t blame this stuff on age."

Well, doc – I want to blame it on someone – or something – I am not particular. It surely can’t be my fault.

I understand that as an adult in America I am to blame for the decline in the grizzly bear population, global warming, corrupt politicians, tofu burgers, and the heartbreak of psoriasis, but not being able to focus well enough to multi-task? Surely, that is not my cross to bear.

Maybe it’s a virus. You know that nebulous thing that is to blame when you go to the doctor and say you’ve been sick for a week and don’t feel any better and can you have an antibiotic?

"It’s a virus," the doctor says. "Antibiotics don’t help viruses."

What helps viruses?

"Rest and drink lots of fluids."

OK. I had focus. Maybe I just can’t remember where I put it. I’m going to try rest and lots of fluids. But I’m going to soak a Prozac in the fluids first.

Fran Sharp is a freelance writer in Alabaster. Contact her by e-mail at for by snail mail in care of this newspaper.


Contact Us

Letters: Send your commentary to the Troy Messenger.

News tips: Have a story or tip for our staff?

Subscribe: Get the Troy Messenger delivered to your door or mailbox.