This week, I’m working on an article about mattresses — what to look for, what they cost, how to choose, etc., and I’m doing a phone interview with a marketing manager for one of the major mattress brands. I ask a question about one of the new products her company is introducing, and suddenly there’s silence.
“Just a minute,” she says, and I hear some muffled conversation on her end. About ten seconds later, she returns to the line. “Sorry about that,” she says. “Just having an early onset Alzheimer’s moment. Can you repeat the question?”
What? An early onset Alzheimer’s moment? Is this for real? Is she kidding? met this woman once briefly at a press conference a few months ago, but I know nothing about her. I barely remember what she looks like, and I don’t have a clue as to how hold she is. We’re not friends, so I wouldn’t expect her to reveal something so personal to me if it’s true — and if she’s kidding, it’s a pretty weird joke. How does she know that I don’t have early onset Alzheimer’s, or that my husband or a close family member doesn’t? And she’s not laughing or chuckling at all.
So I somehow get out another question to her — I’m not even sure it was the same question I originally asked — and the conversation goes on. And today, I can’t get my mind off of her? Does she really have early onset Alzheimer’s? Has she just learned to deal with it by being upfront? Or was it a joke? Should I feel sorry for her? Or offended?
What would you have done?
Just another strange day in the life of a working writer.