A Pointless Story from Dementialand

I’m not Jewish, just for the record. I may or may not have the nose of a beautiful Jewish woman. That’s not the point here. Actually, I have no point today. This really is just a story. Take it for what it’s worth.

I was at an adult day service center for people with dementia. A gentleman said to me, “You have the nose of a beautiful Jewish woman.”

I had a few students with me, and I could tell they were trying not to laugh. I may have laughed, but I remember feeling flattered. Really flattered. I had the nose of not just ANY Jewish woman, but a BEAUTIFUL Jewish woman. I’ll take it.

I came home and told a few people that I had the nose of beautiful Jewish woman. They seemed to find this pretty entertaining. And none of my friends disagreed.

I went back a few weeks later and saw the same gentleman. He came up to introduce himself. It was obvious he didn’t remember meeting me before. I often see people for the second, 10th, or 100th time while they are introducing themselves to me for the first time. As a general rule, I don’t point out that we’ve met before. However, this time I did point it out.

“We’ve met before,” I said. “You told me that I had the nose of a beautiful woman.”

He said with absolute sincerity, “I don’t think that was me. I wouldn’t have said that.” I shrugged it off, obviously not planning to start an argument. But he thought for a minute.

As I walked away, he said, “But it’s funny that someone else said that to you because I was just standing here a minute ago thinking that you had the nose of a beautiful Jewish woman.”

After I left, I sent a text to my mom telling her that a guy with dementia thought I had the nose of beautiful Jewish woman. She can be pretty quickwitted. In about 15 seconds, I got a text back. All it said was, “I’ve been meaning to tell you about Rabbi Schmuley.”

Well-played, Mom. Well-played.


  1. Sounds just like Sue!
    Thanks for your work, Elaine. My mother has AD, and is home with my father, who is her primary care giver. I have watched your site daily since Sue pointed it out, and appreciate your insights into the worl of dementia.


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