Sunday, January 3, 2010



JAN: I received a beautiful pair of earrings from my sister-in-law on Christmas Day. Lucky I put them on and wore them that evening, because when I wore them Monday night, I lost one. I've lost so many things, I don't even get upset
anymore.

I try to tell myself that Matter Doesn't Just Disappear, but I don't believe it.
I actually think it's a conspiracy against me. As if the universe is stealing my valuables, or just messing with me mentally. Once I lost a diamond earring in my bedroom. I felt it fall off and immediately began the search. Bill and I searched the bedroom a dozen times. We still haven't found it.

But I've come to think that there are certain things that are just eminently lose-able. Earrings are obviously an issue for me. But when the kids were little, it was pacifiers. I'd have a dozen of them, but whenever I desperately needed one, I couldn't find any. Then I'd come across three under the sofa cushion when the baby was sleeping peacefully with three more of them next to her in the crib.

Now, it's guitar picks. I have a ca
rved box in the living room where they belong. They are always gone. And none in the guitar case either, or stuck in the strings. Two days later, I'll find one in my son's pockets when
I'm doing laundry. Or in my wallet. Or on the window sill.

Reading glasses?? Come on, don't
you secretly think there's someone out there removing them from your nightstand, coffee table or purse?? Or are there other things in your life that have a way of slipping behind the shelves?

RO: I can't believe you're blogging about this because this was going to be my next rant. No one likes losing anything, but I HATE it. And I have a hard time shutting up about whatever it is that I've lost - an expensive pen, my sister's two necklaces which I lost in 2005 and always wore together (one, yes, two?..I smell conspiracy.)

And I never stop expecting to find the missing item. I can remember moving out of an apartment many years ago and thinking - ha! I'll finally find that earring! Didn't happen. These are not misplaced items, these are the well and truly gone, beamed to another planet, never to be seen again things. How does this happen?

Last year on tour, I was at the airport in Philly and couldn't find my driver's license - my only picture ID. Somehow I finessed the security guards, got on my flight and had my husband overnight my passport to my hotel. But it drove me nuts. how could I lose my driver's license? Six months later I found it. It had slipped between the lining and the leather of the bag I was using. THAT'S why you never stop looking.

Now, whenever I'm looking for something and ask my husband if he knows where the item is, he says "it's with your sister's necklaces." Do you think he means "shut up, already"?

HANK: Ah, this is hard. I agree, nothing is really lost. It can't be lost, it exists. Still, if you don't have it, it's lost to you. And it's so frustrating, because you keep going back to the time when it wasn't lost--and
how did it cross over into the land of the lost? And why didn't you stop it?

And how about my Mom's famous question: Where did you lose it?

Still, when its not our own stuff, isn't there a women-can-usually-find it thing? I mean this morning, Jonathan said: Where's the mayonnaise? I said, fridge, door, lower left. No, it isn't, he said, I can't find it. You do not need me to tell you what happened next.

(But I know that's different than losing earrings and pens. Last night at din
ner, no two nights ago, I wore mismatched earrings, because on the costume-jewelry level, they are all I have left. Not kidding.)

HALLIE: Mismatched socks. Mismatched gloves. I have an entire basket where they live because hope springs eternal that the missing mates will show up. I wish there was a way to put a expiration date on the orphans so I’d know when to throw one out.

And what about that horrible feeling when you realize you’ve lost your purse? I remember having the exact same feeling when I went to the mall for the first time in years WITHOUT a daughter in tow. I knew something was missing, but it took me awhile to figure out what it was. Some things don’t go missing, they just grow up.

ROBERTA: yes, I lose earrings because they're too uncomfortable to keep on for long and soon the squeezing pain outweighs the urge to be stylish. I find them in pockets, in my car, in my husband's suit jacket... Yes, Hank, in our household we say "use your looking skills" when something is hidden in plain sight.

I will never forget years ago my grandparents came to visit me. They'd been in their room a long time so I finally went to check. They had lost their keys and were going through every item in their suitcase, frantic to find them. I pointed out that they'd pinned them to one of the pockets so they wouldn't get lost. Scary, scary, scary to think I'm closer to that than I ever could have believed!

Oh, and more way to lose things--on my computer when I save them to the wrong file. Very, very nervewracking...

JAN: So have you been losing stuff all your life? Do you cede your possessions to the universe or are you like Ro, expecting that if you just keep searching a little bit longer, you'll find it?

16 comments:

Terry Odell said...

What I can't stand is when that vital item that's been in your way, right there on your desk, every day for a month disappears when you finally need it.

Jungle Red Writers said...

Hi Terry.
That demon definitely does
that same thing to me ALL THE TIME!!

~jan

Sheila Connolly said...

I blame it on the cats. They hide things. Too bad I can't train them to find things again, although they're getting pretty good at playing fetch.

Silver James said...

I used to have a poltergeist. I called him Freddy (LONG before Freddy Krueger!). Whenever I misplaced/lost something, I'd sent up a request for Freddy to find it. Usually, within a day or two, the item would reappear in some bizarre place, but a place where I would surely find it. I miss Freddy!

I've also noticed I can't find things after I clean and put them away. I know there's something creepy hiding in plain sight with an invisibility cloak to throw over those items.

It can't possibly be because I am old, forgetful, or distracted. Really!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

And someone (Nancy Martin?) told me about St. Christopher, the saint of lost things. That if you ask St. C to help you find something, he will. I used this, only once, in desperation, and I have to say, um, I found the thing.

Now it makes me nervous to use it.

And yes, Terry, you are SO right!

Jungle Red Writers said...

But Rome, in its wisdom, declared St. Christopher no longer a saint.

Bad, bad, marketing decision.

He was so useful

~Jan

Rhys Bowen said...

Sorry I was too late to jump in on this. Crazy house packing up before our winter migration to Arizona.

But I have a drawer full of single earrings, still expecting to find the pair one day.And you know what- sometimes I do. About a month ago my toe encountered something sharp in the bedroom carpet and it was a small diamond stud. I had gone over every inch of that carpet when I dropped it, and then vacuumed a million times since.
I think some malevolent spirit takes and returns things.
But being Catholic, St Anthony is a great help in finding lost objects.

Rhys Bowen said...

It's not St Chris, by the way.
He's only helpful when the GPS goes out in your car--he's the patron of travelers.
It's St Anthony who is the saint for lost objects, but you have to put money in the poor box afterward or he won't help again.
And St. Jude is the patron of lost causes.

Jan Brogan said...

Maybe that's why I never find stuff. I've been praying to the wrong saint.

This is why I should have gone to Catholic School and not just CCD. I can never keep the details straight!!

~jan

Robin Burcell said...

Terry, that is the story of my life! Or that thing you've been hanging onto for years, just in case you need it, but then finally decide to throw it out, and the moment you do, you suddenly need it!

As for lost earrings, I am half tempted to take my collection of onesies to that Cash for Gold place...

Terry Odell said...

I recall the PAN speaker at RWA saying you had to get rid of clutter, and made a point of saying "throw out those singleton earrings because you'll never find the mate."

Well, after RWA, we went to stay with my sil, and I noticed I had only one of a pair of earrings I'd brought. I tossed it--I thought--but the next time I used that suitcase it showed up under the lining. By then, I'd tossed the mate--I thought--but found it in my travel jewelry pouch. The pair is now reunited.

So -- I no longer throw out earrings. So much for those words of wisdom.

Now, if anyone can tell me where the list of what yahoo groups allow promo on what day that is ALWAYS on the little stand on my desk behind the eraser for my dry-erase board went, I'll be grateful. Maybe I should check my jewelry pouch.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

It's Anthony? Oh, gosh, thanks Rhys. I'm so confused. I must have lost the piece of paper I wrote the name on..now, I know it's here somewhere..

Grapeshot/Odette said...

I have a box of half pairs of missing earrings. Nowadays I lose fewer since I disovered those little plastic doobies you can put on the earring so it won't fall out of your ear. Buy at Claire's.
When we moved, I lost my mother's, two grandmother's and a great grandmother's wedding rings. Gone! Still hoping they'll turn up in some unlikely place.
Last year I lost my mom's wonderful Christmas pin. Still mourning.
Have you ever looked for something and looked two or three times in the same place and then on the 4th look, there it was! Happened last month with sunglasses, another easy-to-lose item along with gloves.

Sigh!

Jungle Red Writers said...

Rhys,
Totally inspired by your finding the diamond in the carpet -- maybe I'll still find mine.

Odette, I'm going to go buy those plastic thingys!

~jan

Jody said...

Wish I could count on finding my missing diamond earring. We looked & looked because I KNOW it got tossed onto the carpet in the bedroom. Unfortunately we've since replaced the carpet. I'm sure it got lodged in someone's shoe & went far far away. It was a present too!
Last year I lost a gold hoop earring on New Year's Eve, having just received the pair from my son-in-law for Christmas. We did find it a few weeks later, but it had fallen on the driveway & been smashed by tires.
Another piece of jewelry lost was a painted portrait pin that my grandmother brought back from California in the late 40's or early 50's. My baby daughter was playing with the box it was in, shaking it like a rattle. The next time I looked, the box was empty. We never found that pin. It was far too large for her to have swallowed it (and I'd have found it if she had).

Jungle Red Writers said...

Oh Jody!!

I'm going to keep hoping you find that pin -- it sounds unique!

~jan