Friday, August 16, 2013

Where did I put the...

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Some years ago - it was moving day. Out of a one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn to yet another one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

And there it was. In a dusty corner of the bedroom. The earring. The cool, black and brown enamelled drop earring that I had lost at least a year before. After a fruitless search I had, in disgust, thrown away its mate.

Finding that earring is probably the reason I now have a collection of single earrings..hanging on a pegboard... in a china a blue Tiffany pouch.

Apparently I will keep them forever in the hope that I will one day find their partners...under the bed, in a pocket or rarely used bag.

That's where I found the two necklaces I had all but given up any hope of ever finding again. In the outer zipped pocket of a gym bag. I was overjoyed. Even though I had bought a necklace identical to the one that was missing.

Right now it's my camera. Who loses a camera? I had just finished teaching a class at Norwalk Community College and had taken a very cool picture of Donald and Renee Bain. (The Bains are not suspects.)
I will probably look for that #$%^ camera until we move. Or sell the car.

How long do you keep looking for things when they are lost???

RHYS BOWEN: I misplaced (refuse to say lost) a credit card last week. It was one that I take out of my wallet when I travel. I know I must have put it somewhere safe and sensible but I've looked and looked everywhere. So we had to ask for new cards. But I bet it will turn up where I least expect it.

I'm a great fan of asking St Anthony to help find something I've lost and sometimes the results are amazing. I lost my watch and searched everywhere, but when I asked St. Anthony there it was in a drawer of my jewelry case--where I know I would never have put it!

My best long-term find--I lost the sapphire from my ring. Was sure it had gone down the shower drain. Months later we had a new house cleaner who said, "I just found this blue stone. Is it important or is it just glass?" Now I had definitely cleaned the house in the months between. And I am always finding earring backs in my bedroom carpet. Next time I'll get a smooth carpet. This one is too shaggy.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: At first, I frantically look. EVERYWHERE.

But if the thing does not appear, I stop.  I just--stop, because it is not meant to be found, and the panic of looking makes it disappear even longer. So at some point, actually, pretty early on, I give up. Looking does not help. The thing is somewhere, of course. And it will reappear when the time comes.
Let me just say again. Looking does not help.

The only thing that has never resurfaced are my darling kitchen curtains from when I lived in Atlanta and moved to Boston.. That was 1983. I think those are gone.

We will not discuss The Borrowers, which I am convinced do exist.

HALLIE EPHRON: Oh, Ro, I keep orphaned earrings, too. And very often the mate turns up. Over the years I've lost many pieces of jewelry, including a pearl ring that flew off my hand while playing volleyball. Never to be found. And a (small) diamond fell out of my wedding ring. Such an awful feeling when you look down and see those vacant prongs.

My mother-in-law was great at finding jewelry. She once sat down on a park bench and found a diamond ring. And we were walking with her once in Central Square in Cambridge and there on the sidewalk in front of the fire station she found a very large Victorian cameo brooch. 

ROSEMARY: Gorgeous pin! I probably would have lost it by now...
So how long do you look for things??


  1. I am positive that the Borrowers live in our house. Saint Anthony and I have bonded over far too many searches. Whenever I carefully put something away so that it will not fall victim to the dastardly “lost” syndrome, it’s a sure guarantee that it’s going to turn up missing in the near future. But the length of time I will search for lost items depends on what it is that I’ve lost this time. Sometimes it’s just easier to replace it than to try and figure out what in the world I did with it.

    But then there are those “I have to find” treasures . . . the diamond from my wedding ring that I was certain was gone forever . . . a picture . . . a ring that belonged to my mom . . . my phone [far too many times --- you’d think I actually used the thing all the time] . . . all have turned up after varying lengths of searches and, I am quite certain, the intervention of both Saint Anthony and the Borrowers. Currently we are searching for a necklace that the Princess took off and . . . well, eventually it has to turn up. Doesn’t it?

  2. My wife is always "losing things" in her purse. Do other women do this? "The keys are here -- I just can't find them," she says. Meanwhile, the rain soaks us. "Did you try your coat pocket?" "No, the keys are in my purse. I put them in here as we left." "Okay, good. Dig'em out." "Ouch. What's THAT doing in here. Heck, I must have put them in one of these side compartments. I KNOW they're in here."

    I am so glad men have pockets.

  3. If something has been missing for a long time—I mean a very long time—my aunts from Dorchester/Ashmont bury a statue of St. Anthony and add a new twist to the St. Anthony prayer: Something is lost. It cannot be found. You've had your chance. Now into the ground! Within 24 hours Saint Anthony shows them where their T Pass or their lottery ticket is.

    Of course they dig him up. There would be a terrible curse upon them if they didn't. Besides they might need him again to help them find a new house. You do that by burying him in the ground again and pointing him in the direction you want to move—like Quincy or Florida. Guaranteed. So say the aunts. Don't ask me where they get the burial stuff. I don't know anything. And I don't ask.

  4. Yes it will turn up Joan!

    Jack, my hub is quite capable of losing things in his pockets. We've terrible frantic searches for his wallet and keys. More than once.

    My dad had given me a diamond necklace some years ago. When I got home from getting my hair cut, it was no longer around my neck. I was sure they wouldn't find it, but I called the shop. Must have been St. Anthony because it was there! Afraid to wear it ever since...

    Yes THE BORROWERS--what a fabulous series! love them

  5. We just moved two weeks ago; I'm lucky if I can find the kids...

    Long before my husband was my husband, he brought a boom box with a remote control to my apartment. Of course the remote got lost. We looked everywhere and we looked often. No remote. For two years we would look sporadically for that thing. When we moved into our first house and didn't find it we gave up.

    After another move, we were redoing the basement and he decided to cut up the old couch (from my old apartment) to take it to the garbage (it was too cat hairy for words and really big and was time). As he was cutting it to pieces he found the remote. All that looking and it was in the couch the whole time.

  6. I rarely lose things -except my keys, which get lost inside my purse (Jack? It DOES happen to people besides your wife.)The lost items, other than my keys, are usually lost forever. It's nearly four years since I put away my niece's Christmas present in a "safe" place. Such a pretty necklace with matching earrings and bracelet! I've been home on vacation this week and had told myself to look for this gift again but haven't begun the search yet. I just don't know where to begin!

    About 14 years ago I noticed that the gold chain and small gold cross I'd put on that morning were missing. I found the cross on the floor near an end table in the living room. I have never been able to find the chain.

    Oh,and then there's the Christmas tray that I was convinced Mom borrowed from me. She insisted that she didn't. When she died and we were cleaning out her house to sell it, I told everyone in the family to look out for it. Well, apparently Mom was right; we never found it.

    I don't seem to have a very good connection to St Anthony where these things are concerned. Maybe I should consider moving, since that seems to be how some of you have discovered lost items!

  7. I just have to say, I love The Borrowers. What a great concept for a story series that was.

    I just might have to dig that up and read it again.

  8. Ok, maybe not in the same category, but many years ago I "lost" Cabbie, my miniature schnauzer. My yard backed up to an alley, there was a gate on the front and back, and apparently someone opened the back gate while walking by. I was scared she was gone forever.
    I looked for hours, the next day I put an ad in the paper, called the local shelter and prayed, this time to St. Francis.
    I actually got calls from two different ladies who had seen her and knew she was lost from the way she acted, but couldn't get her to come to them. I went to thsoe locations and look, but she wasn't there. She was a little dog and at that time I lived in a bigger city.
    By the third day I was still praying, but losing hope. I got the call at work during a staff meeting, a couple over 30 blocks from my house had her. They had picked her up at one of the busiest intersection in town. She was so happy to see me, but not nearly as happy as I was.
    I put a lock on that gate and will always count it as my "miracle" find of all time.

  9. On Paula Buck's " All that looking and it was in the couch the whole time." -- that's what I find is 9 times out of 10 it's exactly where I think I left it. (As in in my purse. Or on the coffee table but under the paper, or on the kitchen counter but camouflaged so it looks like cheese...)

  10. I'm more of a misplacer of things than a loser of things. Meaning, one or two items over the years have been permanently lost, but mostly, I trace logically through a thought process and figure out where something is hiding in our house (so not "lost").

    I am also the (nearly) infallible finder. My husband can lose a key in his hand (true story), but I can almost always find whatever he's misplaced, even if I haven't seen it. We've gotten to the point where all he has to do is invoke me looking, and he will immediately find the item. It's useful!

  11. Hank, I do believe in The Borrowers!!!

    And that must be what happened to a couple of pairs of very expensive progressive prescription glasses that just... disappeared. Those are something you look for until you've exhausted every possible option. And no, neither pair ever turned up.

    I keeps mates to earrings, too, but don't know that I've ever found the lost one.

    My thing lost most often? My bluetooth headset. I've learned NEVER to put it anywhere that the cats can bat it as a toy!

  12. I used to lose my eyeglasses a lot -- wireframes nearly disappear when sitting on a patterned bedspread. New ones: black and red frames. I can see them even without my glasses (that I'm looking for) on.

  13. Well, did my comment and Google lost it. Seems the dimensional portal that kidnaps socks just hijacked me. Safer not to talk about losing things?

  14. Spring of my last year of law school, my roommates borrowed my car to go to the grocery store. The key slipped out of Janet's hand in the parking lot and they could not find it anywhere. Caught a ride home with a friend and when I got back from the library, very late, were so apologetic. I had a spare -- they hadn't known -- and we reclaimed the car in the morning. Searched the lot and car; no key.

    Graduated weeks later; packed and moved back to Montana for a few weeks. Repacked and moved to Seattle for a few weeks to study for the bar. Repacked and moved to Tacoma, where I stayed with an aunt until my apt was ready. Repacked and moved to the apartment. As I took the very last box out of the car, what appeared on the floor of the backseat but The Key. Where had it been? Who knows. I just hope it had a good time.

  15. I get most frantic about lost notes. I tend to jot THE most important thoughts and ideas--thoughts and ideas I can't live without, no way!--on random pieces of paper. I drive myself crazy, and it doesn't help that I'm chaotic so I have paper piles everywhere. :-)

  16. I do believe in The Borrowers. The Cherokee know them as Nunnehi, the Little People.

    I, too, have a collection of single earrings, Ro. I have found mates before, and if I don't, I can use them in fiber art, so I always keep them. I'm with Hank. Look intensely, and if you can't find it, let it go. Usually it will show up.

    Jack, I can always find things in my purse, but my husband loses EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME--wallet, keys, checkbook, credit card, large amounts of cash after bookselling, you name it. Once he lost both my back-up jump drive and the external back-up hard drive just before my laptop crashed. (That was not a pretty time around my house.) I'm the designated finder for things.

  17. Good St. Anthony, come around; something is lost and it can't be found . . . say that prayer three times, click your heels, and . . .

    I am the "finder" in our family -- but, I also have a VERY BAD habit of taking things out of a perfectly good location (desk drawer) and deciding they should be in a better place (which I promptly forget).

  18. Denise, you seem to be on respectful terms with St. Anthony. I bother him so often we're now on a first name basis... Tony, Tony come around. Something's lost and must be found. Say aloud. With conviction. You're still praying to a saint (capitalized?) afterall... gotta believe!

  19. Rhys, I lost the (very small) sapphire from my engagement ring while we were on our honeymoon, which took place in the middle of a lecture tour my husband was doing. We had driven nearly an hour when I realized it was gone, so we backtracked but didn't find it. Steve wanted to vacuum the car, but I asked him not to, just in case. Good thing, because when he finally got back home, two weeks later, I found it on the floor in the backseat.

    Once I lost my favorite pair of gold earrings between the bathroom and my dresser, a total distance of about eight feet. That was several years ago and I still have not found them.

    And one time my Amex card got lost, and I was convinced someone stole it. Had it replaced, and months later found the old one in a coat pocket.

    My husband is the "loser" of the family, especially when it comes to his wallet. It's too thick (he could take 2/3 of the stuff out of it, but no), and bothers him to sit on it, so he's forever fishing it out and stashing it someplace. And then forgetting where it is. Then he calls me to find it. Cue the eyeroll.

    As Roseanne Barr once said, men seem to think the uterus is a tracking device.

  20. I don't think I could bury St. Anthony. That sounds like the religious mafia to me. But he does work well if you agree to give money to a favorite charity afterward (of course the money given is much more than the earring was worth in the first place so he always wins)

  21. Oh, I can FIND things..other peoples things. Jonathan will say--where's my.?.fill in the blank. And I can often figure out where it is-based on where he would have put it. YOu know?

    And socks don't disappear. They just turn into white wire hangers.

  22. Lucy, Linda and all you ladies: I did not mean to suggest that losing things is gender related. When I lose my keys or wallet or glasses -- which happens regularly -- I am the frantic one, using working up a sweat and panting. I've always wondered though, on a logical basis, how a woman can put something in its proper container and then not be able to retrieve it. :)

  23. The keys always make their way back up to the top of the purse. Eventually. I have never actually really LOST them. They just temporarily relocate. Once when I was using a very tiny purse the keys dematerialized the minute I needed them. After a few minutes of me looking for them and removing everything else (not much, just a small wallet) from the purse and still not seeing them, they suddenly rematerialized. Like magic. (I don't remember if St Anthony was involved.)

  24. Rhys, I'm with you, but I don't argue with my aunts from Dorchester/Ashmont! They swear they love St. Anthony. I stay out of it.

    I'm pretty sure St. Anthony gave me the idea to buy a box of 10 pairs of glasses for Scout. It works great. He loses a pair. I say I know where they are. I go get a pair from the box and give it to him. He says thanks then thanks me for cleaning them too. That reminds me to order another box.

  25. Reine, that's very funny. And imagine a smart guy like Steve falling for it!

  26. Karen, yes I know! It's hilarious. He thinks he left them wherever he was last—Starbucks, Safeway, the bookstore, the car… When I find the lost pair, I clean them up and put them back in the box. One day he'll find a pair out on the patio, and my secret will be out. We'll have a good laugh. xo

  27. socks turn into white wire hangers? I'll be laughing all night....

  28. Earrings:
    I look for them for a long time, and then have to give up, and I don't think many of them have every come home again. That doesn't mean I throw away the remaining one. I'm thinking about making a charm braceless with them.

    I lost my camera 8.5 years ago, dating from the moment my daughter called and said she'd just gone into labour, so I grabbed for the camera to take to the hospital, except it was missing.

    A year and a half later, I was moving the couch cushions to do a thorough vacuuming, (yes, all right, I KNOW I should have done it sooner) and there it was, after I'd bought a newer, better model on eBay for about 1/10 the price.

    So, my advice about cameras is, pull up all the couch cushions.

    I have no advice about earrings.

  29. Oh, and then there was the time I found something no one knew was lost. I was taking a last look around my mother's house before the open house.
    Why did I open the washing machine? I don't know.
    Why did I remove the old towel that was in there? Don't know that either.
    But there, peeking out from under the agitator was something shiny.
    Mom's engagement ring.
    The one from her first marriage.

  30. Ah yes, where did I put the … wallet?! That's just the most recently misplaced item in my pathetic life of losing things. And losing my wallet meant I also lost my driver's license, credit cards, health and car insurance cards, and assorted other items it would be a pain to replace.

    I was *sure* it was somewhere in the house or my car, so I hobbled along without it for close to three weeks, refusing to cancel my cards or apply for a new license. Finally, grudgingly, I went online and made an appointment at the DMV, and within eight hours my husband had searched my car and found the elusive wallet wedged between the passenger seat and center console. Yay!!!

  31. We were skiing up at Mammoth. Steve realized he'd lost his wallet. He emptied out all his pockets and our day packs. I said I bet it was in the car. We searched the entire car for almost an hour. We pulled up carpets. We unpacked, and repacked, and unpacked again our overnight bags. We gave up. Steve stepped out of the car and felt something under his foot. Of course it was his wallet.

  32. That settles it, Reine. From now on whenever I lose *anything* I'm looking for it in my car.

    And since I'm about to get a new car, I think I'll do a serious search of Roofus (my Subaru) before passing him on to our college-bound great-niece.

  33. Linda, you could jump up and down beside the car door. That should work.