Writing 101: Third Time’s the Charm (Serially Lost, Part 3…)

Today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.

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“I can’t find _______________ !!!” Those are words that strike fear into the hearts of strong people. And it can happen with something very important, my glasses, as well as with something quite mundane, a screwdriver.

When it’s something mundane we can sometimes stay calm about it.

“Where’s the nail clipper? It’s always at the same place on the bathroom shelf and it’s not there.”

“If it’s not there I don’t know where it is. Maybe someone took it upstairs.” I don’t absolutely need it right now and I don’t feel like running around the house, so I’ll ask the boys later.

But sometimes losing something mundane can be quite frustrating.

“I don’t believe this! I can’t find my screwdriver.”

“Just get another one.”

“No, it’s the little one for tightening screws on glasses. There isn’t another one. And I just had it with me and now I can’t find it.”

Then begins the process of trying to calm down and retrace one’s steps. “Hmmm, I got it from the basement, I came upstairs, then the Mrs. wanted to show me something on her computer, then I remembered that I needed to send an email and went to my computer, then I saw that my phone needed charging and plugged it in and finally I wanted to tighten my glasses and no screwdriver.” So off I go looking around both computers and where my phone is plugged in but still no screwdriver. And, of course, I’m growling and grouching as I look around, which irritates the Mrs.

At this point one of two things happens, either I find it in plain sight or somewhere I should have looked right away, like my shirt pocket, and feel quite stupid, or I forget about it and will stumble across it later.

But with something important like glasses the last option doesn’t work. I can’t get in the car and drive away without my glasses, thinking I’ll find them later. Honestly speaking this has rarely been a problem for me. But the Mrs. seemed to be having this problem too often at one point and I thought of a solution: the Teddy bears!

The Mrs. has a Teddy bear collection in the entrance of our house and there was a set of three in the middle of the chest of drawers. As there were three of us wearing glasses for distance who would take them off when we got home, I had the idea of each of us using one of the bears to put our glasses on. Since we started doing that the Mrs. is no longer frantically searching for her glasses when she wants to leave!

The worst experience is when something important goes missing, you look everywhere and still can’t find it and even after being patient it still doesn’t turn up. This happened to me once with a file for a university class. At the end of the semester I was sure I took it home and put it with my other university class files. But when I received the excel file to fill out with the semester grades, it wasn’t there with the other files. I went through everything on the table, two or three times, still no file. I went through my car back to front, still no file. I searched anywhere that I thought I might have possibly put it, still no file. I decided to try the being-patient-and-it-will-turn-up strategy. but the deadline for turning in the excel file came and still no file.

I never did find that file, it seems to have vanished into that mysterious black hole that swallows one sock and leaves the other in the dryer.

Who knows, maybe Gremlins really do exist and every now and then they sneak in, take something and then sit back to enjoy the show as we groan and growl and tear the house apart trying to find it. When we finally decide to try the wait-and-see strategy, they lose interest and put it in a place where we’ll find it. Unless they are feeling particularly nasty, in which case they take it home with them…

 

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