Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of all the things I've ever lost...

…I miss my mind the most.

By Annette Dashofy

I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping. Don’t hate me. Unlike most folks, we don’t make a huge deal about gift-giving in my house. I already know that I’m getting a GPS unit and I’m waiting for Hubby to make up his mind about what he wants. For the most part, all the other gifts I’ve bought were either gift cards or books (of course).

Last week I bought one last gift card (a year’s worth of Tracfone airtime) and when I got it home and went to put it with the hundred and some dollars worth of other gift cards I’d purchased in recent months, I realized I had no idea where I’d put them.

It’s not like I needed to HIDE them. There’s only Hubby and me here and none of them were for him. No prying, curious eyes seeking out presents before the BIG DAY. So where the heck did I put them? I searched cupboards and closets and drawers. I even raked through the mountain of papers on my desk even though I was fairly certain I hadn’t been insane enough to put them there.

I remembered stashing them someplace good. Someplace where they wouldn’t get lost. Someplace where I could find them. But I couldn’t remember where that good spot was.

I wish I could say that this is the first time I’ve done this. It’s not. One year, back when we DID exchange real gifts with family members, I realized as the unwrapping was taking place on Christmas morning that one family member’s gift from me seemed to be AWOL. When I got home, I found it neatly tucked under my bed. I quickly wrapped it and rushed back to their house to present it with a face nearly as red as the bow on the package.

And there have been other even more embarrassing instances, which I choose not to share.

I don’t need Christmas to lose things either. Recently, I stood in the check-out line at the grocery store and reached for my charge card. It wasn’t in its usually slot in my wallet. I checked all the other slots. I dug through every inch of my purse. I checked every pocket in my coat and jeans. Nothing. I tried to recall where I’d used it last. However, nowadays, we mostly just swipe the card ourselves, so I couldn’t remember anyplace where the clerk had handled my card and perhaps not returned it. I was panic-stricken. I had another card with which to make the current purchase, but let’s face it, losing a charge card is NOT a good thing to do.

I found it later on my desk next to my computer where I’d used it to make an online purchase.

While I do eventually find most lost or misplace objects, sometimes they just vanish into thin air, never to be heard from again.

At least I come by it naturally. Several years ago, I gave my father who had Alzheimer’s, diabetes, AND a sweet tooth, a box of sugar-free chocolates from Sarris’. He loved them. My mother, knowing that he would eat the entire boxful in one sitting if not restrained, hid the box and doled pieces of candy out with his lunch. Except that she hid the box so well, she couldn’t find it. We all assumed that one day it would show up.

It didn’t. Ever. Not even to this very day.

I went back to Sarris’ and bought a new box.

Now anytime anything turns up missing, we say that it’s sitting on top of that box of sugar-free chocolate.

Okay, I suspect losing things isn’t something exclusive to my mother and me. What have you lost that you still search for? Have you ever found a gift in a fabulous hiding place in July that you bought for Christmas last year? You know the memory is the second thing to go. I just can’t remember the first…


Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I've NEVER had a good memory about those sorts of things, and now I'm glad! I've always had to play the game, "When I want to find this again, where will I look?" and work backwards from there.

Currently, I'm missing one of my pair of favorite socks: grey, fuzzy, warm, soft, comfortable, the perfect socks to wear on a, "I don't want to face life," day. I figured it would turn up stuck to the inside of the dryer or a pair of pants, but it's been 3 weeks, and no luck.

I was listening to a documentary last night on Iceland's belief, still, in the "little folk" (meaning elves and fairies.) That's who they blame when something turns up missing. One story they told was a knife that was left on a certain rock, disappeared for a year and returned to the same rock, polished and untouched by winter weather. Guess who'd borrowed it?

I like that idea! Just please, little people, I need my sock back.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Annette, I've always had a mind like a steel sieve. I lose things a lot, and when I do, I tend to revert to my Catholic School childhood and pray to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost objects:
Dear Saint Anthony
Please come around.
Something is lost
And cannot be found.
Repeat while searching, and I guarantee the lost object will appear. There's also a less formal version:
Tony, Tony, quick! Come round.
Something's lost & can't be found.
Myself, I prefer to treat St. Anthony with respect. He's helped me out too many times to take him lightly.

Annette said...

Gina, I'll have to try that. But does it work for non-Catholics?

I've discovered one sure way to find things: go out and buy another one of the missing item. The original almost always shows up.

Except for that box of chocolate...

And I doubt that it would help with the missing sock, Tory, since I imagine a great deal of the sock's allure is the fact that it's nicely broken in. A new sock just wouldn't be the same.

And "little folks?" Oh, no. I already have killer dust bunnies that get blamed for everything. Little folks in my house, too? We're getting crowded around here. Maybe the little folks could at least make themselves useful and get rid of the dust bunnies!

Joyce Tremel said...

I have a few of those "safe places" in my house, too. It'd be nice if I could remember where they were. When I can't remember something I always use the excuse that my brain is full--it can't hold another thing without something being forced out.

And I'll back Gina up on the St. Anthony prayer. Works every time. (Side note: if you've never been to St. Anthony's Chapel on Troy Hill you must go there. More relics than anywhere outside of Rome.)

Our cat usually takes care of the killer dust bunnies. Seems to be the only thing she's not afraid of!

Anonymous said...

Annette, "sugar free" chocolate is often loaded with a natural sweetner---prunes. MY bet is that somebody (can't imagine who!) got fed up with the affects of that candy and pitched it!

That said, when we moved out of our house 7 years ago, I found Xmas gifts intended for our children when they were much, much younger. I had no memory of buying them!

Annette said...

Nancy, I honestly did not know about that source of sweetner. Learn something new here every day. Still, I don't think Dad would have pitched them. He LIKED them.

And, Joyce, I think my cat has a conspiracy going with the dust bunnies as lately many of them seem to have her shade of gray fur.