Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lost and Found

A new project is underway in the kitchen and boy is it a doozy! Plenty of coverage will be coming your way, but in the meantime I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some life changing wisdom: if you lose an object, don't worry because it'll turn up.

You've probably heard this on many occasions, offered by some well-meaning person in close proximity to you while you tear apart your house, car, or purse, practically foaming at the mouth as you look for whatever's slipped into that weird dimension where things go when they're missing. You'll hear that useless combination of words, "don't worry, it'll turn up," and answer with the only polite response there is: "Yeah, I know." But what you really mean is, "Shut up and help me!"

Because from the outside, you look like you just need to chill out, while inside you're struggling with the unfairness of it all. "It was right here a minute ago. Right fucking here. And now it's just gone!"

And while the other members of your search party will offer their time, energy, and helpful suggestions, you will resent them because you know there's no way they care about the misplaced object as much as you do.

You will say things like:

"Did you move it? Because I deliberately put it here so it didn't get lost and now it's gone and I didn't move it."

"Someone must've stolen it."

"Maybe it got thrown in the trash." (Always it comes to this, but when has this ever been the answer?)

And, when it comes to missing remote controls, "Stand up. You're probably sitting on it."

In short, when you lose something, you become this and you know it.

If you haven't caught on yet, I'm writing "you" while meaning "me." But also, you. We're in this together. So why am I attempting to placate you by telling you that in times like these you only need remember that things always turn up? Because lately I've discovered that it's completely, almost miraculously true.

These days, I've had a lot of practice misplacing things. Daily. Hourly. Everything. Always. I'm typically doing three things at once, while mentally preoccupied with a fourth or fifth task. But no one thing is being done well, least of all, holding onto something I've picked up. I set things down everywhere without realizing it. Or sometimes I put things in special places where they won't get lost but fail to note the location of that special place. And then there's the general messiness that surrounds me.

So when I'm rushing around, usually in the mornings before work, I will inevitably reach the point where I can't find my keys, my glasses, or one or both of Oscar's sneakers. I get riled up, grumpy, quicken my pace as I stomp through the house looking in all of the usual spots. Then I'll get distracted by some other pressing matter, put my search on hold to attend to it for a moment, and POOF the sneaker materializes on the arm of the chair. Like magic. I'll pick up Milo's lunch box and POOF my keys are underneath. I'll decide to put in my contacts instead of wearing my glasses, and POOF, the glasses show up in the bathroom drawer that I open to grab contacts.

The more I took note of this phenomenon, I started putting it to work, consciously telling myself the one thing that no one wants to hear when they are looking for a lost item, "Don't worry. It will turn up." And then always, it would. Often within minutes. Though sometimes it takes a little bit longer.

Months ago I somehow lost one earring from one of my favorite pairs. I loved them because they were the sort of pair you could combine with any old outfit to make a statement. That statement being something like, "See? I tried." And the only thing worse than having one of the earrings go missing is that I had no idea when or how the pair had been separated.  One morning, I could only find one in the bathroom drawer where I often threw them. I took everything out of that drawer and looked around. I went into the bedroom and searched on the dresser where I'm supposed to keep all of my jewelry and it didn't turn up there either. I felt myself getting riled up, but instead I told myself it will turn up.

But it didn't. A few weeks went by and I looked around in the usual places once again, this time also checking purse pockets and my underwear drawer, in case it had somehow fallen in there. More time passed. Then on Monday morning, I opened the drawer to my nightstand to see if I had any thank you cards left from an old box of stationary. As luck would have it, I had one card left, and stuck to that card... my missing earring. I literally said out loud, "My earring!"

And that did it for me, confirming what I'd come to believe is a law of physics, or nature or Murphy or whatever you want to call it. You don't find things, things find you. With all you have on your plate, with all of the lifehacks on your Pinterest that you'll never put to practice, with the Holidays approaching and ready to compromise your sanity, here's one simple thing you can do. Stop looking. I'm telling you this now because you need to hear it. And if I tried to tell you while you were looking for your iPhone you'd probably bite my head off.

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