At what stage does your default thought when you can’t find something move from “I must have misplaced” to “someone has taken”?
The other day when I was trying to locate, of all things, a columnar pad that I just knew I had lying around somewhere, I made my cursory check through the places where I thought I might have cached it — storage ottomans, bookshelves, closets — and came up empty.
“Did I loan that to someone?” I thought. “Because they needed …?”
That’s where I trailed off, because I couldn’t think of the other residents of Casa Flor needing an accounting pad for anything, except maybe the sturdy cardboard backing. I use them as ledgers to keep track of my checking account, instead of the little checkbook versions. One book lasts me years — and I knew there was one more in the house somewhere, because I kept running across it and thinking, “You still have one more of those.”
Of course, on Friday it was nowhere to be found, and it reminded me of a previous not-quite-frantic digging spree, when I had moved my passport from its usual place (which I had read somewhere is the first place that burglars look for valuables) to a new spot. Only apparently I had forgotten where that new spot was.
The trouble with being a creature of organizational habit — keys go here, iPad goes here, milk goes here — is that it’s even more rattling when things aren’t in their usual location. Messy people are probably used to losing things and having to search for them — “hey, NBD!” But to the sort of person who puts his phone in the same place every day before he goes to bed, waking up without it in that very spot is baffling, because now you’ve got to figure out not only WHERE it is, but WHY it’s not where it’s supposed to be.
Which is how you end up wondering things like if the cleaning lady took your passport.
As soon as I thought it, I berated myself for even considering such a ludicrous possibility — but my mind did go there, and pretty quickly. Rather than consider the possibility that I had misplaced something, I preferred to think that it had been lifted by the woman who’s been working for us for like four straight years now. Suddenly it reminded me of The Metz saying how she didn’t like my niece’s friends coming over to the house, because she was sure they were going to go through her jewelry.
“You are not that crazy,” I said. “Nobody stole your passport. Look again.”
As it turns out, I had later decided that I was incredibly likely to forget its new hiding place, especially if I was an effective hider, and ended up putting it back where it had always been. (And the notepad? Exactly where I thought it should be, but because it was grouped with a bunch of saved magazines I had overlooked it the first time.)
Maybe I should start being messier, to see if it helps stave off the craziness when I do misplace things.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 4-21-13|
|The shirt: Trojan T-shirt, on sale at Urban Outfitters.|
|The shorts: Plaid shorts by Fred & Howard, from Last Chance.|
|The shoes: Jack Purcell sneakers by Converse, from Nordstrom Rack.|