Losing things – an oft-repeated event
I was just reading a post from ‘a geriatric grandmother’ and sympathising with her. Her husband lost his car keys and had to wait a long time in the cold for a taxi to arrive and take him home.
I cannot blame my husband’s propensity for losing things on advancing age. For as long as we have been married he has lost things on a regular basis, habitually not discovering the loss until after I have taken to my bed and am about to drift off to sleep. I came to dread the words, ‘Have you seen . . . ?’ I think eventually he realised this was not the way to endear himself to me so now, under the pretence of looking himself and not disturbing me, he mutters something to the effect of, ‘I don’t know where I’ve put it,’ or ‘I know I had them when I was . . . ‘ These sentences are repeated ad nauseam and at increasing volume until, heaving a dramatic sigh, I get up and join him in the search. All too often, just as I start hunting he says, ‘Oh, just found it/them’ and I stumble back to bed, mumbling ungenerous thoughts.
Our methods of searching differ vastly. Barry opens drawers and cupboards and turns over the contents so that it looks as if an industrial digger has travelled through. (On another note, if he takes an item of clothing out of a drawer and decides not to wear it, he replaces it at right angles to the rest of the clothes!) Things not contained (and so much in our house is not) are turned over and over as though they are in a giant washing machine All the drawers and doors are left wide open, ready to bite at shins and attack heads.
When I look for things I tidy as I go, frequently finding things we had forgotten we had lost. I may not find the article that has currently gone walkabout but I develop a sense of well-being and calm as some order is restored.
The worrying aspect of all this mislaying is that it is contagious and I now lose things that I have just been using. Sometimes it can be explained by being interrupted in the middle of something – the telephone, the doorbell, ‘I need a wee,’ (Frankie) or ‘You haven’t seen . . . ?’ (Barry) All too often, though, there is no rational explanation and it is a matter of chance if I discover that which is lost. I bear in mind the advice to Little Bo Peep and comfort myself that my sheep will return home with their tails behind them, tails in the shape of scissors, pens, secateurs . . .
The other day, returning from the practice nurse, who had just examined Barry’s new knee, he suddenly said, with great urgency, ‘I’ve lost my glasses.’ I was about to turn the car round when he said, ‘Oh, I’m wearing them.’ I gritted my teeth as he proceeded to offer profuse apologies. To be fair, he was wearing two pairs of glasses – sunglasses on his hat and reading glasses round his neck. Why sunglasses on his hat? They’re ready to hand in case the sun shines– if he remembers he’s got them! As for the glasses round his neck – they have a magnetic clip at the front, all ready for use.
While he is still recovering, there is less opportunity for Barry to lose things – he is increasingly mobile, though, so it won’t be long before the poltergeists reinstate themselves.