Sunday, July 19, 2015


Dear Readers, surely you have all had this happen to you - one of your treasures gets lost, and you make yourself crazy until you find it.  This has happened to both of us.  More than once.  Or even twice.  Or even ... oh, you get the idea.  So we thought we'd post about that.

Valerie's story:  I lost these earrings.

They're not valuable, but I love them, and it took me a looooong time to find a pair of black earrings I liked, so I was peeved when I couldn't find them.  I didn't worry, because my things almost always turn up eventually.  Not when or where I want them to, but they always do, so at least there is no hand wringing. Until there is.  I found an email to a friend dated January noting that I'd lost these "more than a month ago".  By the time I'd written that, I had done a very thorough search for them.

They're supposed to be in one of three small drawers of black costume jewelry I have.

When they didn't turn up in any one of those, it was time for a more thorough search.  Usually, they're in pockets of my black or white clothes, so I went through all of those, just like a suspicious lover in a movie.  All those things in the photo below that look like animal muzzles are pockets.  And those are only the left pockets.  So I went through twice as many (and we're not even counting the amount of time it takes just to see if there are pockets or not), but in March when I wrote to my friend again, the earrings still hadn't turned up.

Bound and determined to find them, I put aside some time one day when I could have been sleeping, and did a search so thorough I could have been a detective on Law and Order.  I went through all of the logical places.  I went through all the black and white pockets again, just in case.  I went through the black jewelry drawers again, tossing everything onto my bed and putting everything back by hand.  And I did more...

Readers, the brain is a funny thing.  This was best elaborated on by cartoonist Tom Tomorrow in a wonderful cartoon dating back to 1995.  It's worth reading, so you might want to double click on it.  I want to particularly draw your attention to the panel I've helpfully outlined in red.

Here it is:

So, even though I knew it didn't make any sense at all, I went through all the pockets of my colored clothing, too.

Not surprisingly, the black earrings did not turn up, but at least I could cross that off the list.  And while we're on the subject of what makes no sense, I went through the red jewelry drawers (there are two of those)

and the yellow jewelry drawer (only one of those)

and the blue one, the green one, the pink one, the gray one - and all the rest of them and - you know the end, right?  It wasn't in any of them.  And then I went through all my coat pockets, even though I have trained myself only to put gloves in coat pockets.  I'll spare you the picture of those pockets.  The earrings didn't turn up there, either.

On occasion, I have been known to put my earrings in a bag pocket, so I dragged out all the bags that have pockets in them, and went through those too.  Bupkis.

So the only thing to do was wait for nature to take its course.

Last week, we were invited to a fashion shoot, and all we needed to bring were accessories.  You never know which accessories will work with something you've never worn before, so you bring several choices.  Since jewelry can have sharp edges, you don't want to put all your jewelry in one bag.  You have to separate them.   For this, I have a little travel bag with four pockets.

When I opened it up, out slid a little carefully folded tissue paper (helpfully circled in yellow), and when I opened the tissue paper, there were the earrings, where they had been since August.

See?  I knew they'd turn up!  Never mind that I started looking for them eight months ago, and that they were in none of the logical places.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jean's story:  When Valerie suggested today's blog topic, it sounded like a good idea at the time. She even suggested the jewelry items I should attempt to retrieve: a wonderful bright red pair of Kenneth Jay Lane bee earrings that have been missing for a long, long time. Always up for a challenge, I muttered "let the games begin" and, as soon as my husband left for work this morning, began the search. A note of advice for amateurs: To maintain marital equilibrium, searches through lots of random boxes, resulting in all sorts of detritus strewn about the apartment are best conducted in private, especially when one is already skating on the thin edge between collector and hoarder. One must also allow time to put everything back in its place at the finish.  Here are the earrings in question in a photo from our December 2009 post about (what else?) Christmas.

The most promising box likely to contain the earrings did not ultimately do so. Neither did any of the dozen other boxes examined in the allotted five hour time frame. Although I was unable to locate the elusive red earrings, I can share a sample of the flotsam and jetsam that surfaced during the mission. Just this week, when we were discussing storage and saving, Valerie asked if I'd saved any of the New Year's Eve glasses that we'd bought and posed in over the years. Of course, I said I was sure I'd tossed all of that. Aha! Not so. In the first box, slipped down the side in its original cellophane wrapping was this pair of black glitter 2011 sunnies. What are the chances I'd locate glasses from four years ago that she'd asked me about earlier this week?

Again, only a week earlier when we were passing the bodega on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg where I'd purchased them probably three or four years ago, Valerie quizzed me about the red and yellow handballs that I was going to make into a necklace. The added treat were the red rubber funnels nestled next to them in the box. Who knows to what use they'll be put? Anyway, the chances of me drilling the balls to string them into a necklace are only slightly improved by the fact that I now know where to locate them.  (It was so weird that Valerie actually asked about the first two items that surfaced in the hunt. I was beginning to feel like Ingrid Bergman in "Gaslight".)

Another find involved about four sets of red wax lips, very popular at Halloween, that we'd discussed using in a photo shoot that hasn't yet materialized. Again, just four more bricks in my boulevard of broken dreams ...

A definite holiday theme was emerging. These orange sequin cat ears were the next remarkable item to surface. Who knows when I'll need them, right? And they're brand new - still have the price tag on them.

But wait, there's more! A bag of dozens of orange and black plastic spiders was the icing on the cake. It seems like the universe is somehow telling me to get it together for a Halloween party this year. That is, of course, if I can find all this stuff again before the holiday comes and goes!

I'd totally forgotten about this multi-colored woven felt scarf. Here's to hoping that you'll see me wearing it this winter.

And last but not least on the hit parade of all things that are NOT red earrings is this carved wooden salad server. Its mate was not in the same box, but did show up in another and they've been reunited. Since I anthropomorphize inanimate objects, I can't help speculating whether I'll find them surrounded by lots of little toothpicks the next time the box is opened.

Alas, no earrings. So, although Valerie has found her missing earrings and I have not, there are many more boxes that haven't even been touched, so stay tuned for further adventures.


  1. I was laughing the whole time while reading your both sound so much fun!

  2. As I was reading this while at work, I had to resist laughing out loud, but trust me, I was laughing on the inside. Jean, the universe is definitely encouraging you to have a Halloween gathering. Glad one of you was successful in your search, and I am so impressed with Valerie's jewellery organizing system!

  3. What an almost unbearable tension!!!

  4. This is exactly what happens to me! When I least expect it, the item turns up and I go "oh, now I remember putting it there...made perfect sense at the time!"

  5. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me! Your stories make me feel almost normal. How many hours have I spent in search of a treasured lost item! Your story telling skills are very impressive.