‘I hate women because they always know where things are.”
The great American author and humorist James Thurber penned that. Yet I wonder who these women were — the ones he knew who apparently possessed supernatural powers — because I don’t know too many women who can easily find what they’re seeking very often. Maybe it’s because of birthdays.
My late optometrist, the wonderful Francis Gencarella, always told me there was nothing wrong with my eyes except for the fact that I had had too many birthdays. Fran was nothing if not direct! So when it comes to losing — er, misplacing things, I went looking for help and found an article entitled, “How to Find Things You Lost.”
The first thing the article suggests is to retrace your steps. That’s a dandy idea if you have any idea in hell where it was you were going in the first place! It goes on, “the first step in tracking down the thing you’ve lost is picturing where you last had it.” There’s another genius statement. If I could picture where I was when I had it, I might not need your damn article!
It continues: “Get into the mindset you had the last time you saw the item.” The last time I had a mindset that I could even remember was in 1977. The article now suggests, “Walk through all the locations you’ve been since you lost the item.” Are you kidding me? We live in a two-state area, and Massachusetts is not that far away, but it’s big. I drive nearly 1,000 miles a week; it could be anywhere!
So now the article promotes a systematic search, however they begin with two words that send me directly into a banshee frenzy... “Calm down!” YOU try telling someone who is feverishly looking for something to “Calm down!” and see what position your nose is in at the end of the day. They then advise, “try to relax before you start looking, so you have a clear head,” and then they try to be helpful by further recommending, “Take a few slow, deep breaths to help relax.” You wanna know what I suggest they do?
Here’s a good one: “Check the areas where it should be.” Don’t they think I’ve done that by now, and well more than once? “Widen your search range to a larger area, and tidy up the area to get rid of any clutter, and your missing item just may turn up.” Now they’re being perky while at the same time implying my housekeeping leaves something to be desired. Being that The Sun is a time-honored family newspaper, I will refrain from any response here.
Realizing that I’m probably lame, they then suggest enlisting the help of friends and coworkers to find it. Can you see me calling my editor, Corey Fyke, on a weekend to find out where I might have put the new roll of toilet paper?
If they hadn’t annoyed me enough by now, they wind up by advising, “Keep yourself from losing things in the future.” That’s just exactly what I want to hear at this point. To do that, I’d have to stay in bed every day and never move my position; chances are, I’d still misplace the remote to the TV.
Lastly, they offer that I should “be consciously aware going through your daily routine. You’re more likely to lose stuff if you’re not thinking about what you’re doing throughout the day.” Do they have any idea how many things, people, animals, actions, logistics, problems, assignments, etc. I have to balance in the course of any given day?
So I have decided in desperation to turn to two saints: St. Anthony, the finder of lost things and lost causes, and the lesser-known, but always reliable, St. Dymphna, the patron saint of stress and anxiety. In the meantime, I’m going to try and find those women Thurber was referring to, the ones who always know where everything is.
Actually, the biggest problem with the article I researched about how to find things you lose is it doesn’t tell me when I get to the top of the stairs, what it was I was looking for when I was just down at the bottom!
So, I’ll see you next week ... hope you find me.
Rona Mann has been a freelance writer for The Sun for 17 years, including her “In Their Shoes” features. She can be reached at email@example.com or 401-539-7762.