I’m Losing It

Posted on May 21, 2010



Many people in their fifties and sixties spend a lot of time worrying what they will do with all the spare time they will have when they retire. One remedy for many of those people, and a remedy that is frequently employed, is to start losing things, so that their time will be spent trying to find stuff, instead of just sitting in front of the TV or napping (or doing both).

Life in the Boomer Lane is ahead of the curve on that one. She started preparing for the age she is am now by losing things even when she was in elementary school. Most of the losses are interesting stories, as they defy all laws of nature. Some are even heartwarming (“How a Jew Discovered St Anthony”). A couple are hilarious, at least to LBL. All would have you sitting at your computer wondering why you were reading about her experiences, instead of spending the time looking for your own lost stuff.

But she does feel compelled to relate my latest lost item adventure. Several weeks ago, she couldn’t find her keys (car, house, office). This, in itself, is no big deal, since they always turn up eventually. This time they didn’t. A thorough going over of the entire house resulted in her not only not finding the keys, but not finding anything else of even the remotest value. In fact, the only thing that came of the search was that she once again became aware that she possess the world’s largest collection of unidentifiable keys and really ugly key chains. But she is afraid to throw anything out, because she is convinced that the minute she does, her son-in-law will email her and ask something like, “You DO still have the key to our storage unit, right?”

She should add something here: Because she tends to misplace or lose things, she makes sure her keys are big, bold clumps of jangly (Is that a word?) items, highly visible from far away. In addition to her keys, she had an antique ceramic faucet handle on the ring (“HOT” to be exact) and a bright blue token to access the Realtor MLS system. You could easily spot either from across the room.

So, all this is to say that the key was not in the house, again defying a common law of physics: “If you carry something into the house, it will be in the house.” She finally gave up. She did have a duplicate set of keys, so all she really needed was to get another key from BMW so that she’d have a spare again. And, thanks to the swell people at BMW (Their motto is “We can fix your car or sell you parts for a price that will make you swoon”), she could get a spare key for a mere $200.

The days went on, while she dragged my feet on ordering another car key. Then, after several weeks had gone by, a package arrived in the mail, from a catalog that sells women’s clothing, one that LBL occasionally ordered from. Inside the manila envelope was a second manila envelope, one that she had addressed to the catalog company to send an item back, several weeks earlier. Inside that second manila envelope was her lost keys. She had apparently dropped her keys into the envelope, along with the linen summer top that she was returning, and happily placed it into her mailbox for pick up.

The keys were intact. Only the “HOT” faucet handle was badly chipped and cracked and needed to be tossed. But that was the least of her problems. The main issue was how on earth did she ever drop the keys into the envelope in the first place, and then put it into the mailbox without noticing that the envelope now weighed approximately 10 lbs and made noises that, unless you live in either Miami or Texas, clothing doesn’t normally make. But then he remembered that a couple years ago, she drove halfway to the office one day with a cat on the roof of her car, so she guessed it all makes sense in the alternate universe in which she lives.

Posted in: aging, losing things