From my sight to my sanity, I have a bad habit of losing things.
All my life, I’ve never been very good at keeping track of things. Every morning begins with my frantically searching for my car keys, my glasses and my wallet — all things I really do need to legally drive a motor vehicle — before I can take my son to school.
Of course, my wife is usually there to offer helpful advice such as, “Well, if you put them in the same place every night before you go to bed, you’d probably be able to find them in the morning.”
Yes, dear. I love you. And that’s sound advice. But if I don’t find my car keys in the next 10 seconds, Max is probably going to be late to school, which will set off a catastrophic string of events that ends with him in therapy and resenting me for the rest of my life. So please, could you just help me look for my car keys and maybe we can have this discussion later tonight?
Of course, we never actually have that discussion later that night, I never put my most essential belongings in the same place before I go to bed, and we end up having the exact same conversation again the very next morning.
I’ve sort of reached a point in my life at which I have accepted the fact I can lose pretty much anything — except for weight, of course.
It doesn’t matter how valuable or necessary the object is, if you give it to me, I’m probably going to lose it. The fact that I haven’t managed to misplace either one of my children yet is nothing short of a modern miracle. Of course, the fact that they can speak out and follow me around probably helps my cause.
Clearly, someone needs to invent walking, talking car keys.
I’ve never been very good at keeping track of things. As a kid, though, at least I had scapegoats. Whenever I would lose something — which, again, was fairly often, even back then — I figured one of two things had probably happened: Either my mother had accidentally thrown it in the garbage or my little sister had stolen it from me.
I would usually accuse them of those crimes whenever something went missing — then invariably have to apologize to one or both of them when the item I had lost would eventually turn up.
Now that I’m a little older, I still lose things; I just don’t have a scapegoat on whom to blame things anymore — mostly because the people I live with don’t put up with such nonsense. This doesn’t make things any less frustrating, however. My wife — in addition to suggesting I put things in the same place all the time, also offers helpful suggestions such as, “Well, where’s the last place you had it?”
Really? If I could remember the last place I had it, do you know what I’d do? Probably go back to the last place I had it and retrieve it!
In any event, I continue to lose things on a regular basis. About the only solution I’ve been able to find for this problem is making everything in my life bigger — and, theoretically, easier to find. I mean, there’s a reason why the Empire State Building has never gone missing, right?
Whenever I go to the eye doctor, I ask for the biggest, thickest frames possible. My key chain weighs four pounds and has on it every key I’ve ever owned, along with bar code cards for every supermarket I visit and a set of my mom’s dog tags from when she taught military kids on an Army base.
My wallet is a giant leather monstrosity emblazoned with the image of the rock band KISS and festooned with metal studs. It’s also attached to a foot-long chain that I can affix to my belt. It’s probably the most ostentatious wallet in the history of wallets. It’s also harder for me to lose (not that it stops me from losing it, mind you; it just makes it easier for me to find after I’ve lost it).
Of course, bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to finding lost items. I know of at least two times in my life I’ve had to wander parking lots for hours, looking for my misplaced car.
I sure hope this trend of losing things is just a phase I’m going through and I’ll eventually grow out of it. Because in the meantime, it’s making me lose my mind.
David Fong is a columnist for the Troy Daily News, a division of Civitas Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.