I think I have a trickster.
I don’t really have a better term for it, so I’m using one that I learned by watching 8 seasons of Supernatural. Lately, I have had the weirdest things happen to me. Each time involved me thinking that I lost something important to me, only to find it almost exactly where I looked for it the first time – where I left it.
The first incident occurred two weeks ago, as I was heading to a Pure Barre class. I was in my car and going to lock my jewelry in my glove compartment (since Pure Barre only has cubbyholes, nowhere to put your stuff with a lock). I took my rings and necklace off, then went to remove my earrings, only to discover that one of them was missing. I was wearing these little slip-in pearl earrings that I wear often. They’re nothing special or expensive, but I got them as a package deal with the other jewelry that I got my bridal party, so they have some sentimental value for me. I looked around in my car and couldn’t find them and figured that it must’ve fallen out of my ear while I was changing at the office. I was really bummed, but held out hope that I’d walk into my office the next morning and find that the cleaning people had found it on the floor and left it on my desk for me. Needless to say, the earring wasn’t there. I was pretty bummed and even lamented the loss of this sentimental item to Jay and my boss.
Two days later, I found the missing earring, in the little compartment in my car where I had put my necklace, rings, and its other half. It was attached to the necklace. I swear it wasn’t there before.
The next incident occurred on my birthday. In my rush to get to that free Pure Barre class, I had thrown my phone and iPod in my jacket pocket. As I was changing in the bathroom, I thought I remembered moving both my phone and my iPod into the side compartment of my purse. I brought my gym bag back out to the car and stored my coat and purse in one of their little cubbyholes. When I got into my car after class was over, I reached into the side pocket of my bag to get my iPod to play in my car. It wasn’t there! I looked in both pockets and tore both my purse and gym bag apart looking for it. I checked and rechecked my jacket pockets. I looked in the middle compartment of my car. It was nowhere to be found. So I went back into the studio to see if perhaps I had remembered wrong and left it in my jacket pocket, where it could’ve fallen out when I took my jacket out of the cubby. I looked on the floor and in the cubby. Nowhere. I called my mom on my way home, freaking out about how my beloved, old faithful iPod was gone. It wasn’t a pretty scene, hence why it’s been left out of all birthday recaps up until this point. When I got back home, I didn’t even shower before meeting Jay at Cheesecake Factory (I know, yes, ew) because I dumped the contents of my purse and gym bag all over the floor. I have all these accessories that match and “go with” and fit with my current iPod. I didn’t want a new one!
When we sat down at the Cheesecake Factory, I told Jay the story of my missing iPod and began to mimic my frantic searching. Guess what? There was my damn iPod, in the side pocket of my damn purse, exactly where I had checked first and thought I had put it.
Incident #3 occurred Tuesday morning. At work, I’ve had several different events and things that I’ve been working on all at once lately. I have meticulously kept separate folders of each and every task, so as to better keep track of it all. My boss came in just prior to her leaving for lunch to ask me if I had an invoice for something. Indeed, I did have it and used it as a reference in a meeting I went to last Wednesday afternoon. I told her which file it was in. She looked through the file and said she couldn’t find it. I got up and looked through the file. It wasn’t there. I said, “Hmmm, let me look in the file for [a different event]. I had both out at the meeting last week, so maybe I put it in there by mistake.” It wasn’t there. I knew I had used information from this invoice in an email last Thursday afternoon, so I would’ve put it back in the current file. I started to panic because I had to leave for the airport and – a missing invoice?! Ain’t nobody got time for that! My boss is pretty awesome and said, “I know you have it, so just leave it for me while I’m at lunch.” I began to tear my files apart.
Realizing that panicking wouldn’t do me any good, I took a deep breath, finished what I was working on, went downstairs to the mailroom to send some mail out, got a glass of water, and retraced my steps from last Thursday. I decided to start from the beginning, knowing there was no other place this missing paperwork could be. And guess what? Right there, in the file, exactly where I knew I put it.
The most recent incident occurred about 30 minutes before I began writing this post. The only way I could stop silently sobbing and compose myself was to write. For Christmas, Jay got me an expensive pair of diamond stud earrings. I had wanted them for ages. They are my favorite Christmas present he’s ever gotten me and I have worn them almost non-stop since I got them. [Editor’s Note: I am editing & posting this 2 days after writing it.] We were on our flight to San Diego, about 3 hours into a 4 hours and 46 minute flight. Jay was about to start watching Skyfall and I was looking through my “642 Things to Write About” book to try to get ideas of what to write about for this upcoming Friday. I was moving my hair back behind my right ear when I made contact with the back of the earring. I fidget with my freaking hair all the time and have never done this. I immediately knew the force and angle of contact meant the back had come off the earring. I barely moved my arm and didn’t move any of my body. I said to Jay, “I think I just knocked my earring out. I don’t want to move in case it’s on me.” He looked at me and confirmed the earring wasn’t there. We began searching on my person first. It wasn’t in open view. I started to retrace what happened to get a possible trajectory. I realized that it could’ve fallen down my shirt. I looked – there was the earring back, but no earring. I thought for a hot second that I’d seen the earring down my shirt as well, but when I began pretty much groping myself to find it, it wasn’t there. We looked everywhere. We picked up both my and Jay’s seats. Jay walked to the row behind us and looked on the floor and on/under the laptop case that was under my seat. It wasn’t there. I looked through my hair and my coat and the “642 Things” book and my napkin and in my drink and in Jay’s pockets and hood and in the seat in front of me and in my purse and pretty much everywhere. I looked again and again for about 30 minutes before Jay gently told me that I had to stop looking. I had no idea where the earring went. It shouldn’t have gone far; there’s only so much distance that it could’ve traveled and based on where the back was found. It had to have been pretty much a straight shot down. We conducted several different searches, all in the same places over and over again. The earring seemed to have just disappeared into thin air.
I was devastated. Jay was really upset too. I felt so terrible that he got me such a beautiful gift and I went and ruined it. There’s a running joke that I can’t have nice things and this basically cemented that jest into fact. I kept hoping that this would be like the time I lost my beloved ring in fall 2008 – when it turned up hidden in the lampshade in my bedroom. The only problem was this was a Southwest airplane and very much not my bedroom or my car or my office. I had to start writing because I had an hour and a half left of the flight and it either write or cry. The woman sitting in our row and the flight attendants were all really helpful and I do appreciate how kind they were to try to help me find it.
After we landed, they turned the main cabin lights on. The man behind us asked what we had been looking for. We told him and showed off my remaining earring. Suddenly, the woman next to him said, “Oh, there it is!” She had out of nowhere spotted the missing earring! It was under the back LEFT side of my seat, burrowed into the carpet. I had seen the sparkle while looking with the flashlight on my phone, but because it was not raised above the carpet and wasn’t even close to any trajectory, dismissed it as part of the carpet. Jay had also seen it and thought the same thing. The earring was really deeply embedded in the carpet – the man sitting behind us really had to dig in with his nails and pull to get it out. We have no idea how it got there.
The people sitting around us (we had kept it quiet, so by “people,” I mean “person next to us and three people in the row behind us”) were really groovy about it. The man asked me, “Why did you wear such small earrings? Tell him to get you a bigger pair next time!” I said, “I should’ve packed them so I wouldn’t risk losing them.” The woman who found it called out with, “No! You gotta wear earrings that nice!” It was really funny and I was so relieved. I was also glad that I had done my crying in the privacy of my own seat, haha. I think 29 has brought me maturity.
Actually, almost everyone around us was kind. As we were leaving the plane, the woman who had been sitting in front of me said in a very annoyed voice as she stomped away, “Next time, pack those. You spent the ENTIRE flight kicking the back of my seat!” WELL. While I admit that I did hit her seat at some point and that can be really annoying, I still felt the comment was a little uncalled for. I wanted to say, “Thank you so much for your compassion and understanding!” but I didn’t. I merely said, “Haha, I know, I’m so sorry. Lesson learned.” I’m 99.9% sure that the total amount of time we looked for the earring was 30 minutes out of a 4 hour 46 minute flight – and I most certainly did not spend that entire 30 minutes banging into the back of her chair, because a good 5 minutes of it was spent sticking my hand down my own shirt. I know this because I timed how long the flight was with my stopwatch. Yes, I’m a loser like that and find it easier to get through long flights when I know exactly how long I’ve been in the air. Don’t judge. Oh, well. She must’ve been having a bad day – and if she wasn’t, then I’m sorry if I ruined her flight. 🙁
So, hopefully this is the end of my lost-and-found phase. If I do have a trickster or some entity out there playing practical jokes on me, you win! I don’t want to play anymore. Go bother someone else!