I have spent the majority of my life looking for stuff. Not just my stuff, mind you. Other people’s stuff.
It started when I was a little girl. My uncle and grandfather were always misplacing something, usually their hats, and I was the one to find them.
For my laborious efforts – you’d be amazed where two grown men would misplace their hats. I was rewarded with something usually of the chocolate variety, which undoubtedly attributed to my pre-pubescent roundness.
When I married Lamar, I joked — not too pleasantly — that I had been in training for being married to him all my life. The boy lost everything.
I have found the remote in the freezer before.
Why, you may ask?
Because Lamar was holding the remote, went to get himself a glass of something to drink and God forbid he put the remote down. I may change it within those three feet to the Food Network or Lifetime, to watch some woman kill her husband.
We couldn’t find it for hours.
I opened the freezer to get ice cream and there it sat, on top of a bag of spinach. Thank God I had some butter pecan in there or the thing would still be missing.
That was just the start. Lamar loses something on a daily basis.
The remote, his wallet, keys, hat, his belt…you name it, the boy has misplaced it.
“Have you seen?....”
I sigh. How does he misplace so much stuff — all the time?
For the most part, my office (I’ve seen bigger walk-in closets) is in a state of utter chaos and I can find whatever paper, receipt or invoice I need, but on a daily basis, I am asked to find something he has lost.
“How do you lose your stuff all the time? Why don’t you try putting it somewhere you can find it?” I ask.
“It’s my special talent,” he responds wryly.
I find it, usually in the oddest of places. The dog leash was in the bathroom one day. The keys have been in the pantry next to the Little Debbies. I can only imagine he was starving when we brought the groceries in and had to get his blood sugar back to normal. The remote has been in a cabinet in the kitchen. He evidently spends a lot of time eating or getting food.
“Mama, Pop and Bobby trained me for this,” I said one day, telling her the list of things Lamar had misplaced.
“Then you should be a pro,” she replied.
“Yeah, but they took me to Mr. Gambrell’s store and got me a Twinkie or something else to reward me. Lamar wants me to fix him a sandwich after I find his missing stuff.”
Cole misplaces stuff too, but nothing to the degree Lamar does.
Usually, Cole can’t find stuff because he put it in the vortex of his room, where things go to never to be found again.
Once, when he was about 4 or 5, he misplaced Piggie, the original Pig. Piggie was missing for weeks. We tore the cabin from wood to wall, trying to find it. He cried, I cried. We prayed to find that plush pig.
My friend, Carolyn, sent him a box full of piggies, dubbing her “Aunt Piggie.” The day after they arrived, I happened to pick up a toy barrel and out tumbled Piggie, who’s beigey pink color had been camouflaged under the other toys.
“I should have sent the box sooner; I knew once he got it, Piggie would be found,” she said.
This made Cole a firm believer that Mama could find anything.
Now, I am looking for his things along with his Daddy’s. Oh, I get how frustrating it can be to misplace something. I lost a lipstick one day, in a tiny hole in the lining of my purse and you would have thought I had lost the Hope Diamond the way I tore that purse apart. And it was just a tube of L’Oreal. No telling what I would have done if it had been a tube of that spendy stuff Mama gets me at Christmas.
Then, one day recently, horrors beyond horrors, the remote to the TV went missing. The one that turns it on and off and controls the volume. This was devastating. We had to physically get up and walk to the TV. There should have been a committee formed for these horrible conditions. It was missing for three days.
I checked the freezer, pantry, cabinets. I checked the drawers on Lamar’s bureau. I checked the bathroom. I checked the dirty laundry hamper. I asked the dogs if they had eaten it. The pit is partial to paper towels and tin foil, but I don’t trust the German Shepherd with anything she can chew. The border collie just rolled her eyes at me as if she was above reproach.
Cole was beyond consoling. “Daddy,” he began solemnly, “If Mama can’t find it, it may really be lost. She can find anything. That’s what she does — she’s the finder. We will never be able to turn the volume up or down again!”
That’s a lot of pressure for a girl who thinks it’s a small miracle to just find a pair of panty hose without a run when she needs them.
Miraculously, on day three, I happened to see a dark object wedged under the couch. And there it was, the missing black TV remote, volume control and the turner off and on-er. “I told you she could find anything!” Cole said, proud of his mama.
I didn’t have much time to rest on my laurels. Lamar was heading out. Had I seen his phone?
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, “The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery.”