It's Right Where I Left It, Wherever That Is
Don't ever ask me to watch your children, feed your dog while you're away, or hold your purse while you go to the bathroom. I can't be trusted. I have the attention span of a gnat and the short-term memory of a lump of clay. I would blame it on early senility, but I've been this way as long as I can remember (my long-term memory is okay, I think, but I'm not sure).
I have misplaced and/or lost countless items over the years. Purses and keys have been the victims in most of my mishaps. When I was a teenager, I once left my purse on the front bumper of my Dad's pickup, as we were preparing to drive into town. Miraculously, it was still there when we parked, seven miles later. I was not so lucky the time I left the same purse on the hood of a stranger's car in a school parking lot, while I chatted with a friend. I never saw the purse, the car, or my friend again.
I have absentmindedly abandoned my key ring in a breathtaking variety of inappropriate places. Perhaps the worst was HANGING IN THE CAR DOOR LOCK, while I toodled off to the pizza parlor for a couple of hours of eating, drinking and being merry. I didn't even realize they were missing until I was walking back to the car, looking frantically for them in my purse and pockets, wondering if I could break a window to get into the car. I was both relieved and chagrined to see them in the lock. I'm glad it was an old car, or I would have had to walk home, for sure. And then I'd have had to break the house window to get in.
I must admit that my sense of humor was not well enough developed back then to find these events amusing. Now I just say, "What the hell. You might as well laugh." So, just imagine the merriment that ensued yesterday, at the local farmers' market. I never carry a purse anymore, preferring to stow my wallet safely in my jeans' front, right pocket. So, after each purchase, I put my wallet back into my pocket, pick up my bag of produce and proceed to the next stand. I periodically pat my pocket to be sure the wallet is, indeed, in there. So, there I was, at the largest stand, surrounded by several impatient shoppers, all jockeying for position. I paid for my bags of brocolli, bananas and apples, arranged the bags on my left arm, and turned away from the stand. I patted my right pocket, checking for the wallet. It wasn't there! I tried to stay calm, checking all the other pockets. Nothing. I pushed my way back to the produce counter, and frantically looked through all the fruits and vegetables in the area I had been standing, all the while thinking that someone had stolen the damn thing and was at this very moment using my credit card to buy a new car. I called to the clerk and asked her if she had seen a small, brown wallet anywhere in the vicinity.
"You mean that one in your hand?"
There it was, in my LEFT hand, which I had thought was completely occupied by nothing but the plastic bags. Apparently, the look on my face was amusing, because the clerk started laughing. I was so relieved, that I started laughing too. And you know what? I'm laughing right now, just thinking about it.