Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Definition of Insanity

I’m good at finding things. For one thing, I’ve deliberately gotten rid of so much junk over the past three years that there aren’t as many piles into which things might vanish. For another, I’m constantly losing things (I often joke that I got my tattoo as an ankle bracelet I couldn’t lose). Much as I strive for the ideal of “a place for everything and everything in its place” I still have a terrible habit of setting things down and forgetting about them, so I’ve evolved a corresponding skill in searching. When it comes to my kids’ or husbands’ missing objects, I seem to have an innate ability to mentally sniff things out, whether it’s by systematic elimination or an ability to analyze the logic of my family, probably both.

The others in my household are less gifted in this regard. It’s an accepted fact that unless a given object jumps up and bites him on the butt, Dan will be unable to find it. This is a lifelong disability which seems impossible to train out of him. The kids are even worse, of course. “Mom, where are the granola bars?” “Pantry closet, second shelf from the bottom on the left.” Silence. “I can’t find them.” “Have you looked yet?” “Yes!” “Second shelf from the bottom. Start at the bottom and go up one shelf. On the left side.” “They’re not there.” “They are there.” “No they’re not, Mama!” **sighhhhhhh** I stop what I’m doing, travel through two rooms, reach into the pantry closet and pull out a granola bar from exactly the location I specified. “Oh.”

Between my long history of having to locate misplaced objects and my natural ability to think like a lost object, not much gets permanently lost in this house. After five years, we still have every single piece of Eiledon’s Disney Princess tea set, including all 12 utensils. I see that as proof positive that if it’s in this house, I’ll find it.

So someone tell me WHERE IN THE HECK IS GAVIN’S SOCK MONKEY!?!?!? It’s maddening, I tell you. I have searched in every nook and cranny in this not-all-that-big house and Hobbes, as he’s named, is not to be found. I KNOW Hobbes was sitting atop the entertainment center at supper time on Sunday, and I KNOW he went missing that evening, so I KNOW he must be in this stinkin’ house!

I’ve heard that insanity can be defined as doing the same action and expecting a different result. Well, I’m completely bonkers, then, because I’ve checked and re-checked and re-checked AGAIN in the same drawers and cabinets and closets and beds and under those beds and behind furniture and in my car and through the entire blanket cabinet and I can’t find the stupid monkey.

I’d give up. Except once, when I lived with my sister, I lost my checkbook. I tore the place apart searching for it, retracing my steps, checking my clothing and backpack, you name it. I must have checked all four pockets in my Ragstock blazer a dozen times but finally, Kathy picked up the blazer, reached into a pocket, and pulled out my checkbook. I was utterly flabbergasted.

So now it’s Wednesday and my son’s favorite stuffed animal is still no where to be found. It’s maddening, I tell you. MADDENING.

Maybe I should invite Kathy over.

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