Sunday, March 31, 2013

Losing It

We’ve all done it, lost our glasses, our cell phone, our car keys, the remote, a wallet, or sometimes, temporarily, a kid or two. I’ve noticed that age is a factor in losing things. The older you are the more items you tend to misplace and misplaced sounds much less drastic than lost as in the ship was lost with all hands. All you know is that it wasn’t where you thought it was. And if you find it, it wasn’t really lost was it? Out of sight perhaps or absent without leave, but surely not…lost.
In my recent case, it was the checkbook. I had the bank record of where I’d written the last check but that was 20 days ago and when the man who just finished some tree work for me wanted to be paid, no checkbook. Luckily, I found another pad of new checks but where on earth was that familiar blue cover and its precious contents?

The customary location for safekeeping was, of course, barren of checkbooks. Secondary sites were scrutinized; the top of the dresser, jeans pockets, jacket pockets, the car I was in when the last check was written (at least I think that was the vehicle I was in.) You see, the longer you think about it, the harder you try to remember, the more the mind starts playing evil little tricks. Where exactly, if anywhere, did you visit after writing that last check; the grocery, a Wal-Mart, maybe the liquor store? Think! Think!
The search began, cursory at first, after all, it has to be here somewhere, not far from its regular home base, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? You pat pockets, run your hand behind the cushions, look under the couch, question the Missus, give the evil eye to the cats ( oh, they’re quite capable of knocking items from shelves and dressers you know), check the magazine rack, the trash can, the bed, but no.

I go to the web and the online banking site. Whew! No bad guys have used the account, not yet anyway. I decide to call on my friendly banker and check my options for lost checkbooks. A very serious looking lady explained, “Well Sir, you have ten lost checks. I can put a stop on them for $30 a check.”
"WHAT! Three hundred bucks? You’ve got to be …… Surely, there’s another solution."

“Or, we can cancel the account and set you up with a new one.”
Hmm. That was an option all right, but not without consequences. There was auto bill pay and auto deposits to deal with. Geez.

“One other thing we could do is to freeze the account for ten days. This means no one can use it, not even you without personally talking to us again.”
I chose door number three and went home with renewed determination to find the damn checkbook. Since it was late in the day and happy hour was at hand, I opted to continue the search come sunrise. I would go through the cars and the house, room by room, inch by inch, searching every niche and cranny, no matter how unlikely, until I was absolutely positive that any area larger than 3” by 6” by ¼ “ was devoid of little blue folders.

With sun shining and birds singing to welcome the new day, I grabbed a flashlight and began my quest. Hoping that I had not yet reached the early stages of dementia, I reasoned that the car was the last known place of checkbook occupancy and started there. Besides, it was a smaller area to search than a whole house.
 I backed out of the garage for better light and access and started in; driver’s side pockets, under the seat, sun visor, console box, nada. Moved to the passenger side, nothing on the floor, nothing in back, checked the glove box for the fourth time, and …hold it! HOLD IT! There, in the back, on edge, vertical against the rear of the box, now revealed in the glare of the spotlight, a familiar blue cover.  The lost (I mean misplaced) was found. Keep in mind that the Missus and I had reached in that very glove box, removed the contents, and examined them piece by piece. Not once, not twice, but thrice, yet always in the semi- darkness of the garage and without a flashlight. With the dark blue against the black, well, you can easily understand how it happened, right? Just one of those things. Could happen to anyone. Getting old had nothing to do with it.

That doesn’t mean I’m ruling out the cats as the root of the problem, not yet.