Service of Where the Dickens Did I Put That?

October 5th, 2023

Categories: Lost, Memory, Misplaced Items

Waiting far too long for the bus last Sunday I struck up a conversation with another frustrated passenger. Not sure why the subject came up but he mentioned that he had misplaced his kitchen scissors and couldn’t find them for the life of him. He thought a houseguest might have used and misplaced them but wasn’t sure.

Misery loves company. I was gratified to know that a person at least 20 years my junior has the same annoying time-wasting dilemma I often have. My husband seemed allergic to putting things back where they were supposed to be so it became a game to find the tape or stapler that he’d squirreled away in creative places instead of putting them in their spot.

An a.m. drivetime radio host in his 50s was sick at home with Covid for five days and couldn’t find his house keys. He asked readers to give him ideas of where to look for it. Some suggested he pray to Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost articles. It took four days for him to find them. Guess where they were? At the bottom of his wife’s handbag.

I have nobody but me to blame when my phone, reading and sunglasses or a gift card go missing. I keep tape and scissors in a few places so I always have backup, but they always seem to be where I’ve stored them. Do I need two of everything?

Sometimes I riffle through my file cabinet several times before finding the folder I need. It’s been there all the time.

I’m a list maker—for to do’s, groceries, blog ideas and project priorities. Where do I misplace a crucial list? Don’t ask. I can and do.

Do you tend to misplace some things more than others? When you find the item is it usually in the same place? Do you have failsafe tricks to keep search time to a minimum?

18 Responses to “Service of Where the Dickens Did I Put That?”

  1. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook: Happens at least once a day.

    The most embarrassing times are when I can’t find my phone – because I’m looking right at it and using it for something else 

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Larry,

    Like reading glasses I’ve hooked on to my tee-shirt at the neck or sunglasses placed like a headband.

  3. Anonymous Said:

    The thing I lose more often is my memory! It disappears randomly. I remember this, that or the other thing and then…gone. Basically I lose my memory more than anything else but it seems to find it way back to me! At least I think it does……I don’t remember!!!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Anonymous,

    I think this happens when you have so many things going on at once that you create a short-circuit in your brain. I first came to this conclusion in college. I’d leave my dorm room and arrive at a friend’s door and think, “What did I come to borrow?”

  5. EAM Said:

    EAM on Facebook: Hot Topic: I lost my car keys at work (they were turned in) but it prompted me to buy the tile fob in case I lose them again.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    EAM,

    To avoid that heart stopping discovery, when I had a car I carried a second key and later a car key fob in my handbag. Having two of something is a huge help for essential items. I also have a second pair of Rx reading glasses.

  7. ASK Said:

    Keys and glasses, which I try to leave in a catch-all on the coffee table…my go-to spot when I can’t find them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have duplicates, but finding the originals is more important…

  8. Hank Goldman Said:

    I recently bought a pair of running shoes with memory insoles. So now, when I go to the kitchen, I remember why I am there.

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    I also like to find the originals. Otherwise, I no longer have a duplicate!

    If I’m anxious, I can leave my cell phone any old place. It has a black cover which makes it hard to find on many surfaces. I haven’t done it lately, but I’ve been known to call it from one of my other phones. That works if I’m running late.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    Hilarious.

  11. ASK Said:

    Your response reminded me: I had misplaced my cell phone and could not find it anywhere in my apartment. So I called the number from my landline (Yes, I still have one…quite valuable during black-outs and other emergencies.) The cell didn’t ring in the apt., but unbeknownst to me, it did ring for the person who found it. That morning at 5:30am, my landline rang and on a hunch I answered. It was the man who had found my phone. He was a local school bus driver and we arranged to meet at the start of his route at 6:30am. One generous tip later, and I had my phone back. I could not have been more grateful…

  12. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: Always but once I retrace my steps I find what was “misplaced “. Creature of habit 😊

  13. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Debbie,

    I can retrace steps but….one time I couldn’t hear my cell phone that I’d called from another phone. Big puzzle. Turned out the ring was muffled under the quilt and a stack of pillows on my bed. What goblin put it there?

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    Great story! Had you left your phone behind somewhere or did it drop out of your pocket?

    I too have a second phone and number.

  15. Lucrezia Said:

    Something’s always missing/disappearing/getting lost and has been ever since I can remember. I’ve developed some memory gimmicks over the years, with moderate success. As for the rest – some show up in the strangest places, and others appear to be intent on remaining hidden!

  16. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Sometimes my tricks don’t work. When I’m doing something else I might come across the lost item. Such a happy moment!!!

  17. Deb Wright Said:

    This seems to be a daily occurrence in my life!! This morning I took a DVD out of my DVD player to return it to my neighbor. I can’t find the case! Where the heck did I put it? I do think I am becoming more absent-minded. One trick to finding a lost item is to try and run the film backward. Where was the last place I used an item or in what room? I forget new places to store things, so I try not to be so clever. If the scotch tape dispenser is on the third shelf in the dining room–leave it there! Sometimes calming down about not finding my keys, for example. I do deep breathing and switch to a different chore. Then, by magic they are in a different purse. Annoyance is a great word for this!

  18. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Deb,

    The calming of panic at a loss of a crucial item that is, for example, making us late or causing a missed deadline is crucial.

    Sometimes we don’t do anything…an item drops out of a pocket or handbag or behind a desk and we don’t notice.

    I wasn’t there but my mother told me this story. My parents were driving from one to another country in Europe at a time you had to show your passport to border guards. After a several hour drive my dad looked for his passport to show to the guard and it was nowhere. They searched all his pockets, the car, luggage too–everything. They returned to the hotel and no luck. They did another deep-dish search of the car and there was that pesky passport–it had slipped between the driver’s seat and whatever car part was next to it. Maybe if they’d not been so frantic, they would have seen or felt it the first time they looked at the border.

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