Posts Tagged ‘things I lost’
Well, folks, I brought an unexpected souvenir back from Florida: a heavy cold, which arrived the day before we left and gleefully packed its bags and hopped along with me for the plane ride home this morning/yesterday/whenever the hell that was. Don’t worry, though: I may have taken something with me (other than the five pairs of shoes, seven (!) dresses, two jackets and numerous other items, that is), but I left Florida something to remember me by, in the shape of my favourite blue jacket, which was last seen in the terminal at Sanford airport, and hasn’t been since. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, this relentless losing of clothes, but nope, each new loss is like a dagger to my heart, seriously.
Also lost: almost all of the video Terry took of our vacation, which he downloaded onto my laptop, and which my laptop proceeded to EAT FOR DINNER. Yeah. (Yes, we’ve tried every bit of recovery software known to man. No, it didn’t really work, although we did manage to recover about 60% of the footage, which I shall no doubt bore you with later.)
So, I’m home. I haven’t slept since Friday night, but I don’t feel remotely tired so I’ve just been outside and weeded the garden, which had returned to the wild during our absence, while Terry mowed the lawn. As I sat there, tugging up weeds (or possibly flowers: you never really know with me) with my bare hands, a plane crossed the sky above us, and I sat back and watched it. “Isn’t it strange to think,” I said to Terry, “that just a few hours ago we were up there in the sky, and a few hours before that we were all the way across the Atlantic? And now here we are, pulling up weeds in our excuse for a garden.”
It IS weird. Every time I take a flight, in fact, it reminds me of how small the world really is. It’s just not small enough, though, unfortunately, and sadly for me, the post-holiday blues have kicked in with a vengeance. From the moment I got up on Saturday morning and started systematically erasing all evidence of my existence from our rented house, to the sad opening of my suitcase on the wrong side of the Atlantic, every unpacked item provoking a new memory (“Last time I wore this, we went…” “Oh, this is what I wore that time we…”), I have felt like crying. God, aren’t first world problems a bitch?
Anyway. I should go and take some cold remedy and get some sleep. Hopefully I’ll be feeling much better in the morning…
Remember the time I lost my favourite dress? And also a top?
I think I know what happened to them both. And the reason I think I know what happened to them? This weekend, I almost did it again.
This time around, my innocent clothing victim was a skirt. I’d bought this skirt a couple of weeks ago: it was just a cheap, cotton thing, but I thought it would come in handy for holidays (and yes, it had stripes on it, SO?), so even although it was a size too big for me, I decided to buy it anyway and get my long-suffering mother to alter it for me.
As with the Sorry Tale of the Green Dress, the first part of the plan was executed smoothly. The skirt was delivered to my mum, who altered it successfully and gave it back to me when Terry and I went round there for dinner on Saturday.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
Well, we had dinner, then Terry and I drove home, where I spent a bit of time tooling around on the internet before going to bed. For some reason, though, as soon I opened my eyes on Sunday morning, the skirt was the first thing I thought of. “Hmm,” I thought. “I don’t remember hanging up that skirt last night, I wonder what I did with it?” I pictured myself siting at the computer the night before, putting Rubin to bed, brushing my teeth… No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t picture the stripey skirt taking part in any of these scenarios.
The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that something BAD had happened (again), so I got of bed and went to look for the skirt. It was not in the office. It was not in the wardrobe. It was not in my handbag. It was not in the house AT ALL, in fact, and so my fear grew. Had I… ? Could it be…? No, I told myself, absolutely not. Not even I am dumb enough to make exactly the same mistake twice, after all, so surely all we could gather from the absence of the stripy skirt in my life was that I had forgotten to pick it up when I left my parents’ house, and they were, even now, finding it hanging across the back of the chair in their conservatory, and saying, “Look, that dumb-ass of a daughter of ours has forgotten the stripey skirt again!”
The thing about that though, is that, as I’m sure everyone is well aware, by now, I AM dumb enough to make the same mistake twice. And probably three or four times more. So even although I went back to bed to drink my coffee and read a book, as is my Sunday morning tradition, I did so with an unquiet heart, and a strong sense of deja vu. Terry, meanwhile, headed downstairs to begin HIS Sunday morning task of painting our back door red (That was just a one-off, by the way. He doesn’t do that EVERY Sunday. That would be weird.), little realising that we were in the midst of yet another Missing Clothes Crisis.
Which is why he was really quite surprised to find a stripey skirt lying smack in the middle of our driveway when he headed out to put something in the bin later that morning. “Look!” he said, eyes wide in surprise, when he brought the item upstairs to show me. “I found a SKIRT in the middle of the drive!”
For a brief moment, I was tempted to just tell him that, why, the Stripey Skirt Fairy had obviously paid us a visit in the middle of the night! But Terry knows perfectly well that if there’s something covered in stripes lying around somewhere in the vicinity of our property, it’s probably connected to me, so of course, the truth came out, and the conclusion was that I must have dropped it as I carried it from the car to the house the night before.
Luckily, the stripey skirt was none the worse for its night under the stars. The green dress, I would assume, was not so lucky.
From now on, no item of my clothing will leave this house unless it’s on my body. I’ll just have to hope I’m not QUITE stupid enough to manage to lose myself…
THEY WERE HANDED IN TO DOROTHY PERKINS!
I am amazed! And happy! Something I lost… has been found! And so has my faith in humanity, because I seriously thought that if someone found them, they would either keep them or stick them on eBay. But no: some lovely, kind person has found them, and has handed them in, my special, bought-on-honeymoon sunglasses, which I will never, ever let out of my sight again once I get them back tomorrow!
I have to thank Terry for this development. Having called the mall and established that they hadn’t been handed in to the lost and found there, Terry felt it would perhaps be worth calling each of the stores I’d visited last weekend to ask if, by any chance they’d been handed in directly to them. My mum also suggested this, and even volunteered to do the calling-around herself.
“Nah,” said I, slipping effortlessly into the character of a sullen teenager who feels the world is OUT TO GET HER. “There’s no point. They are GONE. I will never see those sunglasses again! NEVER! Remember the green dress? And the top? THEY NEVER CAME BACK. Also: I went into exactly one thousand and eighty-two stores, so I’d need to spend the rest of my life calling them all, only to have my hopes dashed over and over and over again, JUST LIKE ALWAYS. Woe! Woe! And again: WOE!”
And then I put on one of my Smiths CDs and sulked in my bedroom for eight hours.
Luckily for me, though, Terry is an actual grown-up, and still HAS his faith in humanity. So this afternoon he started calling round all the stores, and… well, you know the rest.
Thank you Terry. Thank you, kind stranger who handed in my prechus. Thank you, universe. I promise I will try to be more careful in future.
(I will also try and buy that handbag I spotted this afternoon that would be less likely to allow things to fall out of it. Well, it’ll be cheaper than buying replacement sunglasses.)
So, I lost my sunglasses.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Other than, “Holy hell, is this woman going to lose EVERY. SINGLE. THING she owns?” I mean. (The answer to that, by the way, is surely “yes”. Yes, it would appear that I am. ) “So what?” you’re thinking. “It’s just a pair of sunglasses! It’s not like losing a dress, say. And it’s February, it’s not even sunny for God’s sake!”
You’re right, of course. It is just a pair of sunglasses, but the thing is: these were SPECIAL sunglasses. (Have you noticed how I always lose the spechul stuff, never the totally ordinary, take-it-or-leave-it stuff? Yeah, me too.) I got them on my honeymoon, as a “reward” for agreeing to almost kill myself on a quad bike, so they had sentimental value, and I LOVED them.
Also: I’ve been surgically attached to those sunglasses ever since I got them. I know I’ve probably mentioned this before once or twice or fourteen times, but my eyes are super-sensitive to sunlight, so I always, always have a pair of sunglasses with me. Or maybe three pairs:
The passenger seat of my car, last year
(Oh God. The pair at the very front? Is THE pair. The LOST pair. It makes me sad just to look at them. Where are you now, oh sunglasses? Where did you sleep last night? Is some other girl loving you the way I loved you? Or are you perhaps sleeping in a cardboard box somewhere, probably under a bridge near a railway station?)
You see, for years now (since I was a teenager, in fact) I’ve had this paranoia that I’ll be out somewhere and it’ll all of a sudden turn SUNNY, and I’ll be dazzled by it and, I don’t know, go blind or something. (On a more practical note, if it’s sunny AT ALL, I can’t drive without my sunglasses, and I also whine a lot. That last bit has nothing to do with the sunglasses, by the way, I just whine a lot.) So I carry my sunglasses everywhere, and because I wear them so much I am generally prepared to pay a bit more for a pair I really, really like. That’s what I did with these ones, and for the past three years, they have been my constant companions. They have been to America with me. They have been to Spain with me. They have been to… well, they’ve been to America and Spain, OK? They appear in almost every single one of my holiday snaps from the past three years, and I had optimistically thought that we would have many more happy years ahead of us, my big-ass sunnies and me.
And then yesterday I lost them. Because that’s what I do.
Actually, that’s not quite true. Well, the “losing stuff” bit IS true, but not the “yesterday” bit. Yesterday I found out that I’d lost them. I actually have no idea when I lost them, and this is because the horrible weather we’ve been having lately means that I can’t even remember when I last had to wear them. Unfortunately for me, the whole “carrying them with me at all times” thing means I could have lost them ANYWHERE. The handbag I use has two zips which both have to be closed to make it secure, and because I’m lazy, I normally don’t bother, which means it would’ve been all too easy for them to have fallen out somewhere. Especially when you consider that it’s ME carrying the bag.
So, yesterday was one of THOSE days, and by that I mean, “One of those days which Terry and I spend turning the house upside down as we hunt YET AGAIN for something I have lost.” We searched the house. We searched both cars. We searched in the rubbish bins. We called my parents and asked if I had, YET AGAIN left something at their house the last time I was there. We called Terry’s mum and asked if I had, YET AGAIN, left something at her house the last time I was there. Terry called the mall I went to last weekend and asked if anything had been handed in.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Obviously, as the photo above shows, it’s not like I don’t have other, (albeit non-spechul) pairs I can wear for now, but seriously: how do I learn to stop losing stuff all the time? Is there some kind of a course you can take for that? Should I start tying all of my belongings to me with string (if I can find the string, that is), or should I just admit defeat and never leave the house ever again? I’m starting to think that might be the best idea…
I’m just going to keep this short, but slightly hysterical:
WE LOST OUR PASSPORTS.
We turned the house upside down looking for them. We searched for an hour. I even called my parents to ask if, by any chance, we’d left the passports at their place when we got back from Florida this summer. (There is a reason why every time my mother sees my number on the caller display, she answers with “What’s wrong now?” rather than the customary ”hello”.)
Finally, just as I’d started to type the phrase “OMFG I lost my passport!” into Google…
Terry found them.
IN THE VERY FIRST PLACE WE’D LOOKED.
Isn’t that always the way of it? (Answer: “No, Amber, not really. Not unless you’re an idiot, obviously.”) And the first place we’d looked? Was a certain drawer in my filing cabinet which I tend to think of as “the passport drawer”. No, there are no prizes for guessing why I call it that.
The thing is, though, I SEARCHED the passport drawer. About ten times. In fact, so certain was I that if they weren’t there, they must be gone for good (I know I’ve managed to lose almost everything else I own this year, but I am actually pretty careful about the passports. No, really.), while Terry systematically ransacked the house, looking under rugs, behind mirrors and inside the dog’s ears, I just kept circling back to The Passport Drawer and going through it over and over again. Mostly while shrieking, “I can’t believe we’ve lost our PASSPORTS! Someone’s probably pretending to be me in Cuba or somewhere by now!”
Then I would search The Passport Drawer again. And again. I know I’m something of an unreliable searcher, too, so Terry ALSO searched TPD, at least three times that I can remember. The passports WERE NOT THERE. And then suddenly… they were.
I can only assume from all of this that at some point last night, our passports discovered how to make themselves magically invisible, and did it just to screw with us. It’s the only possible explanation. (Because it can’t POSSIBLY be that Terry and I are just STUPID. No.) If so, I can only hope they don’t ever decide to do it again, because I had to switch on my SAD light this week, and my sanity now depends on getting out of the county for a couple of weeks at least.
I think I’m going to give the passports to my parents for safe keeping. Also my green dresses. And… just everything, really. It’s the only way I can guarantee their safety.
(Oh, hey, that story wasn’t really short AT ALL, was it? Whoops.)
Remember the sorry story of how I lost my TAX DISC? And had to apply for a new TAX DISC? Because the old TAX DISC was lost, and when something is lost, you don’t have it any more?
(Don’t worry, the caps are there for a reason. I haven’t just developed a weird case of car-related Tourettes. TAX DISC!)
Did you, at any point in that story, get the feeling that, “Oh my God, we haven’t heard the end of this yet?” Because if so, you were right. Sigh.
First I had to print out and fill in a form. You know, to get the DVLA to replace my missing TAX DISC? That was a bit of a saga in itself, partly because I really suck at filling in forms (I used blue ink rather than the required-on-pain-of-death black ink, and I put my date of birth in the “today’s date” box), but also because this form contained a bunch of questions like: “Please enter your BlahBlah number. This can be found on your TAX DISC”. And I was all, “Oh, my TAX DISC, you say? The one that’s LOST? As in, I don’t have it? Sure, let me just grab my LOST TAX DISC that I don’t have, so I can fill in this number from it, so that you can replace my LOST TAX DISC!”
It also contained the question, “How was the original TAX DISC lost?” Which stumped me a little, I have to admit. I considered two different answers:
1. Provide them with a link to this post.
2. Write something along the lines of “If I knew that, I’d have a chance of finding it, and I wouldn’t have to fill in this stupid form, brainiacs.”
But in the end I went with option 3, which involved the laborious printing (in block caps! That I had to write with my hand! I don’t ever write by hand now. I barely remember how to do it, to be honest.) of a lengthy explanation that went something like, “Well, it was on the worktop in the kitchen? Next to the kettle? Or maybe the toaster? But the original tax disc still had a few weeks to run, and I was about to go on holiday, then with all of the excitement of the holiday (I touched a dolphin!!) I forgot all about it, and then suddenly the tax disc wasn’t there any more, and I think I might have thrown it out by mistake, but I’m really not sure. Do you know? Also, have you seen my green dress?”
It was at this point that I realised I’d used the FORBIDDEN blue ink, though, so I had to print out a new form and start all over again (this time I just wrote “I think I threw it out. Whoops!”), then I had to write out a cheque for £7, and I haven’t used cheques since about 1999, so first I had to find my cheque book, then I had to hunt down my Vehicle Registration Document, which they also needed, and I had to put these items into an envelope along with some powdered unicorn horn, a 4 leafed clover gathered by the light of the full moon, and a clipping from one of God’s toenails. Then I had to get into my car (which, did I mention, does not have a valid TAX DISC?) and drive to the post office, because apparently it’s still 1987 at the DVLA and you can’t just do all of this online, like a normal person. I bet they still use typewriters there, too.
So, all of this just to get a replacement TAX DISC, and do you know what the DVLA sent me this week?
Yes, they sent me…. a replacement VEHICLE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE!
So that sucked. Remember the bit where I had to send them my existing Vehicle Registration Document? You’d think that would’ve been a clue that this particular certificate WAS NOT LOST. Unlike, say… actually, no, I can’t bring myself to say it one more time. And then I had to pick up the phone (I never “phone”) and go through the whole “Press 1 if you’d like to sit in a call queue for an hour, 2 if you’d like to be transferred to someone who does not speak English, or 3 if you’d prefer to just die now,” thing, so they could tell me they have no idea why they sent me a Vehicle Registration Certificate rather than a You Know What.
They tell me a replacement YKW will be on its way to me later this week. I await its arrival with bated breath.
P.S. TAX DISC!
Way back in June, just before I went to Florida, my road tax came up for renewal. And so did my car insurance and MOT. Actually, that’s not quite true: the tax disc was due to expire while we were away, and because of the general stress/excitement involved in going on vacation, not to mention all of the other car-related expenses going on at the time, I became absolutely convinced that I would forget to renew it, and when I got home the police would be waiting for me at the airport or something. Because clearly I have no idea how these things work AT ALL.
Anyway, I was so sure that Bad Things were going to happen involving this tax disc that I ordered and paid for it online the very second the renewal notice came in the mail, then I sat back and congratulated myself on being so freaking organised.
A couple of days later, the new tax disc arrived, but – and here’s the kicker – rather than sticking it on the inside of my windscreen, as required by law, it’s looking increasingly likely that I just stuck it INSIDE THE BIN instead. Or, you know, somewhere.
Then I went on holiday, in blissful ignorance of the fact that my careful planning had all been for nothing, and my car was now sitting in the driveway displaying an out of date tax disc.
Then I came home and proceeded to drive the car here, there and everywhere (well, to the gym and the mall), STILL without the tax disc. Terry drove his mum to the airport in said car-with-no-valid-tax-disc. Then, four weeks later? He drove her back. And still the tax disc was out of date.
Today, though, while out in the driveway, Terry finally noticed the fact that my car was sitting there being ILLEGAL. So he told me about it and I, of course, proceeded to freak the hell out. A fingertip search of the house was undertaken, but I knew that it was in vain, and I knew this because it’s only been a few weeks since the LAST search of the house, and I’d like to think that if the missing tax disc had turned up while I was searching for the green dress, I’d have noticed it. I mean, I’d LIKE to think that, but last time I checked I was still Amber, and you really never know with me, do you?
In the end I called my bank and was all, “Oh, hai, do you by any chance know if I paid my road tax in June?” Luckily my bank are used to such questions from me, and they confirmed that yes, I had, in fact paid for the new disc, so I am not being quite as illegal as I thought I was. It’ll now apparently cost me £7 to get a replacement disc though, and meanwhile I am sure – SURE – that wherever it is, it is probably with the green dress and missing top.
WHAT WILL BE NEXT?
Remember my beloved green dress? The one that was tragically and mysteriously LOST?
Well, it’s still lost.
Sorry, I just realised that the start of this post probably made you think I was about to tell you I found it under the living room rug or something, and oh, how I wish that were true! (Note to self: check under living room rug.) But nope, no such luck. The green dress is still as lost as ever it was: probably even more so, to be honest, given the time that’s now passed since it was last seen.
I have bought a new one! Yes, a NEW GREEN DRESS! That is exactly the same as the OLD green dress in every respect, other than that it is new (with tags, no less!) and, well, NOT LOST. Well, not yet, anyway.
I found the dress last night, on eBay. You see, ever since that terrible day on which I was forced to admit to myself that I would, in all likelihood, never see the original dress again, I have embarked upon a strict regime of searching eBay almost non-stop for one just like it, using multiple different search terms, and calling upon reserves of patience which, to be totally frank, I had NO IDEA I even possessed. There have been days when I’ve forgotten to feed and clothe myself, but BY GOD, I’ve never forgotten to search eBay for THAT DRESS.
And then, last night, I found it. I don’t think that sentence really sums up my shock and excitement at this fact, so let’s see….
There, that should do it.
Of course, because my non-stop searching meant that I was alerted to the presence of The Dress almost as soon as it was listed, the auction still had a full week to run when I found it. And there was no way on earth I could sit it out for a whole week – I mean, quite apart from anything else, I have to sleep SOME time, you know? – so I emailed the seller and asked her if she’d add a Buy It Now. And then I sat and pressed Send/Receive on my email until she finally replied, several hours later, agreeing to sell it to me. If only I could apply this degree of dedication to OTHER areas of my life!
So, yes, new green dress, same as the old green dress. Brand new. With tags. In my size, and everything. Which kinda makes my whole “I will never, ever find another one like it! Wah!” thing seem a bit silly now, no? And, of course, it will not make me feel any better about What Happened That Night. (WHAT DID HAPPEN THAT NIGHT? It’s driving me insane!), and I will always wonder what happened to my original dress. And top. But at least I will have a new one now. And if the old one ever DOES turn up, then I’ll have TWO of them.
Mind you, I won’t be totally easy in my mind about any of this until the dress is safely in my hands. (I say “safely” – I don’t think ANYTHING is really “safe” in my hands at the moment, especially given recent events) I mean, what do you think the odds are of this latest dress being lost in the mail? Or suffering the same, mysterious fate as the last one?
I’ll keep you posted. Because clearly there is NO LIMIT to the amount of posts I can write about this freaking green dress. GOD.
[Special disclaimer for all of the people who like to take every word I write super-seriously (hi!): Emotions in this post may have been exaggerated for dramatic effect. May not have been, though.]
I lost my favourite dress.
I know: how do you lose a DRESS, I hear you ask? That’s what my parents asked, anyway, and I tell you what I told them: if there is a way for me to do something inexplicably stupid, I will surely find it .
And I obviously did.
The green dress had been resident at my parents’ house for a week. I’d worn it and, because I am me, had spilled food down the front of it, leaving a huge, greasy mark. I tried to remove the mark, but succeeded only in making it even bigger, so I did what any self-respecting adult would do:
I took it to my mum and asked her to wash it instead.
My mum did this, and also ironed the dress, and then she placed it in a carrier bag, along with a little top I’d bought, which she’d altered for me.
And that was the last time anyone ever saw either of those items alive. Or, indeed, dead. They quite simply HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE. Which begs the question: HOW?!
I don’t remember taking the bag out of the house that night (last Saturday). No one else remembers seeing me take it. The assumption, though, is that I DID take it, because it is no longer in my parents’ house, and trust me, they’ve searched. They’re probably still searching now, actually.
But it didn’t make it to our house, either. Neither Terry or I can remember bringing it out of the car, and we’re both as sure as we can be that this is because we DIDN’T bring it out of the car. We’ve conducted fingertip searches of both the house and the car several times. Over, and over, and over again we have searched. The bag containing the clothes is nowhere to be found. It’s almost as if it DIDN’T ACTUALLY EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE.
At the moment, the most likely scenario we’re pursuing is that it was lost on the way home that night. You see, we did not come straight home. No, we stopped at a local park to let Rubin have a quick run before bed, and the only thing we can think is that somehow when I opened the car door to get out, the bag must have fallen out of the car. This doesn’t seem all that likely, to be honest: it was a wet night, and I was wearing my new Prada peep toes (the walk wasn’t planned, by the way. I mean, even I normally wear something a little more practical to walk the dog), so I was having to look quite carefully at the ground, to make sure I didn’t step in a puddle. I can’t help thinking I was looking at the ground so intently – especially around the car, which was parked in a particularly muddy area – that I would’ve noticed something lying on it, but in the absence of any other explanation for the whereabouts of my dress, I guess this is the one we have to go with.
(Also, Terry used my phone to take some photos of Rubin and I walking, and the bag isn’t in them, so we know I wasn’t carrying it.)
This all happened last Saturday. It was a couple of days before I realised I didn’t have the dress, and when I DID realise, I assumed I’d left it at my parents’ house, so it wasn’t until Friday that I realised it was actually MIA. Terry did return to the alleged scene of the crime this weekend, but needless to say, there was nothing there, and the park warden said nothing had been handed in. So it’s a mystery. And it’s a mystery that has REALLY freaking annoyed me. I mean, this dress wasn’t an expensive one – in fact, it was one of the cheapest dresses I own(ed) – but I LOVED it. It was my favourite. And because I bought it ages ago, the shop has long since sold out of them, and so it’s effectively irreplaceable. Ditto the top. My only hope now is that one comes up on eBay, but the chances of that are slim, and so I think I’ll just have to accept that I’ve lost my favourite dress, and will never see its like again. This makes me sad.
Meanwhile, I am a woman tortured by the effort of trying to remember the events of That Night. Where did the dress go? Where is it now? SOMEONE must know something. Did it run away? Was I not a good enough owner for it? Did it quarrel with the top, and then something unspeakable happened between them? Did the top bury the evidence, and then go on the run, to escape justice? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GREEN DRESS?! And how will I find out? Should I put up posters around town saying HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DRESS, REWARD OFFERED or should I just find a good hypnotist and see if they can unlock the key to my memory and uncover the grisly truth?
Or should I just buy another dress, instead?*
*Nothing will ever compare to it, though. Alas, poor dress, we hardly knew ye!