Has anyone seen my new pair of sunglasses?

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I couldn’t find my new sunglasses.

They were less than two weeks old.

I tried to think like sunglasses. I thought, “If I were sunglasses, where would I be.” Then I went there and looked. No sunglasses.

Email newsletter signup

I checked the Lost and Found Department in our house. It contained nothing but orphaned socks and gloves.

From experience, I know that lost things are always found in the last place I look. My Uncle Belfry couldn’t find his false teeth until my Aunt told him to look in his mouth. The problem is that I never know where that last place is. I even looked in the drawer where my wife keeps her burgeoning twist-tie collection.

They are the second pair of sunglasses I have ever owned. I got them to give my eyes a little rest from the sun while I was on a canoeing trip. I used them for the intended purpose and then I must have put them in a good place. I put things in good places so that I would always remember where they are. Whenever I put something in a place so I would always remember where it is, it is lost. Not all that wanders is lost. It might just be in a good place.

Things get lost. That’s the job of things. That’s not all bad. It brings mystery and intrigue into our lives.

“Have you seen my white shirt?” I asked my wife. I added, “Stockholm, IKEA, Volvo, Saab.” I say the Swedish things to my bride.

My wife, using a form of sorcery practiced only by women, made my white shirt appear instantly in the closet, right where I had just looked — 11 times.

The shirt had been lost. This proves that things move. That’s what people mean when they say that change is inevitable.

“Have you seen my car keys?”

“Where did you have them last?”

“Could you call my cell phone? I can’t find it.”

These are oft repeated sentences in households all over the world.

We need a GPS that will help us find lost items — like that ubiquitous windshield scraper that disappears when needed. My wife threatens to give me a Timex wristwatch with OnStar so that it can call when it is lost.

I try to put everything back in its place. I put stuff back where I got it. That’s a good plan, but it is useless if you can’t remember where that place is. When I am lost, I could always stop and ask for directions. I could do that. I never do, but I could. I can’t ask directions to lost items.

I can’t find the second pair of sunglasses I’ve ever owned. Before I had sunglasses, I never lost sunglasses. That’s proof that the more stuff you have, the more stuff you lose. The caveman was in good shape when he had just one rock. Then he obtained a second rock and immediately misplaced the first rock.

When I left my ancestral home after my high school graduation, I had a radio and a toaster. Looking back, hiring those movers was unnecessary. I never lost either the radio or the toaster, but when we have more than a dozen things, we can’t be expected to know where each one is. Do the math.

A young man left Minnesota to seek his fortune in Alaska. His only true possession was a beautiful ring given to him by his mother, who he loved deeply. She had died shortly before her son left the Gopher State. While on the boat trip to Alaska, he was leaning over the rail looking down at the ocean while absent-mindedly twisting his ring, when the ring came off and fell into the water. He was heartbroken. Once in Alaska, the man got a job in a seafood processing plant. Each day, he cut up fish. Years went by. He thought about that ring constantly. One day, the man was boning a load of cod. He worked relentlessly, but stopped suddenly when his knife hit something hard. Can you guess what it was? I hope you weren’t thinking that it was his lost ring. What would be the chances of that? What he hit was his thumb.

My wife offered her sunglasses for my use. I put them on, but she took them back when she realized that I still wasn’t seeing things her way.

I’ve consoled myself with the knowledge that I lost only sunglasses. I could have visited a casino and lost everything.

I’m not going to worry about drain bamage and start taking massive doses of gingko biloba. I’ll find the lost sunglasses while I’m searching for some other lost item.

What happened to the first pair of sunglasses I owned?

I lost them, too.

Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.