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|Losing things is only nominally more infuriating than somebody trying to help you find them.|
|I couldn't find my wallet this morning. I hate that.|
So, as is my wont when I'm confused, I stood in the living room, patting my pockets down in the universal gesture of "where the hell did I put that thing" as I thought to myself where the hell I could have put that thing. I had checked my jacket. I had checked on the bedstand. I had checked in all the places I usually put my wallet.
My wife - lawd bless her, I love her - walked up to me and asked what I was looking for. I said I couldn't find my wallet. Then she did the infuriating thing:
She asked, "Where do you remember seeing it last?"
I can't fucking *stand* that. My anger wells up from deep soul crevices I didn't even know I had. The blood rises in my face like a thermometer just before my ears start puffing out smoke.
There are so many ways to exacerbate that question, I can't even begin to count them. Things like, "in my hands before I put it down" inevitably come to mind. "Why didn't *I* think of that?" Or, "yes, it was perfectly balanced on the tip of my boot before I kicked it up your rectum." The civility filter, the only thing standing between my brain and a well-deserved whalloping, kicks into overdrive. Must... Hold... Tongue...
I hate everything about other people trying to help me find things I've lost. The impulse to ask questions like "where did you see it last" carries far too parental a feeling for me. It must stem from early childhood, when you really could lose things and honestly have no idea about how to find them again. "Did you look in your pockets" is a valid question when you're three years old, because pockets really are fucking magic to you at that point. You can put stuff in your clothes and it *won't fall out.*
Problem is, see, I'm not three any more. I'm about *that* many [opens and closes both hands in rapid succession three times] years old now. I learned my lesson about how to find things back in kindergarten. I had put my binky down so that I could eat the musilege with both of my little hands, and when I was done, binky was gone. I cried and cried and cried until I stood up and discovered I'd been sitting on it the whole time. Needless to say, I haven't let binky out of my fucking sight since then, and only on rare occasions do I stop sucking on the one corner. I've learned my fucking lesson, Jack. The first place I always look for something is under my ass, and it's saved my cat's life on a number of occasions.
If you've got to ask questions of a person whose lost something, at least make them useful. Something like "why are you so fucking scatterbrained" might be considered crass initially, but would be more appreciated in the long run because it gets to the heart of the problem. Why *am* I so scatterbrained? I could spend years meditating on that one, and when enlightenment finally comes, I'd realize that worldly posessions are but things of mist compared to the Eternal Now, that time is a ribbon of pearls each reflecting the other, and that material things are illusions created by fear. Having let go of my fear, I realize that there *is* no wallet, and thus, never have to worry about losing it. Mu.
That, or I starve to death, freezing on a mountain in Tibet. Either way, case closed.
Too often, the problem of finding things comes down to one of fixation. There are only so many places you can look before you start looking at them all over again, in sequence, because that's where things *should be* and we can't imagine them being anywhere else. We fail to expand the possibilities. Thus, the search pattern becomes a holding pattern - pockets, jacket, hamper, desk. Pockets, jacket, hamper, desk. Like we're going to spot something we missed, some hidey-hole that has up until now gone unseen in these once-familiar places. Searchers need something to break them out of their routine and start considering other places that things could hide in.
I've found that screeching "LOOK OUT! NINJA!" at the top of my lungs while the wife wonders where she hid her tampons to be, in all, pretty helpful. It shakes her out of her routine, and while she pummels me into a black-and-blue mess, inspiration strikes. The week following is spent with my wife in a temper and me in traction, which is fine because I didn't want to have sex with her during that week anyway. Everybody wins, especially my chiropractor.
You're probably wondering where my wallet was. It was in my backpack. I remembered it was in my backpack when I started thinking about where I'd last seen it. Rest assured, gentle reader, that I will not make the mistake of putting it in my backpack again. After all, now YOU ALL know where I put it. And I don't trust a one of you, not one lick. Fucking ninjas.