My husband often quips, “If you want to know the art of misplacing things, my wife is the right person to learn from.” He further confesses that he will open a school for this purpose. When his puzzled friends ask him the use of such an art he replies, “You can spend a lifetime searching for objects you have misplaced at home. You can create chaos in the office by misplacing the files. And you can have the joy of discovering these misplaced things. If you have this art the biggest advantage is your colleagues will never leave a file on your table and at home your wife won’t trust you and will take care of personal belongings herself.” I understand that he is taking a dig at me and I don’t mind because he is the affected party.
It’s very funny how things disappear and reappear when we have given them up for lost. Once when I was in school I lost a textbook, which I remember I read the previous night in bed. I searched and searched but in vain. After the exams, I found it under the bed. It was leaning on one side of a trunk under the bed. It wasn’t to be seen from the various angles I tried while searching for it under the bed. Those were the days of few belongings. The few things of mine which kept disappearing also kept reappearing thanks to my mother. But after I got married I realised my handicap was serious.
Every time my husband and I plan to go out, we spend ten minutes searching for the key, purse, license etc. Other important documents go into hiding whenever I am in urgent need. And the circumstances in which I get back the things so easily after searching for so long makes my poor husband go crazy.
Another incident happened when we lived in a house completely devoid of shelves. There was no place to hide anything. My chequebook went missing. My husband advised me to retrace my steps back to the bank, grocery shop and my friend’s house in search of it. No clue. Then I turned the house upside down in search of it but to no avail. I remembered that usually I keep important papers under the mattress. I turned the mattress upside down a dozen times but no. After a week when I pulled out the mattress cover to wash, my dear chequebook fell out. After this incident, my husband made sure to keep all his important files, money and bank related things in a briefcase, making sure that he has the keys.
Was it the maid?
Less important things also disappear and appear mysteriously in my house. Once I found the glass top of the vegetable tray in my fridge missing. I searched for a week and then gave up. Then I worked on another theory of whether it broke and who broke it. Suspicion rested on the maidservant but was ruled out since I’m always present when she’s cleaning the fridge. The culprit could be my young son who always peeps into the fridge for snacks. My questioning led to loud protests. After a year when I was cleaning the cupboard adjacent to the fridge I discovered the transparent glass top between the books. Who kept it there was anybody’s guess. My husband begged me to spare the child and do something about my forgetfulness and misplacing things.
Very recently my husband was getting ready for one of his foreign trips. He was unable to find the keys of his suitcase. Knowing very well my specialty, he always took care of his own things. Then he remembered that it was I who used the suitcase last. For nearly two hours the whole family searched for the keys. When everyone gave up my husband decided to buy a new suitcase. I opened the Almirah to give him the cash and there the keys of the suitcase were hanging on the inside of the door.
Now where did I get that from?
I accept my fault. I am responsible for misplacing things and then completely forgetting about it. My weakness is not putting things in their appropriate places. I’m not able to decide which is the best place to put them; for example, the house keys. I keep changing the place and this leads to the hunt for the elusive keys. My husband tried to teach me a golden rule, which is, “Put the things back where you have picked them up.” He warned me that if I don’t follow this rule I would be wasting half my lifetime in searching for things. But the million-dollar question is whether I will remember from where I picked them up. My mind is on more important things when I am doing mundane things and this leads to my present dilemma. The mundane things become more important in times of need.
Now we live in a spacious 3-bedroom flat with a number of cupboards, drawers and showcases. I spend my time opening and closing these cupboards and drawers in search of papers, files and things of significance. Just imagine what would happen if I stayed in a palace. I would be roaming from room to room like a ghost. I have tested the patience of my family. My husband suggests that I should live like a hermit in a hut with bare minimum necessities so that my life doesn’t become a struggle searching for things which I myself am responsible for misplacing. Any suggestions please from the readers to pull me out of this pandemonium of misplaced things?